Saturday, June 30, 2007

Douglas Entrance Stairwell

This plain stairwell at the Douglas Entrance was at one time used for a private apartment.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Douglas Entrance from the Coral Gables Side

This side shows mostly the new buildings.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Douglas Entrance from 8th Street

This is the portal that most people used to enter our city. We weren't walled in, this was just a very pleasant way to come in. The road has been closed at 8th Street for about 40 years, it was a traffic disaster. In this picture the building is all historic.

A Douglas Entrance Door

This entrance building was a mixed use building with apartments and professional offices. How would you like a door like this for your apartment? The building no longer has any apartments.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Douglas Entrance 2

I like this part of the entrance so much I don't mind showing it again. Only the building on the right is original. The new building is very compatible with the old entrance.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Douglas Entrance 1

This fountain is new but the building in the background is historic. The people milling around are waiting to go to the ballroom on the second floor of that building for the wedding reception.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Wedding Party

The stretch car has two sets of doors, one in front and one in back. The riders in the middle have to crawl from the back door. I think the best thing is to be the one on the outside looking in.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Here Comes the Bride and Groom

This car is taking the newly weds to their reception. And the same car has been at it for 40 years. I like this car better than the new R.R.

Friday, June 22, 2007


This beautiful orchid grows in a wooden basket, and is hung on the greenhouse eve in full sun. We are lucky that our conditions are similar to the original species home.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Our Bus Driver

Last Saturday I went to the orchid society bus trip to see three different commercial orchid growers We started at 7am and drove 5 hours north to see the first grower and then two more growers on the way home. At the last nursery the bus got stuck in the sand. It took two hours to get the tow truck from Orlando. But when we got into the bus again it was dark and the mosquitoes had a very big dinner. After the lost time we didn't have time for dinner. We returned a 1:30am, only two and a half hours late. It was great outing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bali Red Lotus

This is the first flower of the season. The Bali Red is unusual in that it is one of the few tropical lotus. If the temperature is warm it will grow and flower all year long. The flower lasts for 3 days, if there is no wind it can go for a fourth day. Click here to see the same flower on its second day.Link

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plumeria or Frangipani

This Plumeria has a name, Kimo. When conditions are warm and wet it is bright orange, a rare color for Plumeria. Unfortunately it is not as fragrant as some of the other types. Trevella in Hilo has a very nice plumeria today.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Not From Coral Gables

Ever since I was a teenager I have found people that looked like me. Some times I see doubles of my friends. Today's picture came from an advertisement in the morning New York Times. The add is for the Ritz-Carlton South Beach (just 6 miles east of Coral Gables). Isabella has a avatar of pure art and she should be pleased the Times copied the theme. I have looked at both pictures and they are different.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Office Atrium

Most office buildings are concrete blocks with many stories and some windows to let the sunshine in. But this building spent the time and money to give us the beauty of an atrium. Unlike buildings in temperate climates that bring the tropics to the cold climates, this one uses common plants that could be seen in any neighborhood. But then again, we are in the tropic's.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Maybe we should just call it that red tree over there, and then just point. But the problem is that mine is yellow.

The common names from an American source

Carolinian: fáyárbaw, nfayarbaw Chamorro: arbol del fuego, arbol del fuego, atbot, atbot, atbut Chuukese: meei flower English: false acacia, flambouyant, flamboyant, flame tree, peacock flower, poinciana, red tree, royal ponciana Fijian: sekoula French: flamboyant, pacayer Hawaiian: 'ohai 'ula I-Kiribati: te kai te tua, te tau, te tua Maori (Cook Islands): marumaru, pātai, pū pī, puka kai, rākau tāmarumaru Nauruan: bin Niuean: pinē Palauan: nangiosákura, nangyo Pohnpeian: pilampwoia weitahta Samoan: elefane, tamaligi Spanish: árbol del fuego, atbot det fuegu, flamboyán Tahitian: pakai, puke, ra'ar marumaru Tongan: 'ohai Tongarevan: pātai Tuamotuan: faefae Tuvaluan: fuatausaga Ulithian: warapig Yapese: sakuranirow

The common names from an site in India

(Amharic) : dire dawa zaf (Arabic) : goldmore (Bengali) : chura, radha (Burmese) : seinban
(Creole) : poinciana royal (English) : flamboyant, flamboyant flame tree, flame of the forest, flame tree, gold mohur, gul mohr, julu tree, peacock flower, royal poinciana (French) : flamboyant, poinciana, royal (Hindi) : gulmohr (Spanish) : Acacia roja, clavellino, flamboy�n, flor de pavo, framboy�n, guacamaya, josefina, Moraz�n, poinciana (Swahili) : mjohoro, mkakaya (Tamil) : mayarum, mayirkonrai, panjadi, telugu (Thai) : hang nok yung farang (Vietnamese) : phuong (Yoruba) : sekeseke

