My wife and her sisters wanted to give another sister a special gift for her birthday. They started with this aqua colored ceramic ball and we got creative around it. Thanks to Driftwood Garden Center in Estero, FL for the fairy garden inspiration. Thanks also to Sundance Orchids and Bromeliads in Ft. Myers, FL for having such a huge collection of bromeliads to choose from.
Click on a photo for a better enlargement.
Cypress plank, ripped to make the sides.
More cypress planks for the base. Added log legs for drainage and to make it easier to move.
Fafard #3: pine bark, Canadian peat, perlite.
Design elements: ceramic ball, pond, dwarf Mondo grass, needlepoint ivy, pteris fern, various bromeliads, Mopani root, and fairies.
I screwed the tillandsia ball into the “tree” (an old pine root) and also anchored it from below.
First draft. Miniature limestone and shells as ground cover with fine pine needles in the back.
Fairies with their feet in the pond.
Snail shells added with a large one down in the grotto. Young Earth Stars (cryptanthus) in foreground.
How I spent the first day of summer: at FNGLA’s annual convention. Robert Olinger, his wife Mary and I enjoyed two days of activities at the Marriott Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach (north of St. Augustine, south-east of Jacksonville, Florida). The first business meeting went smoothly with our organization ending the year with a surplus. Robert (our new State Representative) will be meeting with the board next month to decide on spending decisions and direction.
After the meeting we toured the Jacksonville Zoo and Botanical Gardens. That evening the Frontrunners Chapter opened their hospitality suite, stocked with plenty of food and drinks.
The next day we enjoyed applauding the winners of FNGLA’s awards. There we gave our annual donation to FNGLA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) and to the University of Florida Research Endowment Fund.
That evening concluded with the President’s Gala reception and banquet.
Entry of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Oriental garden, floating water cleaning plants.
Welcome reception scavenger hunt.
Awards ceremony and induction banquet.
Bob giving donation from Royal Palm Chapter to U.F. SHARE.
Other donors to U.F. SHARE fund.
Ben Bolusky, Mike Marshall, Sandy Stein.
Carolann and Dennis Mahr celebrating.
President Mike Marshall giving big shoes to fill to new President, Sandy Stein.
Paul Polomsky and daughter.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Every year I look through the pile of colorful seed catalogs and order new vegetables for our garden. My wife also looks through the flower sections and points out plants she would like me to grow. Then I discourage her with wise comments like “No, that’s a zone 5 plant. No that’s a biennial. Oops, wrong time of the year.”
This year I apologized for putting on the brakes and gave her free reign. With glee, she picked plants I would never have considered growing. When the fat envelope came in the mail I was surprised by 10,000 seeds! If you know seeds, that’s not pounds but ounces but still one seed grows one plant. I planted a representative from each packet…and we have the most colorful back yard we have ever had.
Here are a few vases of flowers cut from our jungle.
White Ammi magus and pink snap dragons.
Love in a Mist (Nigella)
Ammi, cosmos, nigella
Clerodendrum ‘Light Bulbs’ and African iris.
Oakes Farms: kale and Swiss chard, organically grown.
Yellow bell peppers at Oakes Farms.
Lunch at ITEC in Immokalee, served by their culinary class.
Far right: Alex Salazar (grower and co-owner) of American Farms, Naples describes how they grow 77 acres of bedding plants.
Four busloads of people spent a day looking “beyond the beaches” in Collier County on Wednesday, March 19. After American Farms we went to Oakes Farms, an organic vegetable and fish producer, Lipman Company, the largest tomato packing plant in Immokalee, Silver Strand citrus groves and the farmers market.
Royal Palm Chapter and friends learn from Dr. Aaron Palmateer. Thanks to Dr. Doug Caldwell (Collier Co. Extension) for hosting this meeting.