Friday, February 21, 2014

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!


  1. Great to see you back! What a beautiful tour =) Glad your weather is better!

    1. You inspired me Kathy. I love your blogs and felt I should work a little harder. Thank you for your support.

  2. Thanks for sharing a beautiful adventure. I haven't visited any sort of garden in years. I liken it to a quiet trip in a canoe down a small river in the middle of nowhere. All your concerns seem to disappear and you live in the moment.

  3. Thank youJane so pleased you enjoyed. Yes, we came away rested and renewed. So peaceful