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Coral Gables Women's Club

This coral rock building from the 20's is still a women's club. It's been used by the community as a meeting place and seems to be more then a women's club. I went to my first formal dance there in the late 40's and used their public library. I don't care for the bright canopy either.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bismarkii nobilis

Bismarkii nobilis has two color forms, a green leaf or a silver-blue leaf. The silver is the popular form. In Homestead the nurseries have large stands of the silver form. Most are sold as mature plants with little trunk. As the palm ages the only thing that changes is the increase of trunk. If you put it in your garden for the fronds to fit into the design be careful, in time the leaves will be above the rest of the landscape. I have a palm that looks like the Bismarkii , but much larger. A picture of my talipot was uploaded on March 29th.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jose Marti

The bust of Jose Marti is placed in front of the The Coral Gables Woman's Club. I am not sure of the connection to our city. Our early founders were mainly from the north east of our country and came in the 20's.. The Latin influx started in the 60's. Our city has grown faster in the last 20 years then the first 60 years. I am now a minority in my city. I don't complain about it. Our city gets better every day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Reed Stem Epidendrum

This orchid blooms most of the year. The flower cluster is about 4 inches across and the plant is about 6 feet tall. It will start blooming when it is a foot or two high, but it just keeps going up.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Two Early High Rises

When these two glass blocks were built 35 years ago, all of the surrounding buildings were one or two stories high. There was nothing for the glass to mirror. Most of us hated the buildings. I knew the architect and he didn't like it either. But today with the tall buildings around them they have some meaning. After all of these years, I like them.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Commercial building

The former Wakenhut building Is now filled with various professionals. A friend has a suite in the building and it is just as innovative as the exterior. It's a pleasure to see a large building that doesn't look like a box. Notice the red poinciana trees in the park across the street.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Adenium obesum

This is a seedling from a nursery that has a hybridizing program to improve the color forms of the Adenium. My plant was bought as a unflowered seedling of dark parents. The red, pink and white forms are common and sold at the local Home Depot as desert-rose.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Bougainvillea tree

The world's only "true" totally thorn less and fragrant Bougainvillea. This variety is deep green, with elongated leaves and bright lavender bracts. Since it is the only totally thorn less Bougainvillea, Arborea can be used in places where the thorns on other Bougainvillea may be a problem. This is a hardy, fast growing variety, yet it branches freely. So, you don't get the leggy look common to some fast growing varieties. Arborea is unique in another way it's a fragrant Bougainvillea. Lean closely and enjoy the Honeysuckle-like scent of Arborea. The only problem is that it doesn't shed it's bracts until they are brown. David Fairchild brought this tree to the USA planting it in the Kampong (his home in Coconut Grove) and then in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (in Coral Gables). Check out this relatively new color form of the regular Bougainvillea.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fall and Spring in two weeks

Two weeks ago the leaves turned orange and then brown and then fell. This week we have bright green leaves. Notice the fruit, the large ones are almost ripe and the small ones will be ready next year. It takes almost 2 years for the fruit it mature.

I have a name for this fruit tree:
mamey, mamey colorado, mamey de tierra, mamey rojo, mamey sapote, yuco, zapote, zapote colorado, zapote de carne, zapote mamey

This is one of our favorite trees. It ripens in summer and we freeze the excess flesh. This way we have home made mamey ice cream all year long.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A yellow Cattleya

This plant grows in a greenhouse and when it is in bloom we sometimes bring them indoors. A high percentage of the orchids grow in the garden. The viewer will see more of my orchids as time goes by. The Cattleya are the common corsage orchid. But if you click here you will see that they come in very different shapes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Alhambra Pond

This water feature is four blocks from our house. The pergola and pond are at the intersection of two main streets. This may be 'just home' but I cherish it and realize the beauty of my city. Click here to see the intersection.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The hidden garden

After taking yesterdays picture I found this garden on the side of the next house. From the side walk the garden looked uncared for and unloved. But I found an opening in the tangle of trees and shrubs. People who drive by would just see a jungle. On foot I found this gem of serenity. Normally I don't like fancy water features, but this one is fine.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A house from the 30's

The house has some of the Spanish style, you might call it 'new Spanish'. These gracious homes have aged very nicely. The green wall is a Ficus vine. It is very time consuming to keep it in that perfect condition. The vine is a fast grower and if not tended to it would look like sleeping beauties castle in a year or two.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Old Spanish

This house was built in the 20's, on the Prado. The Prado entrance is about 5 blocks north. Notice the inner courtyard behind the front door. Most of the original rooms would open to the courtyard. The second floor that is visible in the back is most likely a new addition. While the house was reworked, it has kept the Spanish feeling. Bravo! Many additions on old houses are morphed into a mcmansion and the beauty is lost.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Jacaranda mimosifolia is the common specie in Florida. But this Jacaranda has much larger flowers and very shinny leaves. In the picture the leaves look like a fern. Unlike most of the other Jacarandas, this tree bloomed when very small and puts on a great show.
I did this months theme picture in March.
The view that I can see out my bedroom was posted here on March 12th.