Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boston in Bloom

Spring time in Boston is so beautiful - here's how it looks in mid-May. This is creeping phlox, Phlox subulata. It makes a great groundcover.

It looks best creeping down a slope or over a wall.

Lilacs and white dogwood, Cornus florida, bloom outside a house on Summit Ave near Beacon St. Look at the 2nd house from the right. Its half shingled and half white siding.

I love the brick homes covered with ivy. Two bridal wreath spirea, Spiraea prunifolia, adorn the front door.

One of my favorite flowering trees is the Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis. It is a native tree, and grows all the way from southern Ontario to Northern Florida. The branches are covered with tiny purple flowers before the tree leafs out. (This picture was taken in NH, but you do see a few of these trees in Boston).

A beautiful pink crabapple next to an equally beautiful house in Brookline.

The pink dogwood. These are also native to the eastern US.

An up close view.

Azaleas also look good this time of year.

So glad I got back in time for the show.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Trip North

We say goodbye to the palm trees in South Carolina.

Signs for miles point you to South of the Border - between North and South Carolina.

We loved seeing the wildflowers planted all along the roads in North Carolina. These are poppies.

In Virginia, pretty sign, but they mulch their 'fake' tulips.

Newark, New Jersey. And people complain about building windmills?

View of the New York Skyline. We got up early enough Sunday morning to take the George Washington Bridge.

Beautiful Connecticut. The worst drivers, but we know we're back in New England.

Lobster rolls with Judy at Newicks.

Back in time to see the daffodils in Maine! The first rain I've seen in months.
Definitely 'The Way Life Should Be'.

It's great to be back! Real grass.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


One of my favorite plants to grow in South Florida is the bromeliad. They are members of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae), a family native to the American Tropics. Our garden club took a trip to Jeff Hutchinson's house in the Acreage, in West Palm Beach. Jeff is a bromeliad grower, who has designed many of the landscapes in my community. Here's some of my favorite photos from our visit.

Bromeliads are grown for their beautiful colored foliage. Most prefer the shade, although there are some that will live in a sunny spot.

Some bromeliads are epiphytes, and attach themselves to the trunks and branches of trees by their roots. They get the moisture and nutrients they need from the rain and air. I bought one of these, and put it in my live oak.

Some have beautiful flowers. Once they flower, they make babies, called pups. Then, the original plant dies. But, over time, you get a nice clump.

Bromeliads are drought tolerant, and require very little care. So easy, and so cool.

They are even happy growing in pots.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Phoenix Sylvestris

The centerpiece of my new garden is a beautiful palm, Phoenix Sylvestris, also called the silver date palm, wild date palm, or sylvester date palm.

I bought it from Doug Murray, owner of Flying Cow Tree Farm in Wellington, FL. He and his father planted seeds they got from India about 20 years ago. This tree weighed somewhere between 1500-2500 pounds. Check out the size of the rootball!

It came in by crane.

The 'boots' are cut off, leaving diamond shaped leaf scars along the trunk.

The leafstalks are blue-green and are covered with long spines. I wouldn't want to mess with them. The head stays tied up for about 3 weeks. It reminds me of a troll.

Wouldn't you just love to lie on the hammock underneith this beautiful palm tree?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pahokee, Florida

When Mom & Dad first got married they moved to Coral Gables, Florida. Dad started looking for stores to buy, and one place he looked was in Pahokee.

I always wondered what it looked like west of here, so took a ride to check it out.
You drive through farm country. It is so flat you can see for miles.

In Pahokee they mount their alligators on the walls.

Pahokee is on the shores of beautiful Lake Okeechobee.
There is a new marina, built after the old one was destroyed in the hurricane. You can even rent boats here.

Here's a look at some of the unusual vegetables you can buy. There's watermelon, green prickly pear cactus, and I think plantains. Anyone know what some of the other things are?
Is that sugar cane?

Its always fun to go exploring - especially to places where we may have been brought up.

After Mom and Dad were in Florida for 4 months, Grandma & Grandpa came to visit, and convinced them to move back up north, and to go into business with them. Dad said the hardest thing working with Grandpa was having to get up at 6 AM to play golf before work.