Friday, May 30, 2008

Two-Colored Flowers

Bat-Face Cuphea--unusual, but easy to grow.

Bleeding Heart Vine, Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Some Strange Bees

I don't know what kind of bees these were, but they seemed to be trying to settle in for the evening.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lady Luck

I just saw my first ladybug today. I don't know how "lucky" they are, but I'm always glad when they show up to eat other bugs.

This is the latest part of my garden that I have been working and restoring. I am now getting to areas that have not been touched since Ivan wiped them out (four years ago). The back garden has been taken over by Wedelia, Mexican Petunias, Seven Sisters Roses, and Asiatic Jasmine. It's a lot of work.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nice Things in My Garden

What Smells So Nice?

Gardenia and Ligustrum


Color In My Garden

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Return of the Fern

The ferns used to grow thick around our creek, until Hurricane Ivan wiped them out, and the two year drought that followed finished them off. I was pleased this week to find four little survivors, which had been hiding under the overgrown groundcover

The back garden has not been worked since 2004. It's been taken over by Wedelia, Asiatic Jasmine, and Mexican Petunias (and weeds, of course). Now that I'm finally tackling the back garden, who knows what other gems I might uncover?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Fungus Among Us

Most of my garden is waiting for spring, but one thing that persists is the ever-persistent stinkhorn. This thing smells like a dead rotting animal, and is popping up everywhere. It only lives during the winter and I can't wait until I can come outside and smell flowers again, instead of this putrid stench.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Yes, We Have Bananas

This is the first year since 1998 that my banana plants bore fruit. With the mild winters we've had lately, I finally got a bumper-crop of tiny little bananas. It took weeks for them to ripen, but suddenly they all turned yellow at once. They are very sweet--much better than the store-bought ones.
There are too many to eat, so I am making banana bread. What doesn't fit in the bread, gets peeled and tossed into the freezer for the next loaves.
Here's my recipe:

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

⅓ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup hot water
½ cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, and mix well. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter. Blend in chopped nuts. Spread batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Frostbitten Garden

One of the hazards of creating a tropical garden outside of the tropics is that cold weather can sweep in and wipe everything out. We tried to wrap and cover as much as we could, but the temperature went down to 25 degrees.
I raised that papaya plant from a seed. The plant grew to a gigantic size, and started flowering and producing fruit. I was so hoping I'd get my own home-raised papayas before we had our first real cold snap. Well, as least I had a bumper crop of bananas this year--yummy little bananas that also made delicious banana nut bread.