It’s June! Creepy Crawlers and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Last weekend I went outside with the intention of doing a little gardening and came back inside a relatively short time later to compose this essay that I posted on facebook that many of you have already seen:

Gardening. By Deborah Barnes.

Begin gardening. Spot worm. Stop gardening.

The End.

Since it is now June 1st, this got me to thinking about gardening in a larger sense, because when I used to live up North (upstate New York), I loved this time of year because I knew many of my favorite summer flowers would be in bloom like black eyed susan’s, daisies, lilacs, peonies, irises, and roses . 


Seeing forever fields, endless with carefree daisies was a common sight for me up North and it is one of the simple pleasures of life that I miss here in Florida. We do have gorgeous flowers year round, but nothing compares to the simplicity of a field abound with a profusion of wild flowers.

Up North there are A LOT of worms and despite my obsessive avoidance of them, I managed to garden around them because I knew they provided vital nutrients for the soil and kept it tilled so that my plants would be happy and healthy. I enjoy gardening very much and I am the kind of person who likes to get “down and dirty” and feel the soil on my hands. Gloves make me claustrophobic, so I just did my best to maintain a respectful distance from these slimy, wiggly creatures. If I saw one, I would back away for a minute until they rooted back into the ground and would continue with my puttering around without too much drama, other than maybe an occasional quiet scream or two. Heaven help me, however, if I accidentally touched one, as I think I would have fainted. But, despite my aversion to them, I realize they do have a useful place on this earth and I wish them no harm. It’s just that I have a deep seated fear of them and I honestly have no idea why, other than I cannot look at them, touch them, or think about them without mentally freaking out.


Nope. Even in cartoon format with a cute smile, worms still give me the heebie-jeebies!

Here in Florida you rarely find a worm, so when I saw one last weekend, it came as such a surprise that I had to stop what I was doing and go inside! I had begun the day with typical pattern – some mindless pruning and weeding, which I enjoy, but then I moved on to what I consider a chore – cleaning up the top of the drain gutter on the side of the street that was completely impacted with heavy, wet leaves, hence the worm.  I was tired and worn out from a long and exhausting week at work and cleaning up heavy, wet leaves is actually grueling yard work in my opinion, and not peaceful and therapeutic gardening. Gardening is fun, yard work is not. Especially in Florida where we have the need for extensive yard maintenance pretty much 365 days a year. So, I think upon further analysis, it wasn’t the worm at all, it was just the perfect excuse to come inside from the sweltering 90 degree temperature and have a nice glass of ice tea as opposed to sweating my little butt off any further… Perhaps we could just sum it up as me being lazy…

Anyhow, in celebration of June and to apologize to worms, I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures that I have collected over the years of gardening and yard work here in Florida. But before I go, how about you? Any deep rooted fears for the creepy crawlers or anything else that you’d like to share? And here’s an interesting thought – my cats have seen lizards, birds, squirrels, possums, neighborhood cats, and lots of bugs – but never a worm. I wonder how they would react? Have your cats ever seen a worm?


This is an actual photo of the the amount of tree, plant, and hedge refuse collected by Dan and I at the end of a typical weekend when we do extensive yard work. I think that pretty much clears up the difference between light and relaxing gardening versus hard and stressful yard work.


Here is just a small sampling of what we have to deal with from our shedding trees and bamboo.


Rolz takes it upon himself to find out if there is anything under the tiki that we need to deal with before we bag up the last of the clippings.


Once the backyard is fully raked, pruned, and trimmed, it really is a tropical paradise. If only we wern’t so exhausted after it all so that we could enjoy it more!


This tropical beauty happens to be one of my garden favorites, and not just because it is called “Cat Whiskers!”


Zee doing a final snoopervising check of the grounds. Did we miss anything, Zee?


Little Mia always has a wide eyed expression, but outside her senses are on high alert, making her expression all the more evident.

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  1. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys…yur garden iz way total lee awesum…we loves it…ewe did a grate job on it & we hope ewe noe yur mom N dad iz takin


    oh, N werms…they bee grate for fishin…sum times eatin…..but like ya dont want worm werms…ever….ever ever ya dont want worm wermz….

    we due knot like snakes ore taran toolaz…we wood rather go inta de garage N see lionz chewin on de car tirez than see a snake ore a taran toola

  2. meowmeowmans says:

    Love those shots of all that is growing in your yard, Deb! As for all those bags of garden refuse … holy cat!