Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall is here and the leaves are changing in South Florida

Fall has arrived in South Florida and the leaves are changing (not really) only the Plumeria tree does the fall thing around here.  This is the time for all the Plumeria trees to start to drop their leaves and go bare for the winter, the only sign we have that the season is changing.

Soon all these leaves will be on the ground

Garden time has been hard to come by around here.  Between bad weather and a demanding nine to five job, my garden has seen very little of me.  I worked on my side patio, moving, changing and adding new containers.  I will soon start to work on my vegetable garden, I’m waiting for cooler weather sometime in October.  This year I am changing the entire concept and that will take time and lots of work (stay tune)

Pictures from around the garden this week.

This bromaliad aTillandsia deppeana, was a nice surprise seven flowers in a small container

It would not be a tropical garden without hibiscus flowers, this one is my favorite

This side of the house gets shade all year around, perfect for this bananas and black elephant ear plants 

My newest addition, this coleus is call "Fishnet Stocking" 

The purple Allamanda vine is using the the starburst tree to grow high up, I like the look.

I am ending this post with a photo of a male Julia butterfly, sucking the nectar from a firebush flower.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

After the rain, the rain lilies bloom

It has been a long couple of weeks of daily rain; tropical storm Hermine passed south of us but her effects lasted for days.  Today is the first sunny day with no forecast of rain and this morning the rain lilies decided to make an appearance. 

Not much gardening this week, the rain limited the time outside.  I updated a couple of beds in the front of the house.

 Most of the plants in my street garden are pollinator friendly, here I have a combination of milkweed, firebush, blue porterweed and yellow buttercup flowers.

 I let the lantanas grow wild in this area of the garden, I don’t have the hart to cut it back, and the butterflies love these flowers.

Update on Zika

Last week the Miami Beach botanical garden closed its door and decided to pull out all their bromeliad plants, the garden is located within the Zika designated area.  This is worrisome for me; my garden is about 40% bromeliads.  If this disease gets out of control I can see, how the state will mandate the removal of all bromeliad plants from local gardens.  They did it before with citrus trees when canker threaten the citrus industry, this time the consequences are much more costly especially to unborn children. 

So why am I planting more bromeliads?  Because I don’t like to throw away any of my extra plants.

I hope you all have a peaceful and restful LABOR DAY.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

No professional help needed

The morning started with the idea of cutting a few branches from the powderpuff tree in the front of the house, the same tree that I was going to hired professional help to cut back.  Fast forward two hours later and I did it all myself.  My wife was not too happy this tree is her favorite.  Powderpuff trees are fast growing, so I expect it will be back full of flowers next summer.  I scheduled a bulk pick up with my county, hopefully it will be done within seven days, we get two free pick ups per year.
PS – I will not be doing that again.  

I got these orchids from a friend a few years ago; every summer I get many white flowers, this year has been spectacular.  If anyone out there knows the name of the orchid let me know.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hacking through the summer jungle

It has been a busy couple of weeks at the DragonFly garden; I am trying to put a dent on all the summer growth.  My goal is to trim one tree a day or until the garbage container is full.  So far I cut back all my fruit trees and a few of the flowering trees, except for the powderpuff tree in the front yard (For that tree I need professional help), many of the bushes and pulled out lot’s of weeds. 

 Back garden

Side gaden

Front garden

Powerpuff tree

The avocado tree was not easy

I’m also been busy starting some of the projects I mention in previous postings.  I started with the old vegetable garden, as you can see in the photos below.  I am turning this section of the garden into an all purpose garden, succulents, bromeliads and any extra plant that needs a home.  

I found this piece of wood on Sanibel Beach while on vacation this summer

Before picture, all that survived from the vegetable garden, were the chives and the mint plant

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Zika - Miami’s new normal

Zika has been knocking at our front doors for several weeks and last week it walked in through an open door.  We knew it was going to be a matter of time before local infested cases were going to be reported.  So far all cases are concentrated in the small neighborhood of Windward in Miami, our local authorities are doing all they can to keep it contain to that area, but this is summer in Florida and mosquitoes are not going anywhere no matter what you do.  The only solution to the Zika virus is a vaccine, but funding for research and development for such vaccine is not coming anytime soon from our federal government.  Our representatives in Washington decided to make this a political issue and left town for their summer vacation.

Zika is making me change the way I garden.  These days I cover myself with mosquito repellent when I am outside, I change the water in the birdbaths daily, I am more conscious of standing water and I put mosquito bits in all my bromeliads water cups.  Mosquito bits kills the larvae and are fish and bird friendly.          

Sunday, July 03, 2016

My garden on steroids

Is that time of the year when the South Florida weather makes our gardens look like they are on steroids.  If you sit outside long enough you can see the grass grow.  This is when the garden needs us the must, but sadly all we can do is sit inside our comfortable air condition homes and watch. I tried to give my garden a couple of hours every week, early on Saturday mornings, but by 9:00 am I am done and the AC is calling me home. 

While I wait for cooler months, I spend the time inside my home planning future projects for the garden like:

A new potting bench for my working area.

 I want to move my cactus and succulent collection to the front of the house and turn this area into a kitchen garden, all in containers.  (I am not totally convinced if I will go through with this project)

In this corner in the front of the house, I want to take out the grass and expand the cactus garden.

I have not decided what to do with my old vegetable garden.  It has been clear for some time that vegetable and herbs are not suited for this area of the garden during the winter months.   
 Stay tune.


I harvested my bananas.

I continue to experiment with my macro lens.

A new visitor to the garden this week, the tiny Cassius Blue butterfly. 


Ps - I am taking a few weeks off from the blog, I will see you soon.