COMMUNITY GARDENgarden     Well, the plots well and truly bloomed, some to overflowing and we have learnt a few lessons from our “First Planting.”  Nonetheless, we had produce aplenty and although some were not harvested in time, most did get to be consumed, especially at the last Pot Luck, when Maria and others in the kitchen, stuffed banana peppers with a cheese mix and they were delicious.   Over the first week or so in July, we will be thinning out the plots and getting rid of those plants which are at their end or nearing their end. Although the plots provided well, one of the lessons learnt was to maybe not plant as much in each plot, and the best place for ground crops is at ground level or they will take over. The rest of the space which is at present not used will be evaluated and decisions made on what to do with them. If you have a particular plant or want to just experiment and not have a plot, we have 7 and 15 gallon planters which can house a number of plants. Just let me know and we can get them ready for you.   There are a number of wonderful documents available at The University of Florida website which help out with gardens. Thanks for pointing us in that direction, Janet Troxell.   Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021garden-3   This document makes for great reading in all aspects of maintaining a garden. It also gives a Planting Guide for Florida Vegetables which we will be consulting for our new crop rotation in the fall.   Take care and see you in the Garden……..soon.garden-2Opicture1kra  We are presently in that ‘in between time’ in the garden whereby some of the plots have been cleared out for the next planting; some are holding on to the last vestiges of the first crops. Progressively over the  month of August, all the plots will be cleared and the Fall crop will be planted for those plots growing vegetables.         picture2Flowers/shrubs We still have a number of flowering plants that catch the attention of insects and butterflies passing overhead. It’s great to simply sit on the nearby picnic table and quietly contemplate under the shade of the magnolia tree, disturbed by nothing more than the flash of color of a butterfly.         picture3Olive Tree On the west side of the garden area, we have planted two Arbequina olive trees as we look to create a space for common plants and trees between Florida and the Middle East. Look for scriptural references in the near future linking the flora with the Bible. Better still, bring your suggestions of scripture that might be distributed around the garden space that would add to the ambience, as well as the edification of those who walk and work there.