Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Path Is A Path, Is A Path

Some are for beauty, some for short cuts to get some place, and then there is mine. The hedge to the right is at the back of our garden. It is 4 feet from the edge of the property. This allows me to trim all sides of the hedge and not burden the neighbor. And if your young it's fun to run around and hide. It was 12 feet high but as I have aged it is now 10 feet high and I can still clip it.
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Remember Summer?

Last night we talked to relatives in Missouri, and it's cold up there. In their little town, trees are down due to the ice and the electric lines are out due to the trees. They hope that the center of the town will have electricity by tonight. One church is giving out warm meals. Our relatives at least can keep their house warm.

While our garden is still full of flowers and the temperature was 81f yesterday I thought we all needed some bright color for the day. The flower is a Lotus that bloomed in July. I made a Seadragon picture out of this picture, go and play with it (be sure to read the comment).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

C & A House 10

One of the new and large homes. But this one reminds me of the older homes. The surround of the front door and the windows look just like the ones of the 20's and the 30's.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

C & A House 9 Needs Help

The owner was a retired bachelor that didn't keep up the property for the last ten years of his life. When he was more active the garden was a botanical forest and the building was well kept. Now we just hope that who ever buys the property will see it as a gem to fix and not a piece of land that can be used to build a super big house.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

C & A House 8

Too many of these new houses look like twins.

Monday, January 26, 2009

C & A House 7

The house shouts new, new, new. There was once a fine little old Spanish style house. This new house is OK, but I miss the old house.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

C & A House 6

The three windows show up again. Certain architectural styles can date a house and these windows show up in houses of the 20's. Our house has some things that place it in the 30's.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

C & A House 5

Another house with three windows in the stairwell. You can't build a copy of a house within one mile from the original house in Coral Gabels. But you can use an idea but not the entire house. You can find these stairwell windows in many of our houses. I grew up in a house that had a twin 1.2 miles from our house. It wasn't an exact copy, it was about 20% smaller. The small house was torn down to make way for a large home.

Friday, January 23, 2009

C & A House 4

The C & A house is any house on the historic streets of Castile Ave. or Asturia Ave. In the 20's these streets had some of the most interesting houses in the city. The small and medium sized houses were what our city was all about. Some of the houses have been torn down to give way to a larger house.
Notice the 3 windows, they open to the stairwell and show up in many old houses in the C & A group.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Schomburgkia wallisii Or You Might Just Call It An Orchid

Last night it went down to 41f and the night before it was 39f but this orchid is looking good in the sun this morning. I had the well water running in the pond for the last two days because the cichlids (fish) will die when the temperature goes lower then 40f. The breadfruit tree needed the warm water for the same reason.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It Must Be Cold Outside.

Dew on the window means that it must be cold outside. It's just relative. For 2 months we had nights down in the 60's and last week it hit the 50's. Last night it dropped to 39f in the Miami area. The thermometer in the open garage read 49f. The breadfruit tree, some Ae Ae bananas and one or two small plants will show temperature damage, but the rest of the garden will get through this very coooold night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

C & A House 3, Best Of The Group

Forty years ago when we were looking for a house, this was the one that we wanted. But it wasn't for sale. We looked at a house directly across the street but couldn't think of living across from the house that we wanted. Twenty years later when it was up for sale we were too pleased with our house to think of moving. We knew the house we have now was the one we would buy before we even looked at the inside. So house 3 is second on my list and I have never been inside.

