Thursday, April 29, 2010

The year of the begonias

This year I planted an overabundance of begonias and so far they are doing well. Every year I try planting something different around this time, and if it makes it through our hot summer, it’s a keeper.

This white begonia is my favorite, it comes from my Dad’s garden and every year in the spring it send many shoots with beautiful flowers. I don’t know the name but this year after is done with the flowers I am going to divide it, this corner of the garden is getting too small.

Last month Home Depot had a sale wax begonias 6 for $1.89 (you can’t beat that price)

Other begonias in my collection: angel wings, begonia adorata and dragon wings.

This weekend I am going to Orlando to see the flower festival at EPCOT. Look for the pictures next week on this blog

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Around the DragonFly on Earth day weekend

This morning I was out in the garden before sun up, the weather was perfect for gardening. My plans for today were to replace the back garden water fountain and buy a new one.
The old water fountain was fine but lately it was loosing all the water in a couple of hours so I decided to buy a new one and use the old one as planter. I am used to the sound of running water in the garden so a water fountain in the back garden is a must.

I moved the birdbath to other areas of the garden; changing things around make the garden more interesting. Don’t you think?

The Yellow Tab trees are lighting up all of South Florida everywhere you look these trees are in full bloom, it makes my work commute more interesting.
My Yellow Tab tree is not the best looking in the neighborhood but I am used to it by now. These trees seem to thrive on abandonment and my tree having regular watering and fertilizer does not seem to have the need to put out too many flowers.

Today I noticed that the Plumeria tree is beginning to have flowers, summer is here!!!

I have new neighbors in the garden, pair of Starlin birds is nesting in the garden and the place they picked to nest is very strange. See the pictures in my other blog My Viewfinder

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tillandsia ionantha

Tillandsia ionantha is one of the coolest and smallest bromeliads I have, they are native of Mexico and Central America where they grow on trees and rocks.

They have miniature rosettes of grayish green leaves and once a year when they are ready to bloom around this time, the plant turns to a pinkish color, the blooms are striking purple flowers.
My plant is attach to a palm tree,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ready for the compost pile

While many of you in the northern hemisphere are getting ready to plant your vegetable gardens, those of us in South Florida are beginning to clean up and put the leftovers in the compost pile.
My vegetable garden this year was a total failure, mostly due to our unusually cold winter. Most of my tomatoes plants died except for the yellow cherry that continue to produce.

Every year I get a dozen or so eggplants, this year the production was zero, these plants are in good shape and continue flower, but I have little hope of getting anything this late in the season.

Most of the herbs will hold on for the next couple of months; others like rosemary are year around plants.

This was my first year growing arugula and it was a success, the plants continue to produce. My wife and I love arugula in our salads but not everyone is a fan, the taste can be a bit strong.
During the summer this area of the garden can be a challenge, the summer sun plus the heat generated by neighbors wall creates an impossible area to grow anything, I am thinking of trying watermelons this summer.

Vegetable planting time is only six months away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Some TLC for the front garden.

I dedicated the last couple of days to the garden in the front of the house. This is the most challenging area of my garden, the western exposure gives the garden full sun from 12 noon on, heat resistant plants are a must.

Is good to see that my ground orchids are coming back, after the winter freezes.
I cleaned out these flowerbeds and added plenty of mulch, I also added more Lantanas. These flowers are perfect for this part of the garden.

The bromeliads came through the winter in perfect shape and not much work was needed.

The bougainvillea on the fence is flowering for the first time after it was cut back before the new fence was added last year. Bougainvilleas are high maintenance plants that grow too fast, and cutting them back is quite a job, some time I question my sanity for having them, but a tropical garden is not tropical without bougainvilleas around.

This is my new succulent corner.

Succulents were my last plant frontier, I have to admit they were not my favorite type of plants but I am coming around.

I picked these cute little guys at a local plant sale, they are a little small now but I’m hoping that they will grow fast in this area.

The cacti in the back I grew from a small leaf I found on the street. I know very little about these plants. I know that they don’t need much water and they can take the sun, I also know that all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti (from Google). My next step is to find a good book to get more information and their names. Any suggestions???

Sunday, April 04, 2010

And good time was had by all.

I hope everyone had a good Easter Sunday; we had a gathering of family and friends at the DragonFly today, the weather was perfect for a garden party, and everyone had a great time specially the kids during the egg hunt.

This cute little guy is Alex my niece’s son.

Sharing the garden with family and friends makes all the hard work worth it.