Thursday, August 30, 2007

Royal Palms

The Village of Merrick Park is up scale so why not plant royal palms all over the place. Could this be a subliminal hint to the shoppers? When I took this picture the temperature was 90 f, and when ever I was under the shade of the palms I was comfortable.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Village of Merrick Park

This is just another shopping mall, but with a twist. This is a high end mall and it sets the standard. In the next few days I will be posting some pictures of the 'Village'. Believe me, most of you would enjoy shopping there.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bromeliads in the Landscape

This plant is in the same family as the pineapple. Most Bromeliads are just for show. Twenty years ago this type was just seen in collectors gardens, and usually too expensive for normal landscapes. Now Home Depot sells it for $39 down from $125 years ago. The very colorful Bromeliads sold all over the USA are seldom used in the landscape because they are too fragile.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yesterdays Neighbor, a Real Mansion

This rock home is from the 20's and it has improved with age. Two years ago a hurricane damaged their house. An oak as big as the ones in the front yard fell in back of the house and one small corner of the roof was damaged. There was no roofer that could find a match for the tile (at least the ones that they contacted). The new roof took 4 months to finish after waiting 2 years, well almost finish. The roofer ran out of tile. I hope he can find a match this time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Typical Mc Mansion

This home is 5 years old and has been painted three times (major touch-ups). It may be a mc mansion. It has all the attributes of one. It's above and beyond the neighbors. Tourists will take a picture of it and walk past three beautiful stone homes. I must be out of step because I like homes that enhance the landscape.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ae Ae Banana

I posted a picture of this banana and it's mother on March 23, 2007 and then again May 21, 2007. Now three months later the pup is blooming. The speed of the growth must be related to the warmer summer, because fertilizer and water was not different then last year. This most coveted banana is now going to be free to qualified gardeners with the My Ae Ae's Keeper program.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Seedling Lotus

By now most people that have watched my blog must realize that I am interested in horticulture. I posted a picture of a Bali Red lotus on
June 20, 2007, a very coveted variety of lotus. Todays lotus is a seedling and it looks as good as the fancy (fancy as in expensive) parent.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Garden With a View

The view is in the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. Site lines are important in a garden, and this garden is filled with views that you will remember. When I am there I think WOW is this really in my town. What an honor to have such a garden in our city.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Junior Chamber of Commerce Headquarters

The Jaycees had their headquarters in Coral Gables from 1960 to 2004. There beautiful building is in a residential area, next to the Youth Center. Now Jaycees are gone and developers are tryiing to change it into a regular commercial building. The cities zoning laws keep it empty. Click here to see more about the Jaycees.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lagerstroemia speciosa

Queens Crapemyrtle is the common name. It is important to the health store people. They sell a product from the Lagerstroemia speciosa that can help you lose weight. I think it only works if you believe. I know it as Queens Crapemyrtle a small tree with really neat flowers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Genetic Fiddling

This orchid is a hybrid between two species. One parent was white and a little droopy and the other was more or less yellow. When it's not in bloom it hangs from a tree. I have three plants of this type of hybridizing on my TOG site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Seed Pod

I saw this pod under a Clusia rosea tree. The flower is very pretty, but I think that the dry seed pod is prettier. Click here to see the flower.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FTBG Flower of the Cannon Ball Tree

This amazing tree is in the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The tree takes many years to mature and only then does it flower. The flower stems sprout for the lower part of the main trunk. These stems keep growing and blooming. The overall look is one very tall and stately tree with a tangle of flowering branches on the lower fourth of the tree. You might think that the flowers are on a bramble not related the tree.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

FTBG Palm Collection

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden has one of the four largest palm collections in the world. When people think about south Florida they think about swaying palm trees. Here in Coral Gables we have a palm collection to boggle the most jaded plant lover. Check here to see more shapes of the palm.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Margery Stoneman Douglas

Margery Stoneman Douglas wrote the book 'River of Grass' that tells about the plight of the Everglades. Margery and the book were major factors in the making of a national park. She could be considered a women that helped make our country great. The statue represents her as she was in her 90's. I remember the look and remember talking to here. Now I sometimes will sit on the bench and just let her talk to me again. Tourists going by take a second look because the statue looks like she is in the middle of a conversation. This statue is in the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and one of the gems of Coral Gables.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Granada House

