Sunday, October 28, 2007

The winter tomatoes are in the ground

This weekend the weather was perfect for outdoor activities in South Florida, the temperature was in the mid 70’s and we had beautiful sunny days. A perfect time to work on my tomato bed, and herb garden.

I purchased three types of tomato plants, sherry, grape and a hybrid call “Better Boy”. I also got a couple of eggplants. This is the first time I try the eggplants will see how they do. I also added Parsley, Oregano, Dill and Italian Basel to my herbs

I had been working on the tomato bed for a couple of weeks adding cow manure, peat moss and organic compost. Every year I have to add to the soil if I want good results from the garden. Our soil here is very sandy and unfortunate the area where I live has about 2 feet of crush rocks on top of the sand, added by the developers to avoid flooding.
Last year weeding the tomatoes kept me busy all winter long; this year I am trying something different. My neighbors told me that putting a newspaper under the mulch would do the trick; I’ll let you know if it works.
This winter I am planning to sow more seeds in my garden, I purchased the mixture with the cardboard boxes that are supposed to be bio-degradable, I am trying both ways, the old way planting seeds on the ground and this fancy mixture. Will see what works better.

I also decided to repot all my orchids; I am told by an orchids expert (and I am not one of them) that this should be done every year to keep the orchid plant healthy and blooming year after year

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The DragonFly Garden Blog is one year old

This month my blog is one year old. When I started blogging a year ago, I did it to get back at my wife. Let me explain, my wife is a political blog junkie, she spends hours reading blogs about politics (boring I know) I was feeling a little left out, so when I complained and she told me “why don’t you read blogs on a topic that interest you”, and a year later here I am.
Before I started my blog, gardening was a hobby I did on weekends, and it was something I could share with my 94-year-old father. Ever since I joint the blogsphere gardening has become a passion.
My garden is a big part of my life, I spend a few minutes every morning before going to work walking and meditating among the flowers with a cup of coffee (what could be better than that) setting the tone for the rest of the day. At night I can’t wait to get home to my little paradise to spend a hour or two getting my hands dirty with my plants, weekends revolve around the garden, and during my lunch hour at work, I close my office door and while I am having lunch and read all my friends blogs and any topic I can find on gardening.
I know it’s a little obsessive, but that’s what makes life interesting. If I could only find a way to make this obsession a full time job with health insurance, I would be a happy man.

Flowers from my garden this week
White Angel’s Trumpets, this plant does not bloom as often as the pink variety
This is only the second time this year.

Pink Angel’s Trumpets, this plant blooms almost every month during the summer. The aroma at night is intoxicating.

The Pink and Purple Ruellia’s (Also know as Mexican Bluebell) you can always count on flowers from this shrub especially in the early morning.

Asters were a welcome back home gift from a freind

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another weekend outdoor

The weather cooperated with nice cloudy days perfect for outdoor gardening.
My weekend project consisted of cleaning up my side garden. This is the garden that is most visible from my living and dining room area. The garden is nestled between two tall houses making the area very challenging for gardening. The amount of sunlight is very limited especially in the winter and water tends to run off from other parts of the garden.

Overall I did some cleaning up, weeding, mulching and added impatiens, begonias and petunias for color (should be in full bloom by Thanksgiving). I also cleaned up the stones and pebbles; this section was totally messed up by the construction this summer.

The Fire Dragon shrub. Different leaves in the same shrub, very interesting.

This weekend I went to see the movie “Into the Wild” the true story of Christopher McCandless a 24-year-old Virginian and Emory graduate that hitchhiked to Alaska after graduating from college and set off into the wilderness with little more than a-.22-caliber rifle and a 10-pound sack of rice. He set up camp in an abandoned bus and lived there for months; the story is about a young man who wanted to go out into the world free of responsibilities, experience life and how it ended. Sean Penn directed the movie and the cinematography is spectacular, those of us that enjoy the outdoors this is a most see. The movie is based on the book “Into the wild” by John Krackower

Monday, October 15, 2007

White Orchid Cactus “Epiphyllum”

I know I have posted these flowers before, but every time they in bloom I am amazed at the beauty and the mystery of these flowers of the night.
Here is a time sequence

5PM yesterday

11PM last night

10AM this morning

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend project is complete

Between Saturday and Sunday I was able to redo my back yard garden (My lower back is not in great shape). I kind like the red mulch the effect is interesting.
I did not buy too many plants this time, I am trying to divide what I have and move a few plants around. I will be buying some annuals later like impatiens for color.
This is the time is a good time to divide the Bromeliads and I have many. I love Bromeliads they are plants that keep on giving year after year.

Before the make over

After the make over

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ready for a weekend in the Garden

I think I am taking on more that I can handle but I always do that. I stopped by my neighborhood Home Depot on my way home from work, and got some plants, mulch, potting soil and peat moss, I am trying this new Red mulch for the first time I am not sure if I like it but it was on sale.
The plant selection was a little weak but that is typical or our local Home Depot; I got some nice begonias and impatiens. I need to fill out some of my containers that were devastated during my construction.
Weather permitting I should get my back yard section done.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Surf is up!! Time for Gardening

The last couple of weeks the weather here has been awful, hot, humid and rainy.
Today it was picture perfect with temperatures in the high seventies, sunny and a nice breeze coming from the ocean it was perfect for you know what?
This afternoon while seating in my office looking out the window and not getting much done. I decided why waste such a beautiful day inside, so I quit early and I headed for my garden (it helps when you are the boss).
My roses needed some attention; they are about the only flowers in my back yard.

Time to work on reclaiming the Jungle. The Plumango bush doesn’t look like much now but it will be back.

With my dog Rosie by my side and nice tall glass of lemonade, I got about two hours of work done, not even the mosquitoes bothered me.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fall has arrived in Miami

Not really, is only in my imagination. This is my Papaya tree dropping some leaves.
The weather has been hot, humid and rainy, so what else is new.
The rain has kept me out of the garden most of the week and I have so much to do.
The tomato bed is ready for planting, I will put it on my to do list next week, weather permitting.
My herbs did not do well this summer, only the chives and aloe plant survived. I need new plants.
I finally was able to set up my birthday gift. Now if only the weather would cooperate and cool off so I can enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

There is a new intruder in the Garden

As I work on reclaiming my garden, I noticed a new vine growing everywhere in the backyard.
I never saw this particular vine before. Today as I was cutting away I noticed an orange fruit hanging from the vine.
“Surprise, Surprise” This is the same fruit I used to play with when I was growing up in Cuba. My friends and I would use it as throwing objects; they would make a great splash. These vines were growing wild everywhere on the island mostly on fences.
The fruit splits open when is ripen and birds love the red seeds inside. I am guessing this is the way it got to my garden.
If I had the space I would let it grow on the fence for all time sakes, but it is very aggressive vine and as you can see it grows over everything. I don’t know the name of this vine so if any one out there knows the name let me know.