Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random pictures

It's been ages since I posted. I had computer problems and after they were fixed, I couldn't decide what to write about, what a friend back in England used to call a "rictus of indecision." While I sort out my rictus, I'll post some pix, with comments.

First, a couple of disasters:

This is my wonderful Souv. de la Maison that I heaped praise upon in my last post. I woke up one morning to find it completely wilted. I figured out that a certain dog had attempted to catch a squirrel or rat that must have run across the string of garden lights immediately above the pot and pretty much flattened the rose. There was an indentation of a paw print that gave the game away. Still, I think it will live to see another day. (Why do I still love my dogs?!)





The sky blue cluster vine, Jacquemontia pentanthos, is an endangered native, but can be found in a few nurseries. Two days after planting, it turned brown. Rats! With its little bright, bright blue flowers, it's such a pretty vine in the morning glory family. Click here for a close up of the flowers. I'm hoping that it isn't entirely dead, not least because it was an expensive plant and the nursery is 30 miles away.

But onto happier things:






This is a very old vanda that belonged to my husband's late aunt. She died in 1986 and she'd grown it for many years prior to that. It has a lovely old-fashioned look to it, and must have wowed orchid enthusiasts back in the day. I'm so glad I'm able to keep it going.







How do you tell if bananas are ripe? These only look yellow in the late afternoon sun, and they haven't done much for a couple of months except get a bit fatter. What gives? Tips and explanations are welcome.




I found these lovely Neoregelias, above, at a garage sale, while ...


... somebody threw these gorgeous broms onto a trash pile. I'm always happy to adopt unwanted specimens.




The second raised veggie bed, at the rear, has been built. Thanks, Dan!





The garden cherub is still standing, although his head frequently rolls off; they were parted when I found them at an estate sale. However, the dogs (grrrr) are responsible for breaking the lute, which I keep promising myself I will glue back on. It's only been two years ...


 


A clump of Philippine violets, Barleria cristata, is flowering prolifically by the bridge.






The pink Jatropha flowers all year round. But, best of all ...




... my Natchitoches noisette is about to produce a million blooms.

And hasn't the weather been lovely?

16 comments:

NanaK said...

I'm so glad your computer problems are fixed so that I could laugh and commiserate with you all in the same post. As a dog owner, I understand the delicate balance of gardening within a dog's territory.

Your new raised beds are exciting news. Can't wait to see the crops you reap. Beautiful rose blooms. Roses love this weather as much as we gardeners do, don't they?

Floridagirl said...

Great finds on those broms! Awesome to find treasures like that in the trash...or at a garage sale. Love that pink jatropha! Never saw such an animal in all my days! As for bananas, my dad taught me to harvest while they are still green; if you are seeing that yellow tinge at times, they are probably ready. He says they won't yellow on the tree. After picking, you then place them in a paper bag and stick them in the pantry, where it's dark, until they yellow up. You can put another piece of ripened fruit in the bag to speed the process. Don't know if this is proper technique, but it's what I was taught.

Rainforest Gardener said...

Glad you're back! Dogs love to run amok in my garden, killing things in my absence. It would be forgivable if it were just my parent's dog, but the culprits are usually the neighbor's mutts that run freely around the block. Grr. I love the shots of the vanda and bananas! I can't wait til my ice cream banana bears fruit!

Terra Mirabilis said...

@Nana: Dogs: Can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em!

One raised bed has pole beans and assorted brassicas, plus I've saved two celery hearts that Dan threw out and they seem to be growing. I've put all sorts of little experimental things in there, like onion bottoms. It's a learning experience, and lots of fun. Not entirely sure what will fill up the other, but I've put in some potatoes, just to see what will happen.

@FG: The jatropha seeds like mad and always comes true. Would be happy to send you either a plantlet or some seeds. Send me a message at pennymccrea AT gmail.

At Fairchild's "Ramble" today I talked to the Going Bananas people and learned that it takes up to five months for the bananas to ripen. Fattening is the first thing to watch for and then, at the first hint of yellow on the top fruit, cut the fruit and the plant down. I think I'm nearly there on the one in the photo.

@Steve: These are the first male dogs I've had and once they have gone on to the great doggy hunting ground in the sky, I'm going back to females!

I also have an ice cream banana waiting to go in the ground. Let me know how yours turns out; is it about to fruit? I bought an Orinoco cooking banana (not quite a banana, and not quite a plantain) at the Ramble, today. It won't fruit for about 18 months.

MrBrownThumb said...

I like the broken cherub. He almost looks like he's leaning against the plant for support.

Terra Mirabilis said...

@MBT: Ha! But he actually manages to stand on his own two rather chubby feet.

ChrisC said...

We have the same problem with our cats.But we love them,so we put up with it.Your raised beds look great!
I,too,am lucky enough to have some "old" orchids that my dad had for years.I just love when they bloom every year as it reminds me of him.

Susan said...

Yes, the weather has been lovely. And, your vanda is very, very pretty. Passalong plants are some of my favorites. How lucky of you to find those nice broms. They are a couple of nice specimens. Hope your rosebush recovers from its trampling. :-)

Terra Mirabilis said...

@Chris: Thanks for your comments. The worst thing about cats is digging up those yucky surprises left in a flower or veggie bed!

@Susan: I'm a past master at scavenging plants! Sadly, I've put the a/c back on; it's been too muggy these last few days. :-(

James Missier said...

Love your orchid. It certainly give that bright purple colour that lifts ups everything in the garden. I wish I got my hands on your "leftover" broms. They certainly look very lovely.

Ron Mylar said...
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Ron Mylar said...
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Terra Mirabilis said...

Hi, James. Yes, I'm very pleased with those broms. Lucky me! :-)

David & Melanie said...

Hey! I'm glad you're back! My bane in the garden are not dogs, but squirrels. They try to bury pecans everywhere...even in potted plants. But I pretend they are the monkeys in my tropical garden. Could you imagine wild monkeys in Miami? That would be quite entertaining and quite terrible.
Happy Thanksgiving.
David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

SiestaSister said...

LOL...I have certainly been known to pull bromeliads out of people's yard waste cans. Love it when those pups pop up.

Speaking of squirrels....have you noticed the amount of acorns this year? Our lanai room is covered with them and the ground is covered with them (We have 2 large oaks right outside the lanai).

Terra Mirabilis said...

Hello, David and Sister. Squirrels are at the root of most of my dog/garden problems: no squirrels, no dogs chasing them over planted beds...

David, we did have monkeys on the loose after Hurricane Andrew and it was a cause of great concern, but I don't remember what happened to them.

Sister, I have three oak trees and can't say I've noticed anything yet, but I will go and check. Last winter's cold weather and freeze prompted the oaks to produce a vast quantity of flowers, so there should be plenty of acorns. Which will bring in more squirrels. :-(