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Summer's colors are starting to appear

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monarchs sipping nectar fromred pentas. As spring slides into summer, Florida is returning to "normal." Lots of flowers are returning: some briefly, such as the lovely blue-purple blossoms on the jacaranda trees and the spring-flowering amaryllis; others for the duration, such as the shrimp plants, the tropical group of acanths, including shrimp plant and cardinal's guard. The butterfly garden has been up and running for some time, full of monarchs and zebra longwings and the...

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My Meadow Garden Has Been Planted

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Well, I took last Thursday and Friday off and worked in my own yard. The day before, I had purchased some Elliott's lovegrass (Eragrostis elliottii), native plumbago (Plumbago scandens), Havana skullcap (Scuttelaria havanensis), gama grass (Tripsacum floridanum) and forked blue curls (Trichostema dichotomum). Wednesday night I weeded the planting beds and bright and early I started on the meadow garden area. First I arranged the plants still in their pots where I wanted to plant them. This ...

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Handsome Haitian palms are priceless

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One of the handsomest sights in the palmetum is the collection of Haitian palms, Attalea crassispatha. The group was planted from seeds collected on a 1991 joint expedition by Fairchild and New York Botanical Garden. Only about two dozen palms remain in the wild, making it one of the rarest palms in this hemisphere. Carl Lewis said the palms in the grove have not yet produced fruit, but there is an Attalea crassispatha in another area of the garden that has borne fruit. He reports that ...

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FYI: BioBlitz turned up some amazing finds

Friday, May 7, 2010

BioBlitz, the two-day inventory of land and water flora and fauna held last weekend in Biscayne National Park, turned up some interesting finds, including seven candidate champion trees: paradise tree, Bahama strong back, blolly, milk bark, joewood, inkwood and pigeon plum. Potentially the largest trees of their kind are growing on Totten Key. They somehow survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992 well enough to grow into (perhaps) the largest of their kind. A press release from Everglades National ...

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A week later, my meadow is blooming!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This morning I saw that two of my Elliott's love grass are beginning to bloom. Some of you may wonder about my interest in this new type of gardening. It actually began during the coldest weekend last January, when I was curled up under a warm blanket with my two dogs at my side. I had recently purchased a book titled: "The American Meadow Garden, Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn" by John Greenlee. After 37 years of working in horticulture in South Florida and ...

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An Amazing Plant is Blooming on the Vine Pergola

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tecomanthe dendrophila, also known as New Guinea trumpet creeper, is in full bloom on Fairchild's vine pergola. To see it, walk to the southern end of the pergola and you will see this amazing plant. One of the Fairchild Plants of the year in 2006, this vigorous woody twiner (liana) could simply be grown for its deep green foliage, but it is the large pendant clusters of trumpet shaped flowers that steal the show. Rosy-pink colored at the base and fading to paler rose, the flowers open to ...

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Arrival in Beijing

Friday, May 21, 2010

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May 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega has been elected to a three-year appointment as a member of the Council of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT). This council is the main administrative body of the ASPT. Field researchers Sam Wright and Devon Powell will be traveling to the Key West National Wildlife Refuge (KWNWR) on May 27-28 to survey the status of state endangered Zanthoxylum flavum (yellow wood). With only about 60-70 of these trees left in the U.S., the Refuge contains...

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First Days in Yachang

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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A natural sculpture graces the garden

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Marlborough Blue cycad isunfolding a new rosette of leaves. Try to dream up a way to package leaves with many leaflets so that they unfold perfectly when they expand, so that the miniature leaves uncoil from their natal position like fern fronds, each exactly in place along the main stem. Then come to the garden and Leaflets uncoil with precision. compare your design with that of Cycas ophiolitica, the Marlborough Blue cycad from Australia. Its new leaves are exquisitely presented, ...

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Water lilies made easy

Friday, May 28, 2010

Amazon lilies are growing andhave produced the first bud. Come on in, the water's fine. It has warmed up for the tropical water lilies that are making beautiful displays in various pools around the garden. The marvelous Victoria amazonica (Victoria amazonica x cruziana Longwood hybrid') already has a flower, and many others are showing lavender, blue and white flowers. Ken Neugent, conservatory and special projects manager, says planting water lilies isn't complicated....

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Miami plants in Yachang

Friday, May 28, 2010

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It's Getting Hot in Here

Saturday, May 29, 2010

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