Tuesday, April 29, 2008

There is a danger in my Garden

This past Saturday, I spent the day gardening as you read in my previous post. What I did not tell you is that by the time I went to bed my face had blown up like a balloon from some kind of allergy. I also experienced inflammation in my eyes (one eye was completely shut) and an itchy, red rash. It became so bad that I had to miss work on Monday and go to the doctor.
I have no idea what caused this allergy. I am sure it wasn't a bite from a spider, bee, or other insect since I would have felt it. I believe it must have been a plant I came in contact with. Whatever it was, it has never given me any problems before. I have a small suspicion it may have been the Marigolds I pruned without my gloves (of course, I can't be sure). I often rub my face while gardening but never before with any reaction such as this. Until I find out exactly what caused this allergy, I must be much more careful and use gardening gloves all the time. My doctor tells me that the next time the reaction might be even more severe (if that is possible!).

On a more positive note, the first Hollyhock flower of the season opened today. I know that this may seem lame and it would not make news in your gardens but they are my all-time favorite flower. I am always picking up pods of seeds every time I see a plant so when I plant them, I can be surprised by what color flower is revealed! This purple one is beautiful and definitely a keeper.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gardening This and That

Today I finished putting the new border stones around the front garden and now it looks more balanced. I am saving the old stones for my winter vegetable garden since I plan to double it up so I can add better soil.

Old border

Once again I began a compost pile. I did it last year also but after a while I forgot to turn it over and the results were less than stellar! This year I am totally committed to composting success. This morning I took my garden cart and walked around my neighborhood looking for dry leaves. Needless to say, I got some strange looks from my neighbors.
Food for my compost pile

In the afternoon I took my Bonsai back to the bonsai nursery because it was dying, apparently from excessive watering. The nice folks at the nursery immediately put the tree in bonsai ICU and told me to come back for it in two weeks. Of course, while I was there I couldn’t help myself and bought another of these beautiful trees, this one a Chinese Elm. This one is for my office.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Arbor "Earth" Day

This morning my garden greeted me with a symphony of Angel’s Trumpets, fitting for a celebration of Arbor day.
For the first time, both my white and pink angels trumpets bloomed at the same time.

Do something nice for Mother Nature today. It is her day!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Off to see the Hot Air Balloon Race

Today I took the day off from gardening and went to see a hot air balloon race. The Sunrise Balloon Race is an event that comes to my neighborhood every year. The race is launched from the Tamiami Airport, a regional private aviation airport near my home in the southern part of Miami. It begins on Saturday and ends on Sunday and hundreds of people attend every year.
The race benefits the Sunrise Community, a not-for-profit organization providing services and support for people living with mental and physical challenges in locations throughout Florida. This year, 34 hot air balloons participated and what a sight it was to see all the balloons taking off at sunrise in perfect climate condition for balloon racing. And for the first time since I've been attending the lift-off, we were treated to a dog balloon and the Energizer Bunny!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Predator plants, lurking in our gardens.

Today NPR had a very interesting story about predator plants in our gardens. It seems that we gardeners have innocently planted these predators in our gardens not knowing how these affect the natural environment around us.
I wonder if I have any of these pesky plants in my garden. NPR has a link to a web site with information on these plants in your area and will help you identify such plants in your garden.

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 15 bloom and tax day together!!!!

For those of us who live in the states April 15 is an important day. It is the last day to file our 2007 federal income tax.
I hope these blooms ease your tax blues.

Dahlberg Daisies, one of my all time favorites.
The basket was gift from a friend. I think they are Calinbrachoa.

I got Dianthus last week from my local nursery.
A surprise this morning, I found this yellow Bromeliad
This white Penta has a pinkish center
The Verbena ground cover is filling up nicely.
Blue Porterflower a favorite of bees and butterflies.
The first Thryallis flowers of the year.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

They're back!!!!!!!!!!

Yes folks, after this past weekend rain, those unwelcome summer guests, mosquitoes, are back and they are HUNGRY!
Maybe they are not as big as the one in this picture but their bite sure feels like they are!
It is a given that if you are going to garden in Florida during the summer you are going to have to deal with these pesky, relentless insects.
They are always hungriest in the early morning and early evening which, of course, is prime gardening time around here. The little blood-suckers sure aren't stupid!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Where do air plants come from?

This morning while working in the garden I noticed for the first time this beautiful air plant that had attached it self to one of my palm trees.

I have seen these plants before in many trees around my neighborhood, but never one with this red color and purple and yellow flowers.
I wonder how it got here; maybe the wind or the birds brought it. However it arrived, I am glad it found a home in my garden, adding to the beauty and color. Ahhh, the wonders of nature!