Friday, July 31, 2009

Bloom Friday

This last Friday in July finds the DragonFly garden in the regular summer doldrums. The grass is growing at record speed, it's raining everyday, and the heat is stifling (so, what else is new in South Florida in the middle of the summer?). It takes a lot of willpower to go outside and do some basic gardening.
Here are pictures from the garden this morning.

Spider lily

Chenille plant

Rain lilies. There are many different types of rain lilies and this one is my favorite.

Coleus. This is the only coleus I let flower because the bees love it.

Two different types of Ruellia or Mexican Petunia.

Tomorrow, I will be going on vacation for two weeks. My family and I are going on our annual trip to Sanibel Island on the southwest coast of Florida. I am taking my laptop and will be updating both my blogs from this island paradise. I promise to take lots of pictures of the amazing wild life and the beautiful flora of both Sanibel and its sister island, Captiva (in between biking, swimming, and just generally relaxing!). I’ll see you all soon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

60% chance of rain

Fully open Aechmea Fasciata

For once the weatherman was right, the 60% chance of rain turned into 100% by 10am. I was only able to get a couple of hours of gardening this morning, on the agenda today was some weeding, mulching, transplanting and planting rain lilies bulbs, the one's I dug out last week. I hope the weather will clear later in the afternoon, and I can get in a couple more hours and finish the job (what can I say, gardening is a curse).
This time of the year, gardening in South Florida is a challenge, between the constant rain the heat, humidity and mosquitoes, sometimes I wish I could take a break, like northern gardeners do in winter. The problem is, that if I did, my garden would turn into an impenetrable jungle in no time at all.
This bromeliad is from the Portea genus, I don’t know the particular name, I got this one as a gift, and now I have many growing in the front garden, where they loves the full sun.
PS - I was able to go back to the garden between 5 and 7pm and finished.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Propagating bromeliads.

My garden task for today was dividing the many bromeliads I have around the garden. One advantages of growing bromeliads is that from one plant many pups will grow.
I had a dilemma, what to do with so many offshoots. Solution, take out the rain lilies bulbs and use that space for as a bromeliad bed.

In the new bed I planted, Aechemea Fasciata, Neoreglia Aztec, Porte Petropolitana (my favorite and the most expensive bromeliad I purchased so far, there is one pop coming up) Vriesea Gigantea, Neoregelia Fireball and the small Short and Sweet. The only reason I know all these names is because the book I got for my birthday “Bromeliads for the contemporary garden” by Andrew Steens, excellent book I recommended.

My new dilemma, what to do with all these rain lilies bulbs? I got to have rain lilies somewhere in the garden but where? (maybe I’ll take some grass out). These lilies are the announcers of the summer rainy season they only bloom for a couple of weeks in June but they are beautiful. I will give some away, and if any of you want some let me know. The others I’ll find a place in the garden, I hate throwing any plant or bulb away.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blooms this Friday

Here are a few flowers blooming if my front garden.

The powderpuff tree is in full bloom; the best time for pictures is early in the morning when the sun is coming up. The flowers open during the night and by late afternoon they are gone.

Plumeria or the bride’s bouquet is beginning to bloom. This is a new location for this plant, will see how it likes it.

My ground orchids have become year around flowers in the garden. Planting them in the front of the house has been the best decision I made, they like the full sun all day long.

Thryalliss, I like this plant, I have several around the garden they are easy to take care, a favorite of pollinators and always showing flowers.

Lantana, I don’t know why my yellow lantanas do well, while the other colors are quite a challenge.

Finally this bromeliad (Aechmea fasciata) fancy name don’t you think?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lady Finger Bananas

My two Ladyfinger Banana Plants have fruits; this weekend I noticed the two cluster of bananas growing on each tree.

The Ladyfinger Bananas are sweet thin-skinned and shaped like a cigar, these bananas are not like the one’s for sale at the local supermarket, they can be found in specialty markets, and are very popular in Latin America.

I did not go to the Mango Festival at Fairchild gardens this weekend, unfortunate my garden companion Rosie was ill. On Friday she had her teeth cleaned and she had a bad reaction to the anesthesia, my wife and I spend the weekend going to the vet’s office and one trip to the pet emergency hospital. She is doing much better today and is slowly getting back to normal.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dog days of summer

Pictures from the garden after it rained.

The dog days of summer are here, hot, muggy and humid. This week we had the hottest days of this summer so far. Early in the morning the temperatures are hovering around the mid eighties and by afternoon we are passing the mid nineties. Gardening is impossible at any time of the day, so until we get cooler weather sometime in October, I will be content to pull a few weeds and water my container plants (maybe not)

Good news from the weather service today, “EL NINO” is back in the Pacific Ocean, which means fewer chances of hurricanes forming in the Caribbean.

This weekend I going to the Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden, hopefully I’ll come back with a mango tree for my garden. I’ll take lots of pictures.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

I hope everyone in the US has a happy and fun 4th of July celebration. My family and I are planning a picnic at a local park and later in the evening watch the fireworks.

Today in the garden.

Today I started project two for the year, updating this corner of the garden, I am not sure where I am going with this project yet, but I am sure the plans will change many times before it’s finish.
I replaced the birdfeeder pole with a steadier 4 x 4 and cemented it to the ground. The weather was so hot and humid that by 11am the thermostat got to 96 degrees Fahrenheit and it was time to go inside.