Sep 16, 2010

Swamp Dogwood

Though the swamp dogwood Cornus foemina may go unnoticed by most of our visitors it is very appealing to birds . This tree unlike its showy cousin the flowering dogwood Cornus florida lacks large flowers and bright red berries. The Swamp Dogwood blooms in the spring with small pale flowers that turn into white berries. In August the berries turn blue and birds flock to dine on them. I planted a swamp dogwood in our arboretum near the Butterfly House about 12 years ago. The tree, now fully mature, is about 25 feet tall with a spreading canopy. I rarely see Redheaded Woodpeckers at Cypress Gardens but when I do they are always in this tree. Last year I saw both juvenile and adults eating the berries. Earlier this week I saw Redhead, Pileated, Downy and Red Bellied Woodpeckers in the tree. Laura came by to see this bird magnet on Friday and we racked up a list of birds feeding on the berries. Male and female Summer Tanagers, a Red-eyed Vireo, a family of Bluebirds, Brown Thrashers, Mockingbirds, juvenile Red-headed and juvenile Red-bellied woodpeckers, Kingbirds and a small flock of Purple Martins flew over. We have two types of swamp dogwoods C. foemina and C. amomum the later is shorter and bushy. The birds eat the berries of both.

Aug 11, 2010

Butterflies Aug. 11, 2010

I saw these butterflies while I was taking photos for Cypress Gardens Volunteers Facebook page.Queen, Julia Long Wing, Southern White and Balck Swallowtail

Jul 28, 2010

Wood Storks in the Swamp

Today we had 6 wood storks visit the swamp, they could be seen from the trail near the spillway and from the boat tours. Wood stork numbers have been increasing in South Carolina in the past ten years.

Jun 10, 2010

June Blooms

I was watering pots on a Saturday in June and took a few pictures. The daylilies and Oakleaf Hydrangea looked pretty nice.

May 31, 2010

May 5, 2010

tracks on the trails

It rained almost all day yesterday but we needed it. I like to get out on the trails early after a rain to see the animal tracks. I was surprised to see otter tracks near the boat dock, we usually don't see otter after the alligators become active in the spring. Just a little ways further down the path, just past the spillway, I spotted alligator tail drag lines across the path. One set of foot prints going over the dike and into the woods and another set going back to the water. The foot print were about the size of my hand which would make it about a 5 to 6 foot long alligator.

Apr 18, 2010

Beautiful Iris

This is just one of many photos I took on a walk with Kathy on April 16th. I liked this photo so much I made it my desktop background!

Apr 14, 2010

Yes, It is Spring!

The Wisteria and Azaleas are still blooming, and the pansys have never looked better. The Native Iris are starting to bloom. The Camellias and Daffodils have finished. Chimney Swifts and Prothonotary Warbler have returned. A pair of Osprey are building a nest which can be seen from the Wedding Garden.

Apr 3, 2010

Azaleas Blooms

As of today I would say about 25% of our azaleas are in bloom. Easter Sunday should be nice. The wedding garden has the most blooms.  More blooms to come next week.  

Mar 23, 2010

I have been gardening in the lowcountry of South Carolina over 25 years and this is the longest and coldest winter I have every seen here. Spring blooms are running 2-3 weeks late. For years I have been telling visitors that our peak Azalea bloom is around the last weekend of March but here it is a few days away and the azaleas are not even showing color. We have a few azaleas called Early Lavender which normally bloom around the first week of March and they have just started to bloom. The Camellias and Daffodils are still blooming. I now predict peak azalea bloom will be the second week of April. The Redbuds have started to bloom but the Lady Banks Roses and Wisteria are still in bud. The Parula warbler did return last week right on time and the Prothonotary Warblers are due back any day now. The Yellow Rumped Warblers(Butter Butts) and the White Throated Sparrows are still thick in the gardens but they may leave soon. The Bluebirds have busy visiting nest boxes and will soon getting down to business.

Mar 18, 2010

misty morning

A light mist covered the lake, the air was still and the reflection of the sky was tinted pink and grey such a beautiful start for  the day . Our birds were singing, the Carolina Chickadee -"tea sweet" the tufted titmouse "peter, peter" the red wing blackbird  "potpourri ". The shy wood ducks were siting in the trees and their calls were like squeaky toys. 

Mar 17, 2010

Flower Show Results

A Carolina Breath of Spring Flower Show, sponsored by four local garden clubs, was held March 6 and 7 at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, SC. This was the 4th annual show for Belle Isle Garden Club, Camellia Garden Club of Greater Charleston, Garden Club of Otranto and Town & Village Garden Club. There were 48 floral designs, including under water designs, designs incorporating garden implements, designs hanging in embroidery hoops and new to garden club members, floor designs. Michael Pound of the Camellia Garden Club won a Tri-Color Award, the Award of Design Excellence and the People’s Favorite Award for his design incorporating two watering cans. His creative use of bear grass from the nozzle of each can, looked like water being poured out on to the bouquet below.
 Johnny Walker of Edisto won top camellia. Elizabeth Nash of Goose Creek won the Arboreal Award with her Hibiscus Bloom. Over 400 people attended the 2 Day event which featured daffodils, Camellias and other spring blooms.

Mar 15, 2010

Spring in Bloom

The camellias and daffodils were beautiful today in the gardens. Winter is finally over. They should remain in full bloom until to the end of March. Peak bloom for the azaleas should be the last week of March through the first week of April. Also in bloom are the Snowdrops (leucojum), Anemones and hyacinth. The Japaneses Magnolias were in full bloom this week ( about 2 weeks later than normal).

Feb 24, 2010

Spring Flower Show

Breath of Spring Flower Show March 6-7
"A Carolina Breath of Spring Flower Show” at Cypress Gardens.
The fourth annual Breath of Spring Flower Show is presented by Belle Isle Garden Club, Camellia Garden Club of Greater Charleston, Garden Club of Otranto and Town and Village Garden Club.
The horticulture division features camellias and daffodils along with other spring blooming plants. The division is being expanded this year to include container plants.
There is a new section for plant containers not normally used as flower pots and another for containers made of recycled materials. Come see the creative ideas gardeners have come up with.
The design division will include miniature arrangement, floor designs, table settings, and hanging designs.
The horticulture division is open to the general public for entries of blooming plants. Please bring your horticulture entries on Friday March 5 from 9-12 . Judging will begin at 1 pm. To learn more, visit and click on the Cypress Gardens Flower Show to download the flower show schedule, or call Laurette Sweet (843) 312-9169 for more information. At the bottom of this page there is a slide show of last year’s flower show.

Feb 23, 2010

Art Show Photos

I just added a slide show of the Art Show, you can find it near the bottom of this page.