Wednesday, December 24, 2014

End of the year garden tour.

Is that time of the year, for a garden video.  This past year was a busy one at the DragonFly, we added more fruit trees, expanded my collection of bromeliads, and orchids.  I lost half of my succulent plants due to heavy summer rain and I started collecting hibiscus. 
The great thing about gardening is that no matter how small your garden is, there is always something that needs to be done.  I’m already planning several additions and changes to the garden for 2015, so stay tune.

From the DragonFly garden, we wish you a Merry Christmas and healthy and peaceful New Year.   HAPPY GARDENING 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Are Monarch butterflies threatened?

This past week there was an excellent article in the Miami Herald, written by Kenneth Setzer from Fairchild Tropical Garden.  The article looks at the real dangers facing monarch butterflies, and how the loss of habitat, climate change, pesticide and the loss of host plants is affecting the current population.  One statistic that stands out for me, of all the monarchs that overwinter in central Mexico today, the numbers represent only 10 percent of the average population size over the past 20 years.
 There are two types of monarchs, those that migrate from North America to Mexico and those that stay year around mostly in South Florida and Texas.  We are lucky, we get to see these beautiful creatures year-round.
I plant milkweed (the monarch’s favorite plant) throughout the garden.  The writer tells us that Tropical milkweed (not a native), the one we buy in our local garden centers, may be hurting our butterflies.  It has been found that the multi-generational feeding from the same plants is allowing a parasite that hurts the butterfly to accumulate at abnormal levels.  The author recommends that we should eventually replace the tropical milkweed with native milkweed.  For more information on what you can do to help the monarchs, visit the Xerces Society web site at


This weekend I trimmed the yellow cassia tree.  This tree is one of my favorite trees, but I find that it might not be a good fit for my small garden.

 Lunch time, a salad from the garden.

This Christmas cactus was a gift from a neighbor.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Flowering mango trees in December??

I could not believe my eyes, my mango tree with flowers in December.  Mango trees around here usually start flowering in February, but this year they are a little too early.  I hope we don’t get a cold night with temperature below freezing.

This week I rearranged my succulent collection, the wet summer and fall weather killed many of my plants.

My vegetable garden is coming along; I’m already harvesting greens for my salads.

Cuban cilantro is much stronger than the regular store kind 

My new garden obsession is hibiscus in containers.  So far I have five plants, and I hope to add more.  These flowers are a must in a tropical garden.