Saturday, April 22, 2017

There is no Planet B

On this Earth Day, I am feeling a little under the weather so I am content to celebrate the day from inside the house looking at my garden.  I have tradition at the DragonFly garden to plant a new tree every year on Earth Day.  This year it will be a few days late, but I promise it will be done.

This year we also have the March for Science, an event that I fully endorse and support.  All of us gardener are experiencing climate change on a daily basis, especially those of us in the sub tropic.  The trees are blooming at the wrong time of the year, many species of birds no longer come to our gardens and weather patterns changes are occurring in short time periods.  There is no question that our planet is changing and we humans are responsible for that change.  It is our responsibility to sound the alarm and take our political leaders to task, especially those that are climate change deniers.  I also make sure that companies getting my dollars are on board with my views on climate change and are doing something to support the cause to help our planet. It’s important to support those corporations and expose those that are causing damage to our environment.   

Today I am posting pictures from my last visit to Everglades National Park, one of the most endanger ecosystems in our planet and one that is so important to the survival of my community.     

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Caterpillars in my parsley

Who is eating my parsley?? Several Black Swallowtail caterpillars have taken residence in my parsley plants and they are enjoying the buffet.  Bon Appetit 

This morning I went to work in the garden with no particular task in mind. The morning was cooler; probably the last cool weekend of the season.  The weather conditions were perfect for some physical work and this corner in the garden was looking a little empty.  (Container plants to the rescue!!!)  Moving a big bird of paradise and a bougainvillea planter was not easy, but it gave some color to this corner of the garden.  The flexibility of containers makes gardening fun, especially for a neat freak like me.

Next were my Bromeliads in containers, this is not one of my favorite task in the garden.  These plants fight back and no matter what protective gloves I use, they always get me.  Bromeliads pops need breathing room, when planted in containers.  Twice a year I take out the adults and let the pops breathe and grow.

Winter is our best time to have hanging baskets in our gardens.  Time is running out, soon the weather will become too extreme for these delicate flowers.  Some of these plants are self-seeding and will come back next year, like the Gerbera and Dahlberg daisies and the others come from the Home Depot garden department.  


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gardening on the wild side.

Today I was in the garden pulling weeds and I looked up to see the biggest possum I ever seen walking on my fence.  These animals are nocturnal, why this little guy was out in the morning? I don’t know maybe date light savings time is confusing him.
My urban garden gets its share of wildlife, from many different birds to possums, raccoons and garden snakes.  All these wildlife visitors makes me happy, after all that is one the reason I garden, all creatures are welcome, including passums.
This picture is from my cell phone 

This bird is Prairie Warbler, most days it can be found on the trees hunting for insects. Soon it will fly north to spend the summer in the Southern US.  

This week at the Dragonfly Garden.

Not much is happening at the DragonFly, the gardener has a bad case of laziness and very little spare time to spend in the garden.  All my big projects will have to wait for the humid mosquito infested summer
New blooms this week

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The winds of Lent or “Los vientos de quaresma”

There is a superstition in Cuba, told by farmers that every year during the time of Lent, the days become very windy and they call it “Los vientos de Quaresma” This year Lent started last Wednesday and so did the windy days, today is a beautiful day outside but very windy.   This weekend I decided to spend time outside enjoying the garden, no work except for watering and some weeding.  I noticed that the bird feeder is not as busy as previous days and that many of our winter visitors left early this year.

This is my only azalea plant, I love these flowers, but the heat and humidity of South Florida is not to their liking.  I was in Orlando last week on business and noticed that they are not in bloom there yet.  The bougainvilleas on the other hand love our climate; this year’s mild winter has been great for their flowers.

This week at the DragonFly Garden.

I have another cat with kittens making her home in my garden, she gave birth to two babies.  We have many feral cats in our neighborhood, unfortunate our local government does not pick up wild cats and is up to us to pick them up and take them to the humane society.  This is the second litter of cats for this mama in my garden.  I am going to try to catch her when the babies are older and take her to the vet to have her fix and release her back in the neighborhood.  By default she has become my cat, my wife is allergic to cats so bringing her to the house is out of the question.  I will also try to get these babies adopted. 

Update on my vegetable garden.  All three tomatoes plants have flowers and fruits.  The herbs are doing well and the swiss chard is ready for picking.

This is Cuban culantro, it is similar to cilantro but much stronger, great for cooking Cuban food.

My two key lime and lemon trees in containers are full of flowers.  A great surprise because both plants were not doing so well not long ago, both plants were sick with a fungus disease.

I divided these giant white begonias last year and planted the bulbs all over the garden.  This winter I was rewarded with these beautiful white flowers.    

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Is spring-cleaning time in the garden!!!

For the last two weekends I been clearing, cutting and cleaning the garden beds.  First on the list were the bromeliads in the front of the house.  I love bromeliads, but the yearly job of cutting the old plant and replanting the pops is my least favorite gardening task.  After a day of cutting and replanting you are left with scars all over the arms and legs, a painful remainder that these plants are beautiful but dangerous.

Filled four containers of dead plants

This weekend, I started on the back garden; I have a couple of more weeks ahead to finish the entire garden. In South Florida we have to do one of this type of cleanup once a year and winter is the best time weather wise.  Sometime in the middle of the summer I would need to go back and do another less intrusive job, mostly cutting back some of the trees.  Gardening in the tropics is a year around business.  

What's new in the garden
Most of the bougainvilleas are in full bloom, this one is my favorite. 

A new white Hibiscus followed me home from Home Depot this week  

The orchids are also doing well this winter, I am getting more flowers this year.

The first Plumeria flowers of the year, they are a little early this year. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The rain is always welcome

Yesterday we had rain the entire day, a rare event for us during the winter season.  These days global warming is changing weather patterns where nothing is rare anymore.  I have been under the weather with a head cold that kept me from work and the garden for the last few days.  Today is the first day I had any energy to go outside with my camera and take pictures. 

Pictures from around the garden

Bananas coming soon to a kitchen near you

Three strawberries plants $9.99, three hanging baskets $24.99 the pleasure of growing your own strawberries, priceless!!!! (the most expensive strawberries ever)  

This morning I took out my macro lens to practice the art of macro photography (I need a lot of practice)  

Wildlife in the garden.
This hummingbird is a daily visitor to the Firebush plant

This snowbird is a Prairie Warbler.