Saturday, May 28, 2011

Caladiums on sale

This morning I visited my local Home Depot. I needed a few items for the garden (not plants) and guess what? The Caladiums were on sale. BINGO!!! I had the perfect place for them. The flower bed next to the back porch was in desperate need of something that could grow in partial shade. This was not part of my plans for today but you've got to take advantage of good sales.

I also replanted all the bromeliads around the water fountain
There were many Monarch butterflies flying around today. Some were newborn, like this one

The grass was cut today and the garden looks great, ready for a Memorial Day picnic

I hope you all have a happy and safe Memorial Day Holiday

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blooming Broms

Blooming bromeliads, these are some of the broms that bloomed in my garden the last two months. Over the years I have become a big fan of these plants, they are easy to take care and perfect for the South Florida climate. Today they are a big part of the DragonFly garden.

Flowers are a hit and miss with bromeliads, sometimes it takes a couple of years to see blooms again. I purchased the Vriesea Favoriet below a couple of years ago, this month it bloomed for the first time.

This is the smallest bromeliad in my garden and my favorite. Every year at the end of the winter it turns pick and full of small purple flowers.

Can anyone recommend a good book on bromeliads? I need to learn their names!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Front yard maintenance

Today the garden work was dedicated to the front yard

First on the agenda was trimming the powderpuff tree
This time of the year, keeping the garden weed free is a daily chore.

Cleaning the bromeliads was also on the agenda. This time I used my new super long sleeve gloves, a Christmas gift from my daughters. No painful scratches.

Rain lilies are the flower of the week. The flowers are everywhere in the garden, usually they bloom after a big rain. This year they got tired of waiting, it has been more than three weeks since the last time we got some significant rain.

The drought continues in South Florida, May 16 was supposed to be the first day of the rainy season but there is no rain in the forecast for the near future. The rain barrels are empty.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Redland International Orchid Festival

Today I attended the Redland International Orchid Festival at the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead Fl.

Orchids and more orchids everywhere

These are some of the winners in the show tent

There were 61 vendors from around the world

The Fruit and Spice Park is a county park dedicated to growing tropical fruits and spices. This is my first time visiting, I will be coming back for a tour.

These are some of the orchids that followed me home. The spider looking one is for the house the other is for my office. I also purchased a few babies that will take awhile before I get flowers. The prices were a bit high, but it's impossible to go to this type of show and come home empty handed

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flower of the week Rangoon Creeper

Pictures don’t do justice to this vine, so this time I did a video.

This plant is without question the most labor-intensive plant in my garden. It requires constant pruning, is messy and it multiplies all over the garden.
The benefits outweigh the hard work, especially during this time of the year. The vine is full of blooms all summer long, and the aroma is intoxicating in the early morning and early evening. The flowers open in white, and as the sun comes up they turn to pink and finally red at the end of the day.
The creeper goes by many names, it all depends where you come from. In Cuba my parents used two different names Picuala or Jasmin Manzano. This vine is found in the Philippines, India, Malaysia and most tropical countries.
For small birds it's a great hiding place.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Flower of the week Heliconia Rostrata

This week I am featuring the Heliconia Rostrata or Lobster claw. They are spectacular flowers during the summer months they become the focal point in this part of the garden.

Living happily among my banana trees.

Disadvantages: They don't take well to cold weather, unwanted volunteers growing everywhere, and it is a fairly high maintenance plant (needing frequent grooming to keep it attractive)

There are many types of Heliconias, but the lobster claw is my favorite.