Ramble has a very special plant sale

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The 2008 Ramble will be the 35th Ramble I've worked at and enjoyed since I began working at FTBG in 1973. In my first years here, when the Ramble was more of a rummage sale, with old clothes, furniture, and other "recycled" merchandise, only Fairchild-grown plants were sold. Beginning in 1980, with the new, gardening-focused Ramble, various plant societies began participating in the plant sale. Now the plant sale area in the palmetum is filled with plants grown and brought in by 14 plant...

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We have a new weather station at Fairchild!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

With thanks to the generosity of Caroline Lewis, Director of our education department, a weather station was purchased. It was installed on the roof of the Garden House in mid-September. The console with weather information obtained from the weather station is in the Hawke's Lab. The station keeps records on rainfall, temperature, wind speeds, relative humidity, barometric pressure and other weather data. In the future we will place this information on the FTBG website. You might be ...

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A Limpkin in the garden!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This morning while I was walking near Glade Lake, I was delighted to see a limpkin walking along the shoreline!  It was hunting snails for his breakfast perhaps.  Fairchild is actually a great place to see birds.  A few days ago, I saw two white-crowned pigeons in the Keys Coastal Habitat.  Next time you visit, remember to look at the plants....and the birds!...

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My Favorite Hedge - Simpson's Stopper

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Many people have Ficus benjamina, which can quickly become a huge tree, hedges which require regular pruning and now there is a whitefly which is killing it in south Florida. My favorite hedge is Myrcianthes fragrans, Simpson's stopper, which is a native of hammocks of south Florida and Tropical America. This shrub or small tree grows to 20 feet tall. It makes a great hedge and is a low maintenance alternative to the commonly used ficus hedge. Simpson's stopper's silvery gray to warm brown ...

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We have another cannonball tree blooming in Fairchild.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In May, 1992 we received seeds of Couroupita guianensis from Venezuela. The seeds were in our greenhouse when Hurricane Andrew hit just a few months later. It survived Andrew's wrath and was planted in plot 18 in June 1994. The young tree had to be moved to plot 45 due to the Visitors' Center construction in 1999. In late October, 2005, Hurricane Wilma blew it down. It was quickly propped up and voila, is now in bloom for the first time! It's first 16 years have not been easy, but now that ...

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For The Love of Mangos India, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fairchild Tropical Fruit Program ventures back to the ancestral home of the mango - India. Our mango team Dr. Richard J. Campbell and Noris Ledesma the Curators of Tropical Fruit went to the monsoonal plains in search of the secrets of the king of tropical fruit. For 2 weeks in May, 'Alphonso', 'Kesar', and 'Dusehri' will become daily fare, treasured for their sweet, complexity of fruitiness and Indian spice. Nowhere on earth is the mango more cherished, or more integral to the people and ...

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My Gardening Joy - What is Yours?

Monday, February 18, 2008

About 15 years ago, I was fortunate to find a piece of property, just under one-half an acre with a small house and very little vegetation.  I had a nearly blank slate to start my own garden on the first property I had ever owned.  I took a while to consider what kind of garden I wanted.  I am a nature lover; birds, butterflies, even squirrels and snakes always delight me with their presence.  So I decided to create natural habitats in my yard to attract wildlife.  That...

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We have beautiful parrots in Fairchild!

Friday, February 1, 2008

During recent weeks I have seen large parrots or macaws flying over the arboretum and lowlands of Fairchild. I have seen a pair and sometimes as many as five birds flying and making their very loud squawking noises. Today while I was near the southeast edge of Royal Palm Lake, I heard the unmistakable sounds of the parrots in a royal palm in plot 87. I was fortunate to have my camera and took a few photos. One of the parrots was using its beak to tear off bits of a leaf stem in a Veitchia...

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CTPC staff monitor the endangered Pseudophoenix sargentii on Elliott Key

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jennifer Possley, GIS Lab Coordinator/Field Biologist, reports that two weeks ago today, several members of Fairchild's Center for Tropical Plant Conservation (CTPC) returned from a three-day trip, monitoring the endangered palm Pseudophoenix sargentii (Sargent's cherry palm) on Elliott Key.  We last conducted a thorough monitoring of this taxon on Elliott Key in 2003.  This time, we collected data on: (1) approximately 115 surviving individuals that were planted by...

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Don't forget to look up while walking through our rainforest.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This morning, around 8:30, as I was walking out of my office in the rainforest, I heard a very loud squawking noise.  I looked up and saw a pure white large bird fly over the trees.  It landed nearby and continued its raucous call.  Harvey, Rod and I walked in the direction of the sound.  We looked up to see a beautiful cockatoo perched upon the tip of a Veitchia spear leaf.  Eventually the bird flew to the east, before I could get a good photo.  We occasionally...

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