July in Bloom

This one’s for my plant- and bug-loving friends, of which I have many.

We recently bought a place on the East Coast, and this past week, we brought our trees along with us. For the past 6 months, we had our favorite palms root-pruned to get them ready. The process was cool to watch. The roots were trimmed around the edges in stages, and plastic was tucked in around them. Eventually the root ball is completely free of the surrounding soil, ready to lift. Just like that.All the trees were loaded onto trailers. Off to the East Coast!The morning they arrived, a local crew helped get them in the ground. Cuban petticoat palm, Copernecia macroglossa.Hurricane palm, Dictyosperma album. We’ll see how they fare in the storm heading our way.Over a month ago we also moved a bunch of our smaller potted plants over to the new yard, including coonties, a native Florida cycad which we originally got from my grandma’s yard. Now they’re covered with atala caterpillars. We never had these on the Gulf Coast. They were thought to be extinct for many years. They’ve made a comeback in certain areas, and thankfully they seem to be doing quite well around the Indian River Lagoon.
Cocoons. Update 8/1:  Toby just took this in the yard and I like it better than what was on here before.

Not many critters mess with cycads due to neurotoxins in many of the plant parts. These caterpillars store the toxin (the red is a warning to predators) and they even retain it in the butterfly stage. A giant swallowtail butterfly on a bleeding heart vine. Gorgeous green anole. Today we said goodbye to our old Pine Island hideaway. Now we’re heading back across the state to get ready for Isaiah, whatever it becomes, wherever it goes. Just in case, here are my lists. We’re pretty good at stocking up and hunkering down these days, aren’t we?
Ready to weather another storm. Stay safe and well, friends!

16 Comments July in Bloom

  1. Juliet Gross July 30, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    I planted a passion Vine and gulf fritillary butterflies appeared I was so happy. I have some coontie plants but I’m down near Naples hope they get some a t a l a butterflies, although I’m here on the West coast. Congrats on your new abode.

    1. suwanneerose July 30, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      The flowers on a passion vine are amazing. No surprise the butterflies love them, too. I read the atalas are in the Miami area again. I bet they’re in Naples, too. Coonties are one of the best plants in a Florida landscape. I think everyone should have them. If they did, we’d certainly have more of the butterflies.

  2. Julie Lounibos July 31, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Love seeing all these pics of the the trees being moved! Is that a Thatch Palm I see in that group? Great that you got the Atala larvae so quickly! We’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get them established on our Coonties for years. Welcome to the East Coast! Hopefully this hurricane won’t be too destructive.

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      Yes, we have quite a few thatch palms. We put several right out front. I can’t believe the atalas aren’t hanging around your house, right up the road. I’m sure Phil knows all the tricks, but if you want a plant with eggs or cocoons, I’ll drop one off (as long as they survive the storm). One day we need to do a social distance garden tour, and we also allow for self-guided tours! 😉

  3. Jane July 31, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Amazing! Your palms will probably love hurricane ! Congratulations on helping bring the caterpillars back from extinction. I love the swallowtail. It looks like a big smiling mouth. Good luck today.

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:59 pm

      I’m sure they’ll enjoy all the water, but with no attached roots some will probably fall over. If so, we’ll re-plant them. They said not to brace them because it could damage them. Toby tied up the fronds on some of the more delicate ones, like a ponytail. The swallowtail does look like a big mouth! Now I can’t unsee it. Keep a look out for something in the mail from Key West. 🙂

  4. Misti July 31, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Wow, that is amazing how they were able to transport your palms! Hopefully they don’t have much damage from the incoming storm. Ready to see how you transform your IRL home!

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks, Misti! Hopefully these make it through. What a whirlwind this has been. I was thinking of you as I wrote this post. I knew at least you might be interested!

  5. Diedre Hancock July 31, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Welcome back to the East Coast!! I’m looking forward to an invite to visit your new place!

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      🙂 Can’t wait to have you and Roger over for drinks on this porch!!!

  6. Cheryl Bredin July 31, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Amazing that you moved those huge palms. Congratulations on buying the new place. And hope the new people are as nice as you and Toby. I’ll miss you in the neighborhood.

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:33 pm

      We met them yesterday and really like them! I think they’ll great. We will certainly miss seeing you guys. I was thinking you are now the only person who knows *all* the special fruit trees in the whole neighborhood. 😉

  7. Nicole Coudal July 31, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    How awesome to take your trees and plants with you! I’m sure you’ll create another beautiful property. Good luck 🙂

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks, Nicole!

  8. Mary Ann Shambach August 1, 2020 at 1:05 am

    Hope all goes well and that Isaias blows away offshore. Happy storm prepping!

    1. suwanneerose August 1, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks, Aunt MA. Me too! Hope you stay high and dry over on the west side!

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