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Pineland plants abloom and abuzz

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pollen sacks full, this bee is working varnish leaf flowers. A resin-like coating on the leaves of Dodonaea viscosa sometimes gives it the common name of varnish leaf. As a result of this coating, its leaves are less likely to lose water and therefore the plant is quite drought tolerant. Of course, the shrub also is referred to as Florida hopbush, because its fruits resemble hops for making beer. This shrub, in our pine rockland plantings, is pan-tropical, and can Seed capsules are ...

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Cold

Monday, December 6, 2010

A cold weather action plan has been set in motion. Because this early cold front has not been preceded by rain, I have just come in from watering beneath the canopies of large trees. As water retains warmth longer than dry soil, the warmth will radiate up into the canopies tonight, creating a nice microclimate for tender trees and plants growing in the trees. Hanging baskets are probably drying out now from the wind, so bring them inside. I have several in a lychee that I'll lower to the ...

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Fairchild Garden Breaks Ground on Science Village

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fairchild Garden Breaks Ground on Science Village Coral Gables, FL - December 8, 2010 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will hold its Groundbreaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Science Village, Tropical Research Labs, Cafe and Conservatory, a multi-million dollar science complex designed to nurture future environmental leaders in Miami and encourage a love and appreciation for the natural world. Fairchild is a conservation- and education-based garden and a...

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Very cold, so button up

Monday, December 13, 2010

The orchid houses are covered and tonight I'll run an oscillating sprinkler under the benches in one house to try and keep the temperature raised somewhat. High winds make it difficult to keep sheets on plants, so tie oruse bricks to keep edges down.. Cattleyas, cymbidiums and nobile dendrobiums are not likely to be bothered by tonight's chill, but the phalaenopsis, oncidiums, bulbophyllyms and vandaceous orchids have been brought insiderammatophyllums are inside, along with prized aroids ...

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Why I hate cold weather

Friday, December 17, 2010

The back porch in its cold weather disguise!...

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A new home for Fausto

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The rainforest now is home to thisbeautiful anthurium. Anthurium faustomirandae, one of my favorites, has moved from the conservatory to the rainforest as preparations are made for construction of the new science village. The conservatory plants will be moved to the nursery or, like Fausto, find a natural setting. This lovely plant that is native to Chiapas, Mexico, has huge heart-shaped leaves and a leathery texture. It feels comfortable in shade, high humidity and in soil with excellent...

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A glow from Madagascar

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Aloe dyeri has scarlet flowers. The short-day plants in the Madagascar exhibit are keeping the scenery bright. Aloes are holding up spikes of red tubular flowers, while the kalanchoes are showing off yellow flowers. Two Pachypodium rutenbergianum trees are leafless and topped with white blooms, while the Uncarina roeoesliana is sheltering yellow trumpet shaped flowers beneath its texured lobed leaves. If you stand for a while and study the bizarre shapes as well as the flowers, you may be...

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December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today we pay respects to a dear friend and champion for natural areas in Miami-Dade County. EmilieYoung, who was the first director of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program passed away on December 11, 2010 and was laid to rest at St. Matthew the Apostle Episcopal Church. Those who knew her professionally remembered her as a strong, compassionate, kind, and gracious lady, who dedicated much of her life to protecting the environment in our beautiful county. Few individuals have...

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