Although this isn’t the rainy season, it’s been intermittently gray and showery since Gardenfest. Of course, there’s an upside to all this extra moisture: take a look at some happy vegetables:
These are the artichokes we planted in mid November, which seem to be doing quite well. Experienced Florida gardeners tried to warn me off artichokes, but I’m stubborn and wanted to give them a shot! I opted for a Sicilian Violetta variety figuring our hot climate has enough similarity to Southern Italy’s. Time will tell, but for today, all looks great with no diseases or pests in evidence. (I just did the Sign of the Cross for luck..now THAT’s Italian!)
Next up is Zucchini Round 2:
This second round of leaves (and blossoms) is faring better than the first which developed two major problems: mildew on half the foliage, and blossom end rot on half the fruit. I increased the calcium, and am being more cognizant of how I water. Last week I ripped out the damaged section and fertilized the remainder. I’m so happy to see their appearance and vigor improving!
The rain also brought a visitor to our door….literally!
When I went out front yesterday I almost stepped on a Florida Box Turtle! I’ve run across armadillos in the evenings but never a turtle in daytime! Poor thing must’ve had a confrontation with something! Look at this close-up of the carapace:
He hung around the house for most of the day, even wandering into the garage at one point! What a random event!
After lunch today, the weather improved for an hour so I went out to check on things. Remember the barely visible Agave spike from late January?
Not only has the spike grown wicked tall, the flowers at the terminal end are opening nicely and worthy of a close-up:
While this spike is nearing it’s end, there’s another just beginning in an air plant on the other side of the yard. Meet Tillandsia Utriculata:
Last fall, this paleolithic looking epiphyte fell from an oak tree in my mother’s front yard. This is how it looked when she gave it to me on October 13:
In general, epiphytes need shade or dappled sun at the most—if left in the tropical sun, the leaves actually dehydrate and burn. I placed it in a citrus tree and it seems to like it there, as evidenced by its continued growth and developing spike. The spike will elongate to 15′ or more with multiple side branchlets extending 4-8″ in numerous directions! All of this will take place over the next 3 months! Many pictures to follow!
So there you have it….the rain, the yard, and other things…(not quite a Cowsill’s reference, but close!)
Until next time, enjoy this sweet tune circa 1968! 🙂