Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adopt-a-Tree day

Since 1992 when hurricane Andrew devastated the tree cover in our southern end of the county, our county government has designate several days a year as adopt-a-tree day. Today was one of those days, and it was my first time attending the event.

Each homeowner is permitted two free trees per year; the trees are usually native or fruit trees that have adapted well to our soil and climate. The choices today were Lychee, Jackfruit, Inkwood, Orange Geiger and Logan trees.

My first choice was an Avocado tree but I was told that they would be available on the next adopt-a-tree day in September. I walked away with a Orange Geiger tree for my front yard and I pencil in Sep 25 in my calendar for the next adopt-a-tree day.

The Orange Geiger tree (Cordia Sebestena) is native of the West Indies, and was introduced to Key West by a local see captain named Geiger. The tree was featured in one of Audubon famous paintings, when he was asked what was the name of the tree, he would answer the Geiger tree, referring to the house where the tree was planted. The tree is moderate growing (15-20ft height) with beautiful orange flowers that appear throughout the year.

There were many people attending the event, but the process was fast and efficient. Is nice to see our tax dollars at work for such a worthy cause.

This is the spot where the tree will be planted. My original plan for succulents in this corner of the garden didn’t worked. This area gets flooded when we get too much rain; I am transplanting the surviving plants to containers.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Preparing the fall vegetable garden

Flower of the week - The Yellow Ground Orchid.

This morning I started the long process of preparing my vegetable garden for fall planting.
First step pulling out all the weeds and moving the milkweed to another location.

Future Monarch Butterfly cafeteria. (Milkweed is their favorite food)

Next week I will be adding more soil and home made compost.

My black gold home made compost.

This is my future herb garden, not much survived the summer heat.

I harvested bananas today and cut down the stock, not an easy task in 95 degree weather.

Picture of the week – This Fritillary butterfly been hunted by a couple of lizards.
(they did not succeed)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flower of the week

My Brassavola Nodosa or Lady of the night orchid is in full bloom.

Today I performed tree surgery on my powderpuff tree. The main branch split in half early this week during a rainstorm.


It has become a weekly routine to cut this invasive vine coming over the fence from my neighbors yard.

Why would anyone let this monster get this way? Does anyone know the name of this vine? What is it’s purpose in the plant world?

Bromeliad meets plumeria.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Another lazy August day at the DragonFly

August in my opinion is the worst month of the year for Floridians. The weather is so hot and humid that working outside is wishful thinking, even in the early morning hours. We have been stock in this weather pattern for months with no relief in sight, and to make things worst August is the start of peak hurricane season.
I have several projects in the works for my garden, but for now it will have to wait for cooler months. For now my gardening is limited to light maintenance, plenty of watering and lots of pictures.

Update on my banana trees

Today I cut the hart from the three-banana bunch; a local farmer told me that this would redirect all the energy the plant has left to the bananas.

The hart is made up of many leyers of petals containing many rows of flowers that are expose when it pills back. The female flowers are on top of the stock and develop into fruits, these are male flowers (no fruits)

I started cuting the top hands in the stock and hopefuly the bananas will be ripen soon.

Pictures from around the garden this morning

This female Julia butterfly was looking for a male partner (like the one pictured in my last posting) You can tell the differece the orange in the males is more vivid.

Breakfast time for a moth at a buttercup flower

Sunday, August 01, 2010

What’s blooming in the garden on this first day of August?

The powderpuff tree is in full bloom for the second time this year

The white crinum lily is blooming after a rough winter, at one point during the below freezing days this plant looked like a goner.

This is the peak time for the white plumeria or bride’ bouquet.

Other summer favorites.

The blue porterflower a favorite of bees.


The Mexican petunias are everywhere, they are becoming an invasive plant allover the garden.

This orange Julia butterfly visited the garden this morning.