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Loquat

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a fruit of our South Florida childhood that has nearly disappeared – all due to a little fly no bigger than a pea. South Florida children would spend many a winter or spring afternoon up a loquat tree, harvesting and eating their way to contentment. For the homemaker the loquat also provided the makings for many a pie and preserve.... 

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iPhoneography and plants

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shirley Drevich was our instructor for the iPhoneography class series at the Garden, and she opened our eyes to new ways of seeing plants. Various apps downloaded into the iPhone4 can be used singly or in combination to create a vast array of results. Have a look. Water lilies. Agave. Dioon cycads. Bird of paradise....

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Pine rockland plants, poor things!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I've often mentioned to my fellow horticulturist, nature-loving friends that plants growing in the pine rocklands of south Florida are stunted due to the poor growing conditions. We are growing many plants native to this special habitat in our nursery, the grounds of Fairchild and in our home gardens. It is simply amazing how different the same species looks when grown in good soil versus the rockland. Here is one example. The first photo is Ocimum campechianum, wild sweet basil, in pine...

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Keeping us on our toes

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene gave us our first wake-up call of the 2011 hurricane season. Say "Good Night Irene," snag some extra water and canned goods at the store, and double check your storm plan. Remember what you should have on hand for the post-storm reckoning, and buy these now: extra shade cloth; copper-based and other fungicides; rope; chain saw with oil and gas; pruning and hand shears; gloves; hose-end sprayer and water-soluble fertilizer. Place orchids on groundbeneath shade house benches...

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Biofuel Conference at Florida International University - Presentations by Fairchild Challenge Alumni

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Aug 2-6 Dr. Eric von Wettberg was at the Marconi Center on Tomales Bay, CA, attending a meeting to discuss ongoing activities related to the collaborative research project examining salt tolerance in wild alfalfa, Medicago truncatula. Dr. von Wettberg worked on several of the papers that will come from this project, made plans for the future, and enjoyed the best oysters he has ever had. Agroecology Program at Florida International University in partnership with Fairchild...

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A flower of many meanings

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Find the hooded cobra in the flower of thecannonball tree. The cannonball tree, near the cycad circle, is flowering profusely, offering a pleasant perfume to anyone who walks by. Couroupita guianensis is found in South America, but has been grown in India for centuries. Considered a sacred plant in India, the flower's complex structure is said to symbolize a hooded cobra protecting a Shiva lingam. Shiva is the Hindu god who is the Destroyer of life (only if life is destroyed can rebirth...

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