This home is next to the house that lost two trees to lightning. When you see how this house is framed by the street trees, you realize the lose that the neighbor suffered. The city took out the stumps this last week.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Spot For The Seniors

The Youth Center has room for the seniors, and it's all air conditioned. The program is large, from exercise classes to bridge. I think maybe some of the widows are hunting. If you have to ask what they are hunting for, you don't need an answer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

For the Pre K Youth

The Youth Center has a place for the under 6 crowd. It looks pretty good, but I'm too big.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Type of Cathedral

This imposing building is part of the our War Memorial Youth Center. Yes those are basket ball sculptures and the building is the basket ball hall.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Our Youth Center

We just talk about the youth center, but once you go there you know that it honors our losses during the second world war. I read the names at the base of the flag staff and was moved by the many names that I knew. The first world war occurred before our city was founded. I do have a bit of sorrow that no other names are commemorated since 1945.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Twenty Months Old

Yesterday we visited our daughter and family in the Florida Keys. This picture of our grandson takes precedence over the series that I started two days ago. After a swim in the ocean (only the men) we cleaned up to enjoy a fine meal that my wife and daughter prepared. Our grandson had to be cleaned up a second time, after lunch. He does clean up nicely. Check here to see why he needed to be cleaned up a second time. That's the last of a great fresh cherry pie.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center

Sunday evening I went over to the youth center to take pictures of the building. I was moved with the building and what my city has done. For the next few days I will post pictures of the center. In France I have seen many memorials for the first world and a few of the second, but none that related to the children of the city. Today's picture is a reverse of yesterdays picture. Notice the Baptist Church in the background.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

War Memorial Youth Center

In 1945 Coral Gables built a war memorial that related to the youth of our city. A small building, grass for football or baseball and some basketball courts. It covered one whole block in the heart of the business district. In 1956 the land was sold. The large amount of money allowed the city to build a much larger youth center on land that the University of Miami was vacating. In the 1997 it was refurbished and the building was enlarged. Now the seniors have space for their activities, and adults use the fitness center. Most people call it the Youth Center. Maybe with the added uses it should be called the 'War Memorial Center'.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thunder, Lightening and Fire

The light spot in the grass is were a coconut palm was removed. A few weeks ago we had a thunder storm that hit the palm and started a fire. The fire department came out and extinguished the fire. A day or two later the city removed the dead palm. Yesterday I noticed that the city replaced the tree. That all happened in a span of three weeks. The tree was in the right away which is city property. The August 2 picture of the trees killed in the same storm are also on city property and the city is responsible for taking care of the problem.

Friday, August 3, 2007

New Effect of Global Warming

This lotus is a seedling of Lotus Bali Red and it seems to be every bit as beautiful as the parent.

Unfortunately the heat caused the bloom to close early in the afternoon, By 5 P.M. the flower was starting to burn.

This is a normal lotus leaf in the morning.

This is the burned lotus leaf in the evening.

A week and a half ago I posted a flowering shrub (mussaenda) that was damaged by the high temperatures. Possibly those flowers reacted due to a lack of water. We need rain every third day in summer or we are in a drought. But the lotus is a water plant and is always submerged in water. So we can't blame a lack of rain, it must be the temperature.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Thunderbolt

We seem to have more thunder this season then normal. These two trees were hit 2 weeks ago and within a week they were leafless and dead. The city is now removing these trees that were on the city parkway. The black olives will be missed by the owners of the adjacent house. The owners just bought the house and are remaking and enlarging it, but without two great shade trees.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Black Olive Trees

Granada Blvd. is lined with the black olive tree for about a mile. It's a beautiful site to see these mature trees. Many people think that they are native trees, but they are exotics from the Bahamas. Commercial landscapers are by law obliged to plant a certain % of natives in their new installations. Many landscaper use the black olive to get credit for their % of native Florida plants. For more information click here.