Spectacular plants at this show

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society's show, currently in the Garden House, is displaying dramatic and beautiful plants this year. Always a show that offers something for everyone, the array of ferns, bromeliads, orchids, crotons, and begonias is off-the-charts lovely. Here are the top winners: Best of Show. Best of show went to Dr. Jeff Block's Anthurium magnificum, which holds up three unblemished and perfectly grown velvet leaves and one inflorescence. Best flowering plant was ...

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Not your everyday flower

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A day before opening fully. She produces a flower every other year, and this is her year to do so. She is Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, the voodoo flower whom we call Phyllis. (Phyllis the Amorphophallus has a kind of reverse alliterative quality.) We've had her for a number of years. She lives among bromeliads, beneath the shade of a foxtail palm. Although she goes dormant every winter, I've never dug up her tuber, but just allowed her to remain resting in place. Deni Bown in her...

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The yearling

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key -- When born in April or May, a Key Deer fawn weighs about 2 to 4 pounds. When grown, a male may weigh up to 75 pounds, a female about 55 to 75 pounds. The little yearling we saw last weekend probably stood about two feet tall and weighed (my guess) 30 or 35 pounds. Key Deer are the smallest of 28 subspecies of white-tailed deer, and may number between 250 and 300. Highly endangered by development, dogs and automobiles, these sweet animals inhabit only ...

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Quite a sight

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Every year, the Oncidium spachelatum in the front yard gets bigger and better. This year, it has a breath-taking abundance of flowers. Here it is. Fertilize every two weeks; let Nature do the rest....

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What plants can tell you

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mama screech owl. Early this morning, I was watering some newly planted milkweeds, when I looked at a firebush and noticed some newly deposited bird droppings. Looking up, I discovered our mama screech owl, still sleeping in the early sun. Knowing that her nest is in our old avocado tree, I found two young owlets, very well hidden among new growth, but sitting out of the nest nonetheless. They stayed put long enough for me to photograph them. Take home lesson: keep a close eye on your ...

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Borneo Expedition

Friday, April 20, 2012

By Noris Ledesma My first glimpse into the primeval land of Limbang, Sarawak, Malaysia; its people, and ultimately the wild mangos of Borneo, woke up the hidden memories from my past in the Colombian Amazonian. The heat and the humidity made everything so green and exuberant. I was still jet-lagged from my travels, when I came to my senses within this foreign, yet hauntingly familiar landscape. The different shapes and textures of the leaves and fronds brought me back to the realization that ...

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Biologists find orchids on the move

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Six years ago, an exotic little orchid, Eulophia graminea, popped up in some mulch in South Miami, half way around the globe from its home. Harvey Bernstein, a former Fairchild horticulturist, spotted it in his yard. The next year, it came up again, and FIU ecologist Suzanne Koptur, who lived close by, called it "an exciting botanical mystery." At the 2012 meeting of plant biologists of South Florida, Dexter Sowell, with the Florida Forest Biologist Scott Zona tookthis picture of the...

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What to do with your new plants from the Spring Plant Sale

Monday, April 16, 2012

What to do with newly purchased plants After careful reading and perhaps some research, you have selected plants for your home garden. Most of the plants that Fairchild offers for sale have been grown in light shade to full sun. When you bring home plants do not stop on the way home and park your car in the sun. This will cook any plants that are left in the car. Go home, unload plants, make sure their soil feels moist and water thoroughly those that are dry. Place the plants in a lightly ...

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Wildlife photos at ENP

Thursday, April 12, 2012

News form Everglades National Park for wildlife photo fans: The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Art Gallery is currently hosting a collection of stunning wildlife photography by Kevan and Linda Sunderland. Sunderland image of black-necked stilt courting ritual. Kevan and Linda Sunderland have been photographing Florida's wildlife for more than 30 years. Their images have appeared in many magazines, including: Florida Wildlife, Wisconsin Wildlife, Wild Bird, Audubon, Nature's Best...

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Repotting a Giant

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The big plant in its old pot,its leaves bunched together. How do you repot a plant that's as tall as you are? With planning and with help. Anthurium schottianum is a large-leaf plant that I have grown on the back porch for about three years. It's so large, in fact, that it nearly touched the ceiling. As the stem grew taller, I wrapped it in sphagnum moss and surrounded that with a plastic container so the roots would not dry out as they emerged. This was only a temporary Band-Aid...

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