Thursday, November 30, 2006

Finally flowers after three years of TLC

Do you have a plant that you reward with extra TLC and it never returns the favor. That’s what I have with this Ground Orchid; I got it as gift three years ago. I fertilized, watered, replanted three times and gave it the best spot in the garden and for three years I got nothing in return. So I decided to ignore it and this week it rewarded me with flowers, not the best I ever seen but it is a start.

Today is the last day of the 2006 Hurricane season HORAYYYYY
This year was the best year since the mid 70’s only two name storms that came near Florida but no direct hits. We needed the break.

The Angels Trumpets flowered again. Very unusual for this late in the year since we are into the dry season and we have not had rain for weeks

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Christmas decorations are up

It took two days but finally the lights are up. Every year I tell my self this is the last year I’ll put lights up, but then my neighbors decorate their houses and I feel guilty that my house would be the only one not decorated.
I also remember how much fun it was for my girls when they were little and walked around the neighborhood looking at the lights. So now I do it for my neighbors kids.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday is a good day for Gardening

My family has a tradition to go shopping on black Friday. This year they did it without me, I had some gardening to do.
I found this container in one of my neighbor’s trash, after a little paint it looks like new. Today I went to the local gardening center and found this beautiful white Bougainvillea, perfect for the container.

While at the store I decided to buy some Petunias for some color in the back yard. Petunias are my wife’s favorite flower. (Got to keep the wife happy that way she won’t complaint about the gardening budget)

The bed of Coleus needed some weeding and cutting back. I took a few cutting to mix and match in a couple of container.



The rest of the weekend I will spend decorating the outside of the house for Christmas while the rest of the family works on the inside.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I found this poem on the internet, is cute

"Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleepI tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.The leftovers beckoned-- the dark meat and white,but I fought the temptation with all of my might.Tossing and turning with anticipation,the thought of a snack became infatuation.So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door and gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the skyWith a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pieBut, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees.......happy eating to all---pass the cranberries, please!"--------------


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Crotons are making a come back in Florida

I read an article in a local paper the other day about the benefits of the Croton plant, it mention how many local governments are recommending the plant because it is drought tolerant and it does well in our poor soil conditions.
When I started my garden I was not a big fan of Crotons, it reminded me of old Florida where you could find them everywhere. Little by little I have come around to be a big fan of this colorful tropical plant. There are many types of crotons and I am trying to collect as many as I can find in the local nurseries. A good source of information about this beautiful plant is The Croton Society.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Bees were out in force this morning in the Garden

I am feeling a little better from the flu this morning and could not resist doing some gardening. The weather is in the mid 70’s and a nice breeze is coming from the ocean, a perfect day for gardening.
My pink Ruellia (Also known as Mexican petunia and wild petunia) plant is spreading seeds all over the back yard and I have young seedling growing all over, so I decided to trans-plant some in containers and give them away to my neighbors. I can’t save them all but there will be more where these come from.
I have pink and purple Ruellias, the flowers open early in the morning and by late after noon they are gone. These flowers are very popular with bees and butterflies. I like the pink better the flower is smaller but the plant does not grow as high.

Bees visiting my Pentas and Blue Porter flowers

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gardening will have to wait for another week

Lizzy the lizard among the mums

Yesterday I came home early from work sick; I could feel the yearly Flu coming on. Sure enough this morning I feel like I was run over by a truck.
I don’t understand why every year Flu season comes to Florida around this time when our temperatures only change a few degrees from summer. I think the weather excuse is an old wives tale; the real reason has more to do with the start of school. All those kids enclosed in a room passing germs to each other, then they go home and give it to their parents and the parents go to work and so on and on.
So any way I don’t have much energy to blog or do much of any thing except to sit in my couch and watch TV (college football) to bad is a beautiful day out side temperature in the 80’s

Here some pictures I took from around the garden this morning
Visitors to the Bird Bath

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What a yard sale find ! !

I got tell you my wife and I are Yard Sale junkies. Every Saturday morning weather permitting we set out looking for treasures at bargain prices. My wife is a collector of many things so there always is something to buy. I on the other hand concentrate on plants, garden accessories and my only collection hobby “Airline Memorabilia”
Most mornings we end up buying so many things we don’t need nor have a place to put in our home. Many end up in our annual neighborhood yard sale, it’s our way to contribute to the endless recycling of yard sale junk.
Is incredible to me what people sell in yard sales, it tells you a lot about our throw away society and how little value we give to our possession. If our ancestors had been anything like us, there would be nothing to collect today.
I have decided that all my garden accessories, pots and tools will come from my Saturday morning outings. I have a hard time paying retail prices at the local gardening center when I can get bargain prices from my neighbor’s sales. Often my wife tells me “another pot! where are you going to put it” and my reply is "but honey is only 50 cents, this will cost you $5 at Home Depot".
This bougainvillea plant is one of my great find. I paid one dollar for the plant and container this past summer. The plant was dead not one green leaf on her, dead branches everywhere and dried to the bone. I figured the container along was worth $30 to $40. So I decided to try a rescue mission and see if I could bring her back from the dead.
After some trimming, new potting soil and some tender loving care, she came back to life. Fast forward 5 months and here she is in her full glory.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Winter herbs and tomatoes are in

Today was the day to plant my herb and tomato garden. As you can see by the picture the only plant that came thru the summer healthy was my Rosemary plant, all the others did not do well in our Florida summer heat.

This is my third year planting tomatoes the first year. I had a great crop of tomatoes, last year was a different story. The plants produced very few fruits most of the plants were attacked by some bug, the leaves shriveled, the flowers dropped and the few tomatoes that mature were not of very good quality. This year I am counting on my new experts friends in the blog sphere to help me out. I am trying a different strategy this winter; I got four different types of tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes (my favorite), sweet tomatoes, Jubilee and Bush Celebrity (I hope is not related to you know who otherwise my wife won’t eat it)

Since I am not the cook in my family the herbs that go in the garden depend on what my wife wants. The order this year was for Sweet and Italian Basil, Garlic Chives, Thyme, Rosemary and Peppermint. I added an Aloe plant not for eating but for the sunburns. I also put some Impatiens for color and might add more herbs later, it depends on the cook’s culinary mood.


What is blooming in the garden this week?

Bird of paradise on steroids!!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

“EL NINO” is coming

There was a weather story in the Miami Herald this morning regarding the return of “El Nino” weather pattern.

This should concern to all us gardeners in Florida. Get ready is going to be bumpy ride this winter, get extra sweaters out of the closed and buy a lot of plastic covers for the plants.

What is blooming in the Garden?

The Yellow Shrimp flower