Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall is in the air.

Finally this weekend fall arrived in South Florida, and with it came, cooler temperatures, low humidity and the beginning of the dry season.  Yesterday I headed to the garden, Fairchild Tropical Garden that is, ready to take some pictures, do some bird watching and exercise.

I arrived at the garden at opening time (7:30 am) with my camera and tripod in hand; the perfect early morning light waits for no one.  There were no special events at the garden, so I had the place all to myself.






The garden is getting ready for Halloween festivities; the statue is of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, the famous environmentalist and author of the River of Grass book about the Everglades.

The spider is not a Halloween prop, but one of many real spiders throughout the garden.

This cat bird was very gracious, and let me take his picture.




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Winter vegetable gardening begins.

Yesterday I took a trip to my favorite nursery in the Homestead FL; I was looking for seedlings to start my winter vegetable garden.  I come home with arugula, butterscotch lettuce, broccoli, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.    The tomatoes and pepper are going in containers; in the next few weeks I will be adding more seedlings and sowing seeds as the temperatures get cooler.

Last year when I started these vegetable beds with construction blocks, I used the squares inside the blocks for planting, but soon found that they were not ideal for growing vegetables.  This year I planted a combination of bromeliads, succulents and drought resistant plants.  I like the way it looks.
















This is my garden work station; I call it the garden’s garage.  Like everyone’s garage it needs cleaning every couple of months.  The beach umbrella you see in the picture, I found in my neighbor’s garbage can, now it shelters me from the sun and at the same time it makes this corner of the garden standout.  





Saturday, October 04, 2014

Not a fan Palm trees

I never been a fan of Palm trees,  when I moved to my house 30 years ago, the house came with 10 Queen palms, today I am down to three.  These trees are mature and too high to maintain, the fruits drop to the ground and all become pops, the dead leaves are not very attractive.

As far as I'm concerned these trees are grandfather in, so I'll keep on complaining.

This is the second Dragonfruit of the season.  I get many flowers but few fruits, it all depends on a night moth to pollinate the flowers.  Lately they don't seem to be around at the right time.



Vegetable garden update.  I'm waiting for South Florida fall weather, so far this season we are getting a lot rain and the summer heat continues.


In the garden this week: The Mexica Flame is blooming.
 



After four hours of hard labor today, pulling palm pops (they don't come out easy) and cleaning up, this is what this corner of the garden looks like.



PS. This post is done with my IPad 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Looking for the gold Aspen trees in Colorado.

The DragonFly garden is on maintenance mode, September in South Florida is like another summer month.  The weather is hot and rainy, plus is the peak of the hurricane season.  I have a few projects in the planning stages, but I’m waiting for the cooler days of October.  Next month I will by planting the vegetable garden, thinning of my bromeliad collection and planting the winter annuals.  
   

 Today I will bore you with pictures from my vacation to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Every year around this time, my wife and I, head for the mountains looking for cooler weather and fall colors.  This year the trip was a little early, due to an airline ticket sale.  The weather was not as cold as we wanted (mid 40s at night and high 70s during the day) and the aspen trees were not at peak. (They needed another two weeks)
I fell in love with Colorado 40 years ago when I was in my twenties, single and working for an airline.  Back in those days skiing was my life, today my sixty year old knees can take the pounding of skiing.  I still love this state, and I get as much pleasure hiking the mountain trails and taking pictures of the natural beauty of these mountains as I did skiing.

First stop Snowmass, last weekend they held their annual hot air balloons races.





















We hiked the Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest.



In the town of Aspen we rode the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain.














We did a five mile hike in the Rio Grande Trail, one of my favorite trails in Aspen.  For those of us oxygen starved flatlanders this is an easy trail to walk.














After the five mile hike we ended with a visit to the John Denver memorial park.  If you ever visit the town of Aspen I recommend that you visit this park.  It is of the most beautiful and well done memorial park that I have ever visited.




Finally found fall colors on the road to the ghost town of Ashcroft.


The last night we stayed in Vail.  I call Vail the Disney World of the mountains, they do a great job planting flowers everywhere.  



We spent time at the Betty Ford Alpine Garden, the world’s highest botanical garden.














The wildflowers of Colorado.