Saturday, January 24, 2015

Azaleas and the sub-tropical garden.

I have come to the sad conclusion that azaleas and my 10B zone garden don’t mix.  Throughout the years I have purchased many azalea shrubs, all around this time of the year.  All full of buds and flowers, and after the season ends I usually plant them in areas of the garden where they won’t be expose to our killer summer afternoon sun or I plant them in pots.  By the second year I get the flowers you see in the pictures, I know that these beautiful plants need cooler weather, but I’m a gardener I can grow anything with some extra TLC (Not these babies)  

I often travel to Atlanta on business and I envy all those gardens full of blooming azaleas especially in the spring, I have giving up on the idea that I would have shrubs looking like those in southern gardens.  I should enjoy the few flowers I’m getting now, with the acceleration of global warming it won’t be long before they will disappear altogether from southern Florida gardens.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time for the Brunfelsia grandiflora

The Brunfelsia, also known as the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow tree, is my favorite winter flowering shrub.  This time of year, these plants are full with three colors of flowers, they are not native of South Florida, but they do well in our climate.  A few years ago these plants were rare in local gardens, but now they are everywhere.  They look like lighted Christmas trees, this year my tree is full of flowers once again and I have a great view from my patio.   The flowers have three different shades of purple; they bloom with a deep purple color and three days later drop from the tree almost white.

It looks like we are going to have a great mango season this year.  One of my mango trees already has fruits and this week it bloomed for a second time this season.

Pictures from the garden this morning

I rescued this bromeliad from a garbage dumpster last year, and look at her now. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

National Bird Day

The DragonFly garden is celebrating National Bird Day

Be kind to wild birds

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Me my camera and 2015

I gave 2014 an exciting sent off last night at club Bed with DJ Pillow. This morning I was up early with my camera capturing the first images of my garden for 2015
This year I'm not making any New Year's resolutions (what's the point) but will try to do all things we say every year we all will do.  This year I'm turning 62 so retirement decisions are around the corner.

I wish you all a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year

PS - This post comes to you from my new IPad Air.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

End of the year garden tour.

Is that time of the year, for a garden video.  This past year was a busy one at the DragonFly, we added more fruit trees, expanded my collection of bromeliads, and orchids.  I lost half of my succulent plants due to heavy summer rain and I started collecting hibiscus. 
The great thing about gardening is that no matter how small your garden is, there is always something that needs to be done.  I’m already planning several additions and changes to the garden for 2015, so stay tune.

From the DragonFly garden, we wish you a Merry Christmas and healthy and peaceful New Year.   HAPPY GARDENING 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Are Monarch butterflies threatened?

This past week there was an excellent article in the Miami Herald, written by Kenneth Setzer from Fairchild Tropical Garden.  The article looks at the real dangers facing monarch butterflies, and how the loss of habitat, climate change, pesticide and the loss of host plants is affecting the current population.  One statistic that stands out for me, of all the monarchs that overwinter in central Mexico today, the numbers represent only 10 percent of the average population size over the past 20 years.
 There are two types of monarchs, those that migrate from North America to Mexico and those that stay year around mostly in South Florida and Texas.  We are lucky, we get to see these beautiful creatures year-round.
I plant milkweed (the monarch’s favorite plant) throughout the garden.  The writer tells us that Tropical milkweed (not a native), the one we buy in our local garden centers, may be hurting our butterflies.  It has been found that the multi-generational feeding from the same plants is allowing a parasite that hurts the butterfly to accumulate at abnormal levels.  The author recommends that we should eventually replace the tropical milkweed with native milkweed.  For more information on what you can do to help the monarchs, visit the Xerces Society web site at


This weekend I trimmed the yellow cassia tree.  This tree is one of my favorite trees, but I find that it might not be a good fit for my small garden.

 Lunch time, a salad from the garden.

This Christmas cactus was a gift from a neighbor.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Flowering mango trees in December??

I could not believe my eyes, my mango tree with flowers in December.  Mango trees around here usually start flowering in February, but this year they are a little too early.  I hope we don’t get a cold night with temperature below freezing.

This week I rearranged my succulent collection, the wet summer and fall weather killed many of my plants.

My vegetable garden is coming along; I’m already harvesting greens for my salads.

Cuban cilantro is much stronger than the regular store kind 

My new garden obsession is hibiscus in containers.  So far I have five plants, and I hope to add more.  These flowers are a must in a tropical garden.