Monday, May 31, 2010

Around my neighborhood

The Royal Poinciana trees are in full bloom. This year the trees are putting on a show like never before, I’m told the colder winter has something to do with it.

This park is near my home and is where I bike after work everyday.

The man made lake has a seven mile running and bike trail, and there is a large collection of Royal Poinciana trees all around the lake. Biking this week has been pleasant to the eyes.

Today was a cloudy day, great for biking not so good for photo taking

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beehive Part Two

Good news, I found a beekeeper interested in my bees. He came last night from Homestead Florida about 30 miles from my home. Alfredo keeps several beehives in his small farm; he also teaches beginner classes for those interested in having bees.
May be I’ll take the class some day when I retire from my day job.

The process of taking the bees was surprisingly simple, he came around 10pm when the bees were all home and sleep. All it took was a little smoke from the smoker and the job was done. The poor bees woke up this morning in a totally different place; I hope they can find their way around.

I want to thank you for all your suggestions and comments, I am relive that these bees were saved, this time I was determined not to use an exterminator.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monarch Butterflies

Since I planted Milkweed, the garden has become Monarch Butterflies central. The only problem I have is that I can’t keep enough of these plants around. The caterpillars eat them up in a
matter of hours.

This is how this area looked last week.

This is what it looks now, when they finish with the leaves they go after the stock.

Milkweed are resilient plants, they grow back fast.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beehive in the garden

Last week a beehive moved into one of my birdhouses in the backyard. I have mix emotions about this new neighbor, I always been a big fan of bees, they are incredible insects and so important to our gardens. They are also very dangerous to have around, when they get spook watch out.

Several years ago a beehive moved into a top corner of my roof. We coexisted for a while, until one day when the bees decided that the dog and I were not welcome in that corner of the garden. Walking under the hive felt like been under attack by kamikaze planes. The cute bees ended up costing me over $1000 in exterminator fees and fixing expenses for the roof.
This time I don’t want to use an exterminator, so I been calling beekeepers in the area to see if the want the hive, but no takers so far. I was told by a beekeeper that wild hives are problematic and difficult to get.

For now I will share my garden with the bees, but this is a temporary arrangement, sooner or later they must go. I am hoping I can find them a good home.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The winter has arrived!!!

The summer season is here (our winter), this morning the temperature was 93 degrees at 11am in my garden and the humidity was high. Working outside under these conditions is almost impossible; I limit my time in the garden to a couple of hours in the early morning and at sunset.

Today I spend the morning weeding my front garden and cleaning up some of the bromeliads, the pinwheel bush and ornamental grass are looking good together.

Many of the winter annuals like impatiens and petunias are dying of sun exposure; I usually plant rose moss and Mexican heather for summer color.

While working in the front today I noticed this dragonfly watching me from my powderpuff tree

A nice surprise

This beautiful flower bloomed last night on one of my cactus, totally unexpected

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival

This past weekend my wife and I visited the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival; this year the theme was “The Great Outdoors”

This was our fourth visit to this annual event and in my opinion the best so far, the festival had more displays with beautiful topiaries, more flowers and many activities.

The main attractions are the topiaries of Disney characters all strategically located around the park.

My favorite display is the butterfly garden and Pixie Hollow fairy garden.

In World Showcase each country show off their typical gardens.

The bromeliad dragon from China is always impressive.

Container gardens from Italy

This year the theme at the American pavilion was “Community gardens”

Bonsai from Japan

The theme in France was fragrance gardens

In England was the “English Tea Garden”

I attended a lecture on growing fruit trees (very interesting, and the fact that it was held indoor in an AC pavilion was even nicer)

The landscaping at EPCOT center is spectacular year around but this time of the year they go all out.

Make a note next year’s festival will be from March 2 to May 15, 2011