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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shea's So Pretty

Making a batch of CocoNilla Lip Dream this morning and I had to snap some photos of the gorgeous golden Shea Butter, unrefined, organic. 

Shipped in through a distributor from Ghana, the highest quality Shea I've ever experienced. I specifically used a white plate here so you can see the difference in color. Shea Butter in in purest form is not white. Shea Butter that is white has most likely been bleached.
I love these new little jars, and how you can see through the glass the golden hues, like liquid gold for lips. What's your favorite use for Shea Butter?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Garden Part II

Red Sage abounds in our native plant landscape. It reseeds itself very easily, and then tends to pop up in random places. It's bright red color attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and looks beautiful when planted in a mass.

The Chamomile and Lavender plants were planted this year and are still getting established, but they are liking their new home. I mulched them with sand because they both enjoy dry feet, and I love the look of sand in the garden.

Dune Sunflower is one of my favorite groundcovers. It spreads quickly and so you really need to find a good spot where it can spread. It's wonderful for planting in an area where you want to get rid of the grass. Dune Sunflower is also very drought tolerant and flowers almost all year long in Florida. The past two years all our Dune Sunflower plants died back to the ground due to the rare cold season we had, but they happily came back in spring. I love pulling up to my house and seeing Dune Sunflower, it makes me happy.

More caterpillars. I love these little guys (and gals)! Can you spot the cute little ladybug?

Beebalm (Monarda) is in full bloom right now. The flower is created so perfectly that up close is so pleasing to look at, and it has a wonderful fragrance. The bees of course love it, and by the end of summer we will have lots of bees buzzing.

Salt Marshmallow growing in our pond. It's a wetland plant and so I planted it directly in our pond. This beautiful flower makes it's appearance every so often, and when it does it is stunning. Pink and yellow together, what could be more wonderful? 
I hope your summer is smiling back at you through many a flower......I know mine is...

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's Bloomin'

I love these Giant Black Swallowtail Caterpillars - they love eating away at my dill, and since I don't use dill that much I don't really mind. They critters are just so beautiful and fun to watch up close. 
My front yard. We replaced almost all of our grass over the years with Sunshine Mimosa. It's a Florida native groundcover that is drought-tolerant, requires no fertilizers or chemicals, and no mowing (although it will take mowing if you want to mow). Plus, it's gorgeous when planted in mass like this, I adore the pink flowers every morning when the are still sparkling in the dew and throughout the day as they glow with happiness from all the sunshine. That's Gallardia (Blanket flower) in the background which is also a Florida native. 

Close up of Sunshine Mimosa flower. Stunning isn't it?

The beautyberry bushes are getting ready to show off their brilliant magenta berries this fall. You can see the pinks starting to form. As soon as they are ready I'm going to harvest them for a batch of soap, and combine them with some elderberries (below).

Elderberries - not too many left since the birds have gotten to them. We have 3 Elderberry trees that I use to gather berries for the Elderberry Lip Gloss and soon a new soap.

This is what graces our front door entrance area. It's called Fiddlewood and the fragrance is amaaaazing. The white flowers are visited by butterflies and bees throughout the day, and the delicate white flowers look stunning against the shiny evergreen leaves.
I hope you enjoyed a little walk around my garden today. Do you have any native plants near you that are your favorites? I'd love to hear about your happy little flowers! :-)