Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bloom Day - October 2011

On the 15th of every month, gardeners around the world share their blooms.  Here's what's blooming in my garden today (click on the links for a complete plant profile & more photos):
Above: Dichorisandra, Brugmansia
Cheilocostus speciosus, Zingiber zerumbet
Senna alata, Plumeria pudica
Allamanda, Aechmea winkleri  

Above: Tecomaria, Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Caesalpinia mexicana, Thevetia
Periwinkle, Four o'clock
Ixora, Tecoma

Above: Odontonema, Bauhinia
Plumbago, Russelia
Porterweed blue, coral
Lantana, Pentas

To see what is blooming in other gardens around the world today, visit May Dreams Gardens, host of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Creature Feature - Mole

The garden mole is a subterranean creature that tunnels through gardens and lawns in search of earthworms, grubs, and other small invertebrates. Their saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes their prey so that moles can store still-living food for later consumption. They dig special underground chambers for this purpose.

Moles do not eat plant roots, but may damage young plants by burrowing under or near fragile root systems. Reducing the amount or frequency of lawn watering, and reducing the square footage of turf grass in the landscape helps reduce visible tunneling.

There are six species of moles in North America. They are 6-8 inches in length, and females give birth in the spring to a litter of two to six young. A single mole consumes 45-50 pounds of earthworms and insects in a year. Moles can dig new tunnels at a rate of approximately 18 feet per hour, and move through existing tunnels at 80 feet per minute.
Mole fur is very fine and soft. Unlike most mammals, the hairs do not point toward the tail, but bend easily in any direction. This allows the mole to move forward and backward in the tunnels without accumulating dirt in its fur.

The First Friday Creature Feature is hosted right here on the first Friday of every month.  You're invited to join in!  Here's how:
1. Write a post featuring some creature that lives in your garden.
2. Within your post, include a link to my Creature Feature post so your readers will know where to find the creatures.
3. Add your link below and leave a comment.
Thanks for participating and please join in again next month!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Neoregelia rosea-lineata

Neoregelia rosea-lineata is a large-growing bromeliad, reaching up to 3 feet in width. The foliage is marked with red striations and the center of the plant blushes red as the plant approaches maturity and blooming. Sometimes the foliage has red mottling mixed with the striations as in the photo below. Other plants may exhibit only red lines as in the top photo.
One plant of mine put off a pup that was all mottled. I've propagated that one through several generations and it appears to be a stable mutation.
Like most Neoregelias, these tolerate brief periods of freezing temperatures without damage as long as frost is kept off the leaves. A little morning sun with shade the rest of the day keeps the colors bright.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest Monday - October 2011

The past few days have finally given us a break from the 90° temps we've been experiencing since early spring. It sure does feel good!
Here's what's in the fruit basket this week(click on the links for a full plant profile & more photos):
From upper left: Persian lime, Key lime, Glycosmis, Maypop, Starfruit, and Sweet lemon. I'm also getting a few Jaboticaba here and there.
Harvest Monday is featured on this blog on the first Monday of every month. To see what other gardeners are enjoying today, visit Daphne's Dandelions, host blog of the Harvest Monday meme.