Crotons in the spotlight

Monday, April 29, 2013

Codiaeum variegatum 'Polychrome'. Croton lovers gathered at Flamingo Gardens in Davie on Sunday, where executive director Stan Wood led them through the croton collection and then gave them a peek at a collection around his home in the back of the property. The Croton Society disbanded two years ago, but from time to time, loyalists will suggest touring a garden that features their favorite shrub. Jeff Searle, of Searle Brothers Nursery in Southwest Ranches, not only loves palms but he's...

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Imperial flower stalk

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Feb. 27 bloom developing. Leaves began to arrange themselves in a tighter rosette at the end of January. By mid-February, the inflorescence began its ascent. This morning, bloom spike of Alcantarea imperialis has reached 5 feet. I have always admired its handsome demeanor. The specimen in my home garden is several years old, and resides in a container by the koi pond. The imperial bromeliad is positioned so it receives sun from mid-morning March 23. to mid-afternoon, allowing the wine and...

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Eco-friendly Food and Garden

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Catalina Madrinan shows BambooCo Cycle that will aid a community inan area of Cali, Colombia.. At the Food and Garden fest Saturday morning, Catalina Madrinan was still furnishing her booth when we wandered over to talk. Worm castings and worm tea, a calendar called Ladies of Manure and a few small plants were her tabletop display, but the really attractive bamboo bicycle was a prize. It was the first one finished in a program that Cata and her friend Sonia Quintero have started in the...

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Paint pots of color at the Bromeliad show

Friday, April 12, 2013

Neoregelia 'Invincible'. Rows of perfectly grown bromeliads are displayed in the Garden House as the annual show and sale of the Bromeliad Society of South Florida opens this weekend. Judging was Friday, and I was there just after ribbon judging; major awards were still to be decided. But from the awards of merit on display, from which the major awards are determined, it was not to be an easy task. The correct conformation and color are two criteria that the judges consider. Neoregelia ...

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Waking from winter

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kaempferia rotunda, or Indian crocus. Walking up the mulched path this week, three of us discovered lavender/purple flowers that looked as if they had fallen from above and landed gently in the leaves. But overhead, there was no flowering vine or tree, so we went closer. The cluster of flowers arose from the soil, and the nametag told us it was Kaempferia rotunda. Dormant over winter, like other Kaempferia species, this plant is from China, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and surrounding ...

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Artist with an open heart

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Agnes Nyanhongo with one of her elegant stone women. Agnes Nyanhongo, whose work is among the figures in Custom and Legend, a Culture in Stone on display in the lowlands, joined several of us for lunch this week, at the invitation of Eleanor Lahn, a long-time Fairchild volunteer. One of Zimbabwe's most important artists, Agnes said with an easy smile that she began to sculpt at age 12, learning from her famous father, Claud. She is one of 19 children - there are two mothers and one...

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An inflorescence that was years in the works

Friday, March 29, 2013

A pair of enormous Aechmea bromeliads has inhabited my garden for years, moving into various settings as they grew in size. The last time I moved them, I said that was it; they were too big and too dangerously armed to move again. They lived behind a group of shell ginger for a few more years, until I decided to cut away the gingers to allow more air into an orchid house. Aechmea mariae-reginae. Eliminating the gingers opened up a commodious spot where Anthurium x Marie could display her ...

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A dazzling first day

Friday, March 8, 2013

Orchid Society of Coral Gables created this display from members' plants. Friday Fairchild was bustling with orchid lovers for the opening day of the 11th International Orchid Festival. The day was glorious, the plants were glorious, and the prices at vendor booths were generous. Coalition for Orchid Species took first place for tabletop displays, while the big display put on by the Orchid Society of Coral Gables was chock full of eye-catching flowers, including Blc. Pamela Finney Big...

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Behind the scenes of the Orchid Festival

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Melana Davison sorts the plants that have come to be show-offs. It starts with a jumble of vibrant jungle flowers waiting to become an exhibition. Wednesday, volunteers from Orchid Society of Coral Gables welcomed members' show plants, sorted them by color or by need for a particular size or a shape, and gradually from the chaos assembled a living tableau of beauty. Behind the scenes at Fairchild's 11th International Orchid Festival are months of exacting horticulture, culminating with ...

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Step back into another time

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Historic Adderley house in Marathon. At Crane Point Museum and Nature Center in Marathon, the historic Adderley house is made of crushed and fired seashells. George Adderley's home was built in 1906. It is the oldest house in the Keys outside Key West, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It is surrounded by 63 acres of palm and tropical hardwood hammock, saved from development by the Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust. Sundays, the museum and nature center...

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