Monday, January 19, 2009

C & A House 2

The curb appeal can't be topped. When I was last in this house it did not have crown molding, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, and slabs of granite all over the house. This house doesn't even have a great room. But I can tell you this is a great home.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Color For The Winter

This orchid looks like a newly produced hybrid that you can buy in any big box store like Home Depot. It's a species from the jungles that was found over 70 years ago. This clone (divisions of the original plant) was extremely expensive until they were produced with cells from the original plant. Now the price is related to the production cost and not for its rarity. I have 6 of them hanging in the tree enjoying the winter temperatures. This week we have night temperatures in the 50's. Lan (Miami Blog) also has this orchid in his back yard.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Heliconia Princess Diane

Diane is a friend of mine and she and her husband brought this Heliconia clone from Jamaica. It blooms all year long and I thought we needed some color. We were down to the 50's in the evening this past week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

This C & A House Is The First Of A Series

This house was built on one lot with gardens on separate lots. The lot west of the house was sold a few years ago and a modern house was built. This is a very nice looking house but for some of us that remember the original garden much has been lost.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Podocarpus macrophyllus, Ficus benjamina And Ficus pumila

The first two are trees and the third is a vine. Man can fiddle with nature and produce hedges and concrete columns covered green. These plants get attention every week or two, as you can see the small piles of clippings. I think it looks good, oh but what work to keep it looking just right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is Schomburgkia wallisia that thrives in our garden. It needs the full sun and doesn't mind a few hours of cool temperatures (it's in the 50's today).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Pigeon Peas also known as grandules grow very well in Coral Gables. These are growing a block from city hall. The grandules tastes like a black eyed pea but it is a much bigger plant. I have grown it off and on for the last 40 years. Shucking the peas take time and that's the reason that this vegetable is seldom seen in gardens around here. The other problem is that the green pods stain my hands a dark brown and the stain lasts for a day or two.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Miltonia Anne Warne

This orchid blooms in the summer, but the story is multiplication. This plant was bought by a relative 50 years ago and 30 years ago I inherited it. The plant was divided 20 years ago into 40 divisions and I kept one. Now it had to be divided once more. I have a page on my site that will follow the plants as they reach flowering size.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another Red Bougainvillea

But this one is holding up the house.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Left Wing

I said it was big and there is a right wing just as large.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Behind Yesterdays Wrought Iron Gate

This is one of the earliest houses in Coral Way. We looked at the house when it was for sale 40 years ago. The house is a beauty but too big for us.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Intersection On Coral Way

It looks like a well but it's a fountain under the pergola. This is a feature of the city and not part of the private house behind the wrought iron gate.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flame Vine, Pyrostegia venusta

This flame brightens south Florida through the winter. The old Spanish style homes often have the vine on the roof or on the perimeter walls.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Red Bougainvillea

With a house attached.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lethal Yellowing


Nearly Dead

About 40 years ago the disease 'lethal yellowing' killed most of the coconut palms in our area. Twenty years before, Key West lost there coconut palms. The government imported a strain of coconuts that were immune to the problem. But now some of the new coconut palms are getting the disease. We are losing 20 or more species of palms that are dieing. We also have problems with the die off of citrus, avocado, and ficus.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

One Of The Old Stone Houses On Coral Way

The shutter has been closed for ever, at least it seems that way. The blue shutter doesn't enhance this fine old house.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

In Two Weeks The Flowers Have Doubled

For the last 5 weeks we have had perfect weather with nights in the 60's and the days in the 70's. If we keep this weather for the next two months the flowers will be so large it will be comic and not good landscaping.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Florida Daphne

This small tree blooms off and on for the whole year. Some time you don't look up to see the flowers, but you stop to enjoy the fragrance. It smells just like Narcissus papyraceus, the paper white narcissus. The seed pods look like a bunch of red radishes when ripe.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Theme Day - Is It The Picture Or The Thought Of The Birthday Cake?

The story of the cake was shown on December 25.

Here is the recipe but not the directions.
ingredients: 10 eggs
1/2 lb.Hazelnuts
1,3/4 cups sugar
3 Tb spoons bread crumbs or 1/2 cup flour
Toping: 2 cups whipping cream
6 Tb. powder sugar
apricot jam
Frangelica brandy

You need a Mouli grinder and must beat the batter for 30 minutes. Putting it together is not easy, the first time that you make it. Does anyone know a recipe like this one? As far as I know it's a one of the kind.

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Here are some pictures from 2007 and 2008 that I like.