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GARDENS: Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Check out these charming gardens, beach and river on Florida's east coast. Page 2.
Beneath your feet carefully tended beige colored sand paths wind through a sea of dark green mondo grass.
The garden is big enough so that as you explore these paths you'll get to enjoy not quite knowing just where you are, and small enough so that you'll never be lost.
Around every other corner you'll find a new lushly landscaped pond. At one pond well fed fat fish of various colors lead you around by your curiosity and show you hidden corners of the pool. At another pond you can rest awhile in wooden deck chairs while the sound of a gurgling fountain applies a soothing sound sedative to your mind.
A passion for water sounds is one of my eccentricities, I must admit. Ocean waves, river rapids, pond fountains, the kitchen faucet, it doesn't matter, I'm hooked. I had fun sitting quietly in front of the garden's fountains video taping these tranquil scenes for countless reruns at home on the TV.
Little wooden bridges cross the ponds at different points, and a gazebo offers additional shade, and a intimate view of the pond on which it resides.
Quite a few couples have likely begun their married life in this gazebo, and I relax under it's octagon roof for a bit wondering how many homes have a picture of this charming spot on the living room mantel.
Here's to you all, hoping you'll be celebrating many an anniversary here as well.
Butterfly gardens are one of the neatest tricks in the garden artist's tool box. Until we visited the Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville earlier in the year I didn't realize you could attract butterflies to a garden with a careful design and selection of plants.
It's a charming experience to come around a corner in a garden and find yourself enveloped in a cloud of delicate fluttering wildlife.
A park brochure explains that the following types of butterflies have been seen in the park:
Giant swallowtail, Gulf fritillary, Zebra longwing, Pipevine swallowtail, Cloudless sulfer, Buckeye, Eastern black swallowtail, Viceroy, Silver spotted skipper, and Red admiral.
The brochure goes on to explain how you can create your own butterfly garden using the following steps.
Creating Your Own Butterfly Garden
1) Provide larval plants, such as: citrus trees, red bay tree, fennel, pipevine, passionflower vine, parsley, dill, coontie fern, canna, willows and cassia.
2) Provide nectar plants, such as: pentas, mexican sun flower, porterweed, pagoda plant, coral vine, lantana, buddleia, horsemint, bottlebrush, and buttonbush.
3) Eliminate the use of chemicals in the garden.
4) Provide moisture in a shallow container.
5) Leave natural vegetation to provide hiding places.
6) Provide background and windbreak plantings.
7) Plant flowers in large masses of the same color and fragrance.
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