Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions

I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions simply because I don’t have a good record of keeping them. However, this year I want to try something different--my one and only resolution is to slowly turn my garden into a mini urban farm. I know this may sound a bit crazy, especially since my lot is quite small.
My idea is to produce some of the food that my family consumes and that way we’ll know exactly what it is we are eating. I want to make sure that “organic” is truly chemical-free and the only way I can be sure is to grow it myself. I also think that is wrong for us to insist on eating certain fruits year-round since this entails having to transport out-of-season produce by air from other countries and even other continents. All of us need to reduce our carbon footprint, since global warming is real and threatens the very existence of our fragile planet. I know that it’s impossible to produce all the food we consume but we have to start somewhere.
So, without further ado, this is what I propose:
1 – Turn my vegetable patch into a year-round produce garden. I know that is going to be tricky in the hot summer months in Miami, but it can be done.
2 – Plant more fruit trees. I already have a mango, avocado, papaya, key lime, and banana trees in the garden but know I can squeeze a few more.
3 – Build a chicken coop for fresh eggs. Our local county allows up to eight hens (no rooster, though).
4 – A couple of bee hives for the honey and for the benefits of having resident pollinators in the garden. I recently found out that my paternal grandfather kept bees as a hobby. Now I know where I am getting the urge!
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that items 3 and 4 have not been approved by the in-house zoning board (my wife)!
So, here goes! Let’s see if my resolution bears fruit (pun intended!).
Wishing everyone in the blogosphere a happy and healthy New Year and many wonderful things in 2012! May your flowers bloom and your plants bear fruit!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


May the joy and happiness of the Christmas season be with you and your families throughout the New Year

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A perfect gardening day

Today I spend the day in the garden, the weather was perfect. The temperature was in the high 70s, sunny and breeze. It was one of those days with no particular shores, I took some pictures, pull some weeds and moved pots around (A perfect day)

The Brunfelsia looks like it's decorated for Christmas

This Celosia was a gift from a friend, I love the fullness of the color.

This male Julia butterfly was flying around the garden.

The Bolivian Sunset are growing wild in different flower beds.

Vegetable garden update.

Everything is growing a little slow, and it might be because of the lack of sun. This area is getting less sun as before, there are many mature trees blocking the sun light.

The lettuce is grown nicely.

The broccoli is doing well, but eggplant is verily hanging on.

The tomatoes are growing well and so are the herbs.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Collecting Succulents

Collecting things has been part of my DNA since I was a little kid. During my childhood it was baseball cards and stamps, as an adult I got hooked on airline memorabilia, but after 33 years and working for four different airlines I have no more room in my house
These days I am a collector of plants, and ever since I read the book “Succulent Container Gardens” by Debra Lee Baldwin I am a serious collector of succulents. I don’t know the name of most of my plants but I’m fascinated by the variety of different plants and how easy they are to take care. The local Home Depot plant buyer and I are on first name basis; he knows my weakness for all things succulent.

My collection

Kalanchoes are part of the family

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting the garden ready for the holidays

This weekend I worked in the front garden, it is that time of the year to get the garden ready for the holidays.

Splitting bromeliads is part of the cleaning

This part of the front of the garden needs upgrading but unfortunate my neighbors dogs are using it as their local bathroom.

The butterflies are back for the winter and so are the caterpillars.

The first Brunfelsia flowers of year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Using the telephoto lens

Today I tried my telephoto lens on my amazing Nikon D3100 camera. I need to take photography classes, this camera is not like my old point and shoot camera.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My winter vegetable garden is done

Today I finished my vegetable garden, it was a perfect day for gardening. The temperature was in the mid sixties in the morning, a sunny day with a light breeze coming from the ocean.

In this bed I'm sowing different kinds of lettuces, arugula and spinach In this one I planted broccoli, eggplant and red peppers.

Here I have my tomatoes.

The Painted Bunting

This week we had a new guest in our bird feeders, a male painted bunting. This is a first for my garden, according to my Florida bird book, this little guy likes to winter in SE Florida.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween dog day at Fairchild Tropical garden

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rookie mistake

After many delays, I finally finished one of the vegetable beds. The tomatoes are in, I planted three types red, yellow cherry and big boys. In the square blocks I planted herbs and marigolds.
This year I made a rookie mistake, too much compost, making the Ph level totally off. Today I mixed in more regular soil, hopefully it will do the job

Check out my new rain barrel, 50 gallons of water plus an additional 30 gallon tank. With all the rain this week both are full