Thursday, August 27, 2015

Keeping an eye on Erica

Looks like gardening this weekend is not going to happen.  I hope we don't have to get into hurricane mode on Sunday.  We'll have a better picture tomorrow.  Wish us luck.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Blooming Bromeliads

This summer has been a good season for bromeliads.  I am enjoying an explosion of blooms with most of my bromeliad plants.  Some of these flowers have been MIA in the garden for the last couple of years, but this summer they are back.
Bromeliad blooms are unique, colorful and last longer than must flowers.  My garden is about 40% bromeliads and that percentage is growing.  The fact that they are easy to take care and they reproduce like rabbits, make them my favorite plant in the garden. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Putting Humpty Dumpty together again.

Yesterday we returned from our yearly two week summer vacation to Sanibel Island.  As usual, my family and I had a great time at the beach.  I worried about my unattended garden left behind; this year I did not have a dog sitter at home to take care of the plants, so they were on their own.

 Before I left, I moved all my potted plants to the shade and set up the automatic sprinklers for watering every other day. (I know, I was breaking the law, hopefully no one noticed) I also prayed for lots of rain.

This is what I found when I returned yesterday, overgrown grass, monster weeds and several plant casualties.  Overall I expected worse, but I was told that Miami had many rainy days over the two weeks I was away. (We were lucky; we only had one rainy day while we were at the west coast of Florida)

One happy surprise was these white blooming orchids. 

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Are they cactus or are they succulents?

Today I will give you a quick video tour of my collection of cactus and succulents. The rainy season is in full swing around here and this time of the year is not easy on these plants.  Every summer I loose many plants because of the rain, one way to minimize the damage, is by re-arranging and repotting some of plants and moving the rare ones inside the cover patio.   This year as you can see I am late, and because of my neglect I already lose a few plants.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hunting for butterflies

This week I photographed a green anole lizard in my firebush tree, hunting for Zebra butterflies.  The sneaky lizard blends well into the green plant.  The fire bush attracts many butterflies, especially longwind zebras and hundreds of bees. So I figured the ads were in his favorite, that a meal soon would come his way.

I noticed that he was not interested in the bees (He is no dummy, bees fight back), but tried several times to get a butterfly, they were too fast for the hungry lizard.  After several unsuccessful attempts, he noticed something hanging from a branch, and just as tasty.  If he could not get a butterfly, a caterpillar will do. (Probably a monarch)     

I get much satisfaction seating in my garden, seeing the circle of life happening in a place I created. It is a very small part, in the scheme things, but can you imagine how much better things would be, if we all took responsibility for the small piece planet earth around us.  I know, I’m getting excited about a lizard eating a caterpillar, but who knows maybe later that day that lizard became lunch for a woodpecker and on and on.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

This relationship is not working out, time to part ways

Relax, I'm not breaking up with anyone in particular, only with my yellow Cassia tree.  This week I had to make the difficult decision, and cut my Cassia tree.  I planted this young tree several years ago, and over the years it became my favorite flowering tree.  The bright yellow flowers were stunning, especially during the Christmas season.  
Like human relationships, the tree grew up and it became a pain in the neck. It grows aggressively during the summer, pushing my mango tree to the side.  The shallow roots were no match for our summer thunderstorms, I would have to right up the tree several times during the rainy season.    So this week after one of those storms passed thought town, I decided it was time to part ways.  I will miss you yellow tree, we had a good run.


Now I have more room for containers 

Flowers in the garden this week

My first harvest of limes from a plant I purchased at Home Depot last spring.  This lime tree is in a small container, so the harvest is never going to be plentiful.  

Friday, July 03, 2015

Gardening from the land of weeds and mosquitoes

This time of the year I wish I was living north of the Mason Dixon line.  Gardening during these humid and hot summer months is not fun.  I don’t know if it is my age, global warming or what, but every new summer it gets harder for me.
There is something about having the winters off, while your garden is in deep sleep.  Don’t get me wrong gardening in South Florida during our winter months is heavenly, but then summer comes.  Summer means a garden on steroids, and it demands all my attention.  Taking a couple of weeks off is out of the question, not unless I want to return to jungle full of weeds. 

Excuse my complaining I know that this is becoming my yearly chronic rant, but this week’s heat was unusually high. I ‘m trying to keep my outdoor activities to an hour at sunset when the temperatures drops from the high nineties to the low nineties, but then I have to deal with the squadrons of mosquitoes coming out for their nightly feeding.    

This week at the DragonFly garden.

I got a new chair and table set for my meditation corner.  (To be use during the winter months)

This is the bird feeding area; I put a concrete floor under the bricks to keep the weeds out.



I hope all of you have happy and safe Independence Day. 
Sunday night let’s all root for the US woman’s soccer team, good luck on their third world cup championship game.