Thursday, January 29, 2009

Breakfast time at the DragonFly

I have two birdfeeders at different ends of the garden, for some reason one is more popular than the other.

As you can see we have a large colony of doves, Mourning doves, Ringed Turtle doves and Collared doves. They all kind of look the same, but there are differences. The Ringed Turtle doves is the larger of the three, and also the most aggresive in the garden (until the Blue Jays show up)

No crowds at this feeder.

A Mourning dove and Grackle sharing seeds and chilling together. Grackles are nasty birds when they show in large numbers they are noisy, they attack the other birds and can go through a full birdfeeder in five minutes (most of the seeds end up on the floor)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chocolate anyone?

Sunday I attended the Third Annual Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Imagine--a chocolate festival at a botanical garden! What is the connection, you might ask, other than the obvious one of chocolate coming from the cacao tree? Actually, I believe the main reason for this festival is to have fun and bring more patrons to Fairchild, especially non-gardeners who might not otherwise visit the Garden. Above you'll see cacao fruit from the Rainforest section of the Garden.
Kudos to the marketing/promotions staff at Fairchild! The word "chocolate" brings people in droves, evident by the crowds of people throughout the entire weekend. The weather cooperated by being just perfect and everyone had a great time trying sumptious chocolate goodies and wandering through this beautiful oasis of nature.
Pictures from the rainforest at Fairchild Tropical Garden
The rainforest is my favorite section of the garden. At this time of the year, the ground was covered with white Amazon Lilies (you can see pictures in my other blog, “My Viewfinder”).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 55 of my front garden makeover

White Hollyhocks

Today I took out my electric chain saw from the garage, and off I went to cut what was left of my bougainvillea trees.

Instead of pulling the plants out I decided to keep the stump, I will try to maintain the bougainvillea at a reasonable height, no taller than the fence (I hope I am not regretting this decision)

Firewood anyone???

Pictures from the garden this morning.

The hollyhocks are going strong this winter. Good thing I let these volunteers grow in my vegetable bed, because the tomato plants are doing poorly this year.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations to all of us!

This is a great day for our nation. As a Cuban-American, I am very proud of my country today. We citizen-voters have elected as our 44th president a biracial man, the son of an African father and a white mother from Kansas, who was raised in Hawaii by that single mother, attended the most prestigious university in America on student loans, and climbed the political ladder with the aid of millions of hopeful countrymen. Only in America!!.

The inauguration of our newest president, Barack Obama, is historic because of his heritage. He is the culmination of the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, who spoke of the mountaintop to be reached. The challenges President Obama and our country face are monumental but today we can all hope and know that as a united people, in cooperation with all the citizens of the world, we shall overcome these challenges and set the course for a future where all men and women can aspire to the rights set down by our Founders—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

May God illuminate and help our new president; may He provide him with wisdom and courage to confront our country’s challenges, and may He keep him and his family safe.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bougainvillea is coming down.

Garden early in the morning,
We had a beautiful day in South Florida today. This morning the temperature was in the mid fifties, rising by the afternoon to the mid seventies, a sunny day with few clouds in the sky and a nice breeze coming from the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect Chamber of Commerce day.

If you are tired of cold weather “come on down” Florida is waiting for you, our state economy needs you.

Today I worked on my bougainvillea by the side of the house. It has taken me a long time to cut it down, but I am almost done. My advise to anyone that has a bougainvillea tree don’t let it get like this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GBBD January 2009

The first Gardeners' Blog Bloom Day of 2009 finds the DragonFly garden with many new blooms. Here are some for your enjoyment.
Moss Rose

Bolivian sunset

Impatiens everywhere

Golden shrimp

Orange bougainvilleas

Red hot Brazilian

Christmas cactus--blooming a little late but better late than never!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The mango trees are blooming

It looks like it's going to be a good year for mangos.

I've never planted a mango tree in my garden since I don't have the space for it but I love mangos. Have you ever had a mango daiquiri? Good stuff!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A trip to the U-pick fields

One of my favorite winter activities in South Florida is visiting the U-pick strawberry and vegetable fields, and the best place for picking is Knaus Berry Farm near Homestead FL
This farm is also the favorite of many South Floridians, not only because of the farm freshly grown vegetables and strawberries, but also because they have a bakery on cite, where everything is baked fresh including the best cinnamon buns in Miami.

While my wife gets on line for the bakery, my daughter and I head to the strawberry fields in the back. The farm has all kinds of winter vegetables, what they don’t grow on the farm they get from ohter local farmers.

This year the strawberries are sweeter then ever, the cooler weather we had in October and November has something to do with it.
Five dollars for these freshly picked strawberries, not bad!!!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

White Angel’s Trumpet

My white angel’s trumpet bloomed this week and I am delighted. This plant looked sick a couple of months ago and I thought it was a goner; the leaves were yellow and drooping. After some fertilizer, plenty of water, and some magic from Mother Nature--this is the result!

I love this plant. I have three of them, this white one, a pink, and a yellow. The yellow plant is currently on life support after being attacked by snails. According to a book I have, all parts of the angel’s trumpet are poisonous, even the smell but I don’t think that is true or I would have been dead by now!

I am not the only one that loves these plants; bees go crazy when it blooms. I can hear the
buzzing around the flowers.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More Sunflowers

Back by popular demand--more sunflowers. Today I stopped by the field of sunflowers and found that they were harvesting the flowers. I talked to the farmer that leases the land and he told me the flowers were sold to a local flower distributor for resale in flower shops.