Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

The temperatures were back in the mid seventy today, normal for this time of the year. My plans for this weekend are to get back to the garden and clean up the mess left behind by Jack Frost. I have lots of pruning and plenty of raking to do.

(Picture from this summer)
My wife and I are planning a quite at home New Years night, this is one night of the year that I don’t like to be out, so we are opening a bottle of wine and toast the new year while watching the celebration in Time Square.

I hope you and your families have a happy and healthy New Year, and my all our gardens grow in 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ready for round two

We are getting another round of freezing temperatures tonight and tomorrow night. This is the second time this year and we are not finished with December yet.
What is going on with the weather?

This time I am ready.

I covered my succulents and my vegetable patch; I also moved all my containers to the back of the house. The wind tonight is coming from the west and that means that everything in the front of the house is going to get hit.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where did the butterflies go?

Today I took my camera into the garden; this is the first day that I had any energy to go outside, I been sick in bed with the flu for the last four days.
The garden looks messy, kind of brownish and in need of some TLC, but it will have to wait.
Where did the butterflies go?

Last month the garden was full of butterflies, today this Monarch was the only one I found. The cold weather last week sent them all packing south.
My Plumeria Tree

The plumeria is the only tropical tree in my garden that goes through the four season changes. I kind a like the winter look, but I can do without the messy leaves.

I want some more???

This poor little guy has a problem; there is no more food.

This Gerbera daisy is the only flower left in the back garden after last week’s freeze

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Expecting the worst

I been away on a business trip and came home today expecting the worst, but it wasn’t too bad. My garden was unprotected for the two days the temperatures dropped below freezing, but it came through in good shape.

The coleuses, banana trees and others had some damage but they should come back.

This is the second year my brunfelsia is affected from an early freeze and puts an end to the Christmas show this plant puts on every year around this time.

I hoping to be back in the garden on Saturday but I came home with a cold and I am not feeling all that well.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Back in the garden

For the last month I had been away from my garden, is been a busy month with family matters, a garage sale, and many college football games, so is time to get back to the soil.

Combat gardening

I have been putting off working on this bed in the front garden for a while. Between the little spikes at the edge of the bromeliads and the big spikes in the fig palm, this it is a dangerous place to garden.

I took out some of the old bromeliads and planted the left over from the garage sale.
The fig palm was a gift from a relative. A full-grown fig palm is beautiful, but I am wondering if my small urban garden is an appropriate place for one.

Courtyard garden

The courtyard in the north side of the house is the first thing visitors see when they come to my home. This time of the year it becomes a challenge to keep this garden looking good, it gets shade most of the day and plants don’t do well, except for impatiens. Saturday I visited my local Home Depot and bought several impatiens plants and mulch.

Added another succulent to the collection.

It has become a ritual for me; every time I go to Home Depot I come back home with a new succulent plant. I don’t want too buy them, but the store keeps on bringing more exotic plants.
It’s incredible to me the turn around I have done with these plants, I didn’t like them much before, and then someone gave me a book “Succulent Container Gardens by Debra Lee Baldwin” and I was hook.
The new addition is a crocodile plant.


I found this Kocopelli statue in a garage sale today. Kocopelli is a Native American fertility deity that presides over childbirth and agriculture. (At my age all I needed it for is agriculture)

Monday, November 29, 2010

One of the reasons we love gardening

Since I started planting milkweeds in my garden I have an over abundance of monarch butterflies visiting and laying eggs.

The results are lots of caterpillars eating the milkweed to the ground. I always wonder where do all the caterpillars go? These critters are very good at finding hiding places.

This pupa attached itself to the fence in the vegetable garden. I been keeping an eye on it for a few days.

I didn’t get to see the actual transformation to a beautiful monarch butterfly but Sunday I found this monarch nearby getting ready to fly and an empty cocoon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


From the land of blooming bougainvilleas, I hope you and your families have a peaceful and safe thanksgiving. Happy turkey day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garage Sale Saturday

Yesterday my wife and I had our yearly garage sale. This is the time of the year when we take all the clutter from our home and get rid of all the things we don’t need or use anymore. Every year we think that this will be our last garage sale, but every year we managed to accumulate more things we don’t need or use (got to keep the economy going)

This year for the first time I sold extra Bromeliad plants that I had around the garden, and to my surprise many were sold. The best part was meting fellow gardeners and giving tours of my garden, it was definite a lot of fun.

At the end of the day after taking everything unsold to Goodwill, we both were tired but satisfied with the results. I do think this was my last garage sale; I am getting too old for this kind of work.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Is there a career change in the future?

I am on a roll; this weekend I worked on another kitchen garden this one was for my sister in law. I promised her one as her birthday present; she is a health food nut and has been wanting a kitchen garden for a long time, unfortunate she is not much of gardener so I’ll been getting follow up calls I’m sure.

I planted several herbs, basil, oregano, dill, rosemary, cilantro, three tomato plants, some onions and marigolds for color.

This coming weekend I got to get some work on my own garden, I am already late planting my winter garden

Monday, November 01, 2010

What do you give a person that has everything?

A balcony herb garden!!!.

This week is my oldest daughter 28th birthday, and after much thought I decided to give her an herb garden for the balcony in her apartment.

My daughter has two passions in her life, teaching high school drama and cooking. (she is a fantastic cook) As per her request I included oregano, sweet and Tai basil, parsley, cilantro and rosemary.
Next week is the same gift for my sister-in-law (may be I’ll never have to step inside a mall again)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Edible Garden Festival

Sunday we visit the second annual Edible Garden Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden.
The edible festival is all about growing fruits and vegetable and home, Halloween decorations, scarecrow contest, delicious food and lots of fun.

Halloween decorations

All made from plant materials

Scarecrow Contest

The water conservation scarecrow, my favorite.

Other pictures from around the garden

This full bloom tree is the Ceiba Speciosa from Brazil and Argentina.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is that time of the year

Is time to plant the vegetable garden.

Every year I wait for my local U-pick farm to plant their winter vegetables before I start my own garden.

This U-pick farm is very close to my house and the only one left in the area. Twenty years ago when my family moved to western Miami, the area was blanketed with strawberry and tomato fields. Today the expanding suburbs have pushed them all out.

This field was on the way to be converted into an office park, but the current economic conditions put an end to that idea, so we will have fresh vegetables for another season.

Today I planted red peppers, arugula and sweet basil. I am also sowing lettuce, squash and zucchini seeds.

Behind the burlap cover I am growing 20 tomatoes plants in containers.

Tomorrow we are going to the “Edible Garden Festival” at Fairchild Tropical Garden. I’m hoping to pick more plants for my vegetable garden.

This is the latest addition to my collection of succulents in containers.

I am hook on succulents; I want to buy them all.