Horticulture Blog

Archive - October 2010

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Is that a lilac in bloom?

Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 10:09:31 AM

Lonchocarpus violaceus var. violaceus is a flowering tree native to dry hillsides in Trinidad. Plants often begin flowering when only five or six feet tall. Homesick northerners will love the scent, which is somewhat reminiscent of lilacs. Throughout October and November, masses of purple to pinkish mauve flowers are borne on six-inch racemes, making a wonderful show above the dark green pinnate leaves.  This tree in the photo is located at the tram plaza.  Be sure to get a close look and smell.  The flowers are wonderfully fragrant!




My Meadow Garden - Five Months Later

Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 08:02:57 AM

It was early in May when I planted my meadow garden under a Guaiacum sanctum (lignum vitae) and a Veitchia.  The plants have really grown into mature specimens and all the grasses are blooming.  I've weeded this area only three times this summer and the grasses are now growing so densely that soon, weeding will not be necessary - my goal!!



meadow gardening in south Florida
 Each grass was planted about 2' apart so that their rounded form can be expressed

















meadow gardening in south Florida
 In June I scattered seeds of Coreopsis leavenworthii, our native tickseed

















meadow gardening in south Florida
 This photo was taken in the afternoon light.  The lovegrass is blooming!


































Croton linearis
 The Croton linearis (pineland croton) has tripled in size since May


Exciting sightings in Fairchild!

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 02:12:20 PM

In recent days, staff have seen the amazingly beautiful Painted Buntings in Fairchild!  Over the past year, we have placed feeders in quiet locations within FTBG to encourage more birds.  One of the important ingredients of the seed mix we use is white millet, a favorite food of Painted Buntings.  Both male buntings and the "greenies" (immature males or females) have been seen at feeders in the Keys Coastal Habitat, the palmetum area between the cafe and the south gate, near the Victoria Pool and in Plot 161, our native palm plot.  These colorful birds are quite shy and like places with lots of vegetation.  See if you can see a Painted Bunting during your next visit to FTBG.  They are in South Florida until early April, when they head north for the summer.


A colorful male and either an immature male or mature female at M. Collins' feeder