Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Butterfly Garden

The Coral Gables Library has a butterfly garden and it's full of butterflies. I like the iron butterfly but the plants around it are a bit scruffy. What do I know, it was full of butterflies. I have some native milkweed in my own garden and every time that it sprouts a few new green leaves or buds the caterpillars appear, and strip the plants bear. I have plenty butterflies in the garden but too many caterpillars. They run out of food before they're mature.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Art in Public Places

Like many other communities we have a law that all public buildings must have a certain percentage of the money spent for art. This installation is that percentage. Notice I didn't call it art. My tax money went to pay some friend of a politician to produce this nicely soldered pile of metal.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

University Baptist Church

The congregation has outgrown this facility and plan to move south and west of our city. There is some thought that the city may buy the property and make it a senior citizen compound. It's across from the city library and the youth center and every thing else is private housing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Other reasons why we live in a hot climate.

In our climate the orchids grow on the trees. Some of the orchids that I have are natives of Florida, but most are of foreign blood. This flower is a cross of two spices from Brazil. With some genetic fiddling we have a plant that is easy to grow. The parents of this orchid are difficult to grow in south Florida.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why we live in a hot climate

It's said that we pay our dues in July, August and September for the beautiful winter weather. Since we have more warm weather then cool, at a young age I taught myself to like the heat. One of the real gifts of hot weather are the tropical fruit in the garden. Today I have ripe mangoes and avocados. A friend just gave me a grafted breadfruit tree. With the warmer winters I should be able to grow this very tropical tree.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Old New Hotel

When I was young, I remember four hotels in Coral Gables. We had the magnificent Biltmore and three smaller ones that had Spanish architecture, all built in the 20's. In the 50's they were in bad shape. One of the Spanish ones, the Antilla was was torn down to make way for that beauty that you see today. Now 50 years later it really looks out of place. The remaining 3 have been refurbished and they are competing very well with the new mega hotels.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Ripsalis growing on the tree trunk making a curtain that the visitor must walk through. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden is one of the jewels of Coral Gables. Yes I know the picture is a bit dull. As soon as I get back to the Garden I will take a better picture and replace the current picture.

Monday, July 23, 2007

As The World Warms

You saw this picture early in the month and it's back for a reason. This flowering Mussaenda starts blooming in May and continues to bloom until the first cool spell in December. But not this year. For more Mussaenda pictures from my garden, click here.

While we were on vacation in June/July it rained and all looked good when we returned home.. But for the last two weeks we have had no rain and we are prohibited in general garden watering. I still water the orchids and some pot plants. The Mussaenda is an established bush and should not need water. It was damaged by the heat, seven days of it. I have grown this plant for at least 30 years and have never seen this kind of damage. The planet is changing and I can see it, as well as feel it. I could show many other plants that have damage from the extreme heat. Thankfully it has started to rain in the last two days.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Resurrection Fern

This is the same picture as yesterday, but after a rain. During a dry period the little fern plants shrivel up and aren't noticeable. After a rain the resurrection fern opens and like magic our oaks are covered in fern. These are small plants, the mature fern can cover the entire trunk. This fern is seldom seen growing on anything other then oak. But in my yard it is on many things, including a rose and an orchid pot.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Very Dry

This happens when we don't have any rain. Can you tell me what happens? The three highlighted spots on the picture tell you that we haven't had any rain for a few days (enlarge the picture for a closer look). Tomorrow I will post the answer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Flower From Paradise

On July 17th Isabella posted a white Bird of Paradise. Today I am posting a white waterlily from Paradise. Paradise you say? Yep! I went to Paradise yesterday. Friends of mine call there house Paradise and the name seems reasonable when you are their. It's only a five hour drive to get there - and you thought it was a life long time being good that got you their. The couple live in Cape Canaveral on the beach. They are one of the premiere waterlily growers of the world. They have a site that will answer all of your water plant questions. If you like plants you must check out: http://www.watergardenersinternational.org/. I would advise any gardener to join the group, it's free. The knowledge that Ben and Kit have shared with the growers is fantastic. In a few weeks I will post an album on my site that will show the viewer paradise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


This plant grows in my lily pond. It has little yellow flowers at the edge of the circle. It looks like a mathematician designed this plant. As a jigsaw puzzle it could make a few puzzlers go crazy. I have tried to grow this plant for 20 years. And just this year I seem to be able to keep it alive.


I posted a yellow form of Poinciana last June 16th. Today's picture is the common color form with a perfect silhouette. In June they were flowering all over the city. Then in the last week of June and the first of July we had torrential rains and the Poinciana trees lost many flowers and buds. The show was cut down to a whimper. Now after two weeks of very little rain the Poincianas are starting to bloom vigorously again. The Poinciana is truly the signature flowering tree of Coral Gabbles.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lotus Momo Butan Two Days Later

The flower is now open, but not fully open. I will add a link here when it's full blown.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lotus Momo Butan

A friend of mine, Lan who posts miamieverydayphoto stopped by my garden yesterday. He took a few pictures and sent this one back to me. The picture is a lotus bud and many people cherish it more then the open flower. In the afternoon I will post the flower when it opens. Stop by again in the evening and see it in its full glory. Click here to see the flower 24 hours later.
I thought it would open more than it did, your will just have to come back when it is 48 hours later.

If your in a hurry, go to my Lotus album. Link

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Red Musseanda

This red form of Musseanda is rarely seen in the gardens of south Florida. It tends to be a shy bloomer. Does anyone else grow this red form? Click here to see the common color form.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Back Yard

I went out to the back yard and this is what I saw. Our block has private homes and one museum. All but two are single story homes - no high rises here. Can you figure out why a crane would be in the neighbors yard? Well, it was two houses down at the museum.
Here's the answer.
And here it is on a normal day.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Scadoxus multiflorus

Scadoxus used to be included in the genus Haemanthus. Some common names for these bulbs include Blood Lily, African Blood Lily, Paintbrush Lily, Football Lily, Torch Lily, and Fireball Lily. We have it at our front door where it makes a nice Dutch spring flower bed. I can't grow tulips, but these will do.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bus Trouble

We started our vacation in Salt Lake City where a bus took us to Yellow Stone National Park on our way to Vancouver. Unfortunately the bus broke down on the second morning. We were stranded for 5 hours waiting for another bus. This happened exactly one week after my last bus trip. Click here to see my first bus problem (this is the orchid societies one day trip). The trip was really great and the boat to Alaska was fantastic. All in all it was one of the best trips that we have ever experienced.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Margerie Glacier calfvng on the lower right. We waited one hour to get this picture. The calfvng occurred in the area that I thought was the most likely spot

Friday, July 6, 2007

What I Did This Summer

We just returned home today. We were out of town for two weeks and our daughter filled in for me. I emailed the pictures and dialog for the two weeks the evening before we left and some of the material was not in order. Thank you Liz, you did I a great job. The picture today should show you where we visited. I will post a few more before I return to pics from Coral Gables.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Circular Building

It's a circular building with a flat entry to make it more important