Friday, October 16, 2009


Don’t ya just hate it when your writing muse decides to take a break and your self-imposed deadline is looming…sigh.

Last night was the first Big Pine Botanical Society meeting of the year. If you have read this blog before you may remember that I am a past president of this very cool group of people. By cool, I mean they all have dirt under their fingernails. Shorts and flip flops tend to be the standard attire, not so much with golf shirts or skirts.

A grand time was had by all and of particular interest to me was the number of Gen Y attendees(what with that topic being a current blog whirlwind). I did my heart good to see these younger folks hanging out after the meeting, munchin’ on the snacks, and talkin’ plants.

No pretenses are put on by this group, just honest down to earth discussion. Not a single clique developed in the corner of the room, in fact the unofficial motto of this club is “We’re not your Mama’s garden club”.

So in honor of this friendly group and the fact that I can’t think of anything witty to write, let me just lay these warm tropical landscape images on ya. Big Pine Botanical Society…you guys rock!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

GBBD October 15

A great big smokin’ hot THANKS to May Dreams Garden for starting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. A way cool Idea for showing off what’s bloomin in our gardens on the 15th. of the month.

At Liz and my little piece of the “rock” one of my favorite, due to necessity, ground covers are goin’ gangbusters. The lowly Madagasgar Periwinkle also known as Vinca minor. Good stuff because the Key Deer and iguanas leave it alone but not so good because it is considered to be an Invasive Exotic down here. They do self-seed like crazy. I have only seen them wild on disturbed sites, never on pristine habitat.

I grabbed a couple of pix of our Jatropha integerrima before the loppers got to it. I really should have cut it back a month ago but…so it goes. This is the land of Manana.

Ruellia brittoniana has come up as a volunteer, it figures, with purple being Liz’s favorite color this one would be pink, on the other hand the purple Ruellia has gotten really, really common here so I’m cool with the pink.

Our Dwarf pink Ixora or Petite Pink hybrid is going through a flush of blooms, tough little guy that lives in a pot, gets forgotten about but hangs in there.

The Plumeria rubra (who knows what cultivar) is starting to shed leaves and the blooms are becoming fewer and fewer.

Our Orange Gieger(Cordia sebestana) is still throwing flowers but at a slower pace than earlier this summer. But now for the good news, those 2 words I so dearly love…COLD FRONT. One is supposed to swing in on Saturday morning dropping the high temps into the mid eighties and the lows into the low seventies for two glorious days of low humidity…SWEET!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Garden Trap

Spanish moss(Tillandsia usnoides)
Ahhh…a nice long weekend. Time to go boating, maybe take a couple of naps. Life is a breeze in the Florida Keys.

Liz asked me to make sure the boat is ready to go. Ok. As usual the stupid boat won’t start.

Golden Shower(Cassia fistula)
“Hey, baby, let me just put the charger on the battery for an hour or so and we’ll be ready to go.”,I tell her.

Meanwhile I’ll clean up the yard a little I innocently think…Right…I’m a gardener remember. And so it begins.

It seems on every property there is that one area that gets very little attention from the gardener…on my property there are a few of those areas. The trap was set. This section is about 25’ feet wide by 60 ‘ long and is the deepest shade on the property…the reason being... I tend to ignore it, thus it is severly overgrown.

It all started innocently enough, I walked over it to pick up an errant soccer ball. Simple enough you say grab it and walk away. The unfortunate thing was that I had a pair of Felco clippers on my hip from cleaning up a deer munched banana plant. There were a few palm fronds in my way to get at the ball, no problem just prune the offenders…wait, I can’t leave the palm lopsided, can I. I’m taking the bait. Next thing I know I’m in the midst of a pruning frenzy and the trap has been sprung.

Monstera spp.
Grab the trash cans, pull out the loppers, bring in the chipper/ shredder, time for the chainsaw. Two soaked tee shirts and several hours later I have a nice canopy to work under.

Liz again asks, “Is the boat ready?”

”Ummm, let me check…yup, fires right up. You get the boat bag, cooler and dog. I’ve just got a few more branches to cut.”

Red Ginger(Alpinia purpurata)
Twenty minutes later I watched the boat with Liz and dachshund aboard pulling away from our dock.

“Hmmm, guess she got tired of waiting, don’t blame her. Where was I, oh yeah, that sea grape tree. I can plant a ton of aroids under this shade... and ferns…yup, ferns over there and maybe an Alpinia in that sort sunny spot."... Somehow I never even noticed the trap.


Sunday, October 11, 2009