Friday, February 21, 2014

A slight correction to my Bromeliad Family Name

We all know how important family names are to some--guess Bromeliads are no exception to that rule.  Today I received some added information from our Botanical Gardens. The name of my mystery plant  is actually Billbergia Windii. It is one of the oldest hybrids  in the Bromeliad family and is the result of crossing  Billbergia nutans with B. Decora. This was accomplished in 1870 at the National Botanic Garden in Belgium.  I am thrilled to get this new information, now if someone could tell me where I acquired this little gem that would really make my day!  Name or no name, it doesn't really matter to me. It is a beautiful plant. I did not want to mislead anyone with the information I previously recorded.
I thought as long as I was dropping in again, I would bring you some pictures of the interior of our Botanical Garden and Agricultural information center . To the right of this information desk there is a beautiful and quite large Koi  pond. It was feeding time for these beauties.

  Some of these fellows were quite passive and then there were a few that were very aggressive, made it known they were "Top Koi" in the pack.
Below is the rock, man made waterfall that provides a continuous  water flow that keeps every one happy and healthy. Tropical atmosphere and peaceful soothing sounds .

Beautiful display of different types of orchids, which is maintained and constantly changed by the Master Gardeners.  When my Grandchildren were small they loved to come to the Gardens to watch the Koi, and if it was their "lucky Day" to be allowed to feed them!

It was lovely to visit with you again, hope you enjoyed.  See you soon.

Way behind, but Here I go Running to catch up in 2014

I haven't been able to post for awhile, as some wise soul has said " Life Happens" and our choices are limited.  I think I am back on track now, but that isn't a guarantee of anything. Some very serious health issues have been occupying our lives, we are learning to be more patient,  to take one day at a time, and pray a lot.

In most parts of the country this has NOT been a good winter, and that is putting it mildly.   Florida has been very cold, which is a little unusual, but we did not have to cope with snow, ice, shoveling, dead batteries, and all that good "stuff". I remember Mr Dude and Son had shoveled our driveway in New Jersey and just as they finished,  the plow came along and piled it right over the end again.  Whew, certainly glad I wasn't within hearing distance of that conversation! We decided then that we would  not ever want to deal with that much bad weather again, so here we are on the West Coast of Florida, where it was in the high 70s today.

We were able to save most of our plants by covering everything and moving some to more protected areas. I have had a plant for about 3 or 4 years that I thought  was a form of lily, but never even knew where I had found it. Initially, I thought it was an orchid. I re-potted  it in the fall, and then ignored it.  Just before the cold weather arrived, I noticed that this plant suddenly had two potential flowers.  What a surprise that was!
I am sure that many Floridians will know right away what this plant is, but I wasn't sure.  We are so fortunate to have the Botanical Gardens very near to our home.  I have written about this wonderful place many times, but each time I learn something new, and today was one of those times.  Mr. Dude and I decided to take the now dead bloom to the Head Plant Guru, who happens to be an expert in Bromeliads.  Yes, that is what we have--a BelBergia Nutan or Queen's Tears and sometimes called Friendship plant. He was so accommodating, and then told us to look in a tree right outside of the main door--- This is the same plant, which has sent out so many pups that it is all round this huge Oak tree. 

 We had stopped, on our way to the garden, at our local Mickey D's for a Quarter Pounder with cheese. A treat for us. We rarely eat these, and of course if you are going to "Sin" you might as well go all the way--processed cheese and all, pickles and more! It was such a beautiful day, just warm enough, and sitting in the beach chairs, which are located all through out the area, we relaxed and watched the birds in front of one of the water ponds.  Winter does come here and most things are still in hibernation.  I could see all the buds coming on the Japanese Iris, and I know that the pond lilies will soon be in massive bloom.  There were quite a few winter visitors walking through out  the park, we met a couple from St. Louis and another from Mass. It was fun to share what we knew about the gardens. We all agreed this weather was better than snow and ice!

Our focus became the Bromeliad gardens, which up to now, we hadn't paid much attention to--here are a few views, remembering that at this time of year,  most things are not in bloom.
This is a  huge "Man Made" waterfall at the edge of the garden. The picture below  is a very small selection, of what will be wonderful color a little later on.

This is a Giant Alcantarea Imperials,  I would love to see this in bloom!  I know that I am "hooked" on these beautiful Tropicals. If you love Pineapples, then you must know that they are also a form of Bromeliad. This plant form asks very little of us, and shows us so much in return.  I will continue to visit this beautiful garden and bring you plants in bloom.  A great place for a stroll amidst beauty , then stopping for a little lunch, and a cup of coffee. Take a relaxing nap or read your book. A peaceful retreat in the middle of a busy, busy area.
Thanks for looking--see you next time--bring your lunch and we can have a chat!