Garden Exotica

Pantala Flavescens is the most widely distributed dragonfly on the planet; they live and breed everywhere except Europe where winds out of Africa¬†create a barrier to their travels. Commonly known as Globe Skimmers or Wandering Gliders, they fly almost continuously, only stopping briefly to lay eggs or grab a quick meal….except for this one who slept away the ENTIRE afternoon in the Penthouse Suite at the Canna Hotel:

Pantala flavescens

The Himalayas will still be there…….after my nap! ūüėČ

I let the little bugger be, but kept an eye on him while I went about my business. I wasn’t particularly quiet, either: the door banged shut a few times¬†from the wind and I was repotting¬† peace lilies, dropping tools etc…not¬†a hint of movement from 1:45pm when I took¬†the picture until just after 430pm when I watched him¬†lift off and zigzag away!

Bye-Bye!!!¬† Have a nice flight!¬† ūüôā

After dinner, I got another unexpected surprise:

Brassia Maculata

First open Brassia of the season, Aug 17, 2012

There are four other blooms on this spike that¬†should open over the next week or so. ūüôā¬† It’s easy to see why these are called Spider Orchids, yeah?

The Bird of Paradise flower (mentioned a few days ago) opened last night. I’ve uploaded it as Flower of the Month for August, so check out the sidebar on the homepage.¬† And if you STILL haven’t seen enough,¬†click on the¬†recently¬†finished¬†May photo gallery¬†for a retrospective on¬†some of my prettiest tropical plants!

Have a great weekend!

Until next time:

ūüôā

Ready for Liftoff

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

As gardeners,¬†we spend considerable¬†time¬†planning¬†the best¬†use of¬†our available land.. Where¬†should I¬†place the vegetables? What spot is best for sun exposure?¬† Is that the best sight line for a small tree?¬†¬†As you tick off the answers,¬†patterns of land use emerge.¬†Soon you¬†have your garden’s¬†perimeter and ask, “should I edge it with¬†pavers or river rock? Does it matter either way?”

Yes, it does, and this little creature is why:

Ready for Liftoff

Ready for Liftoff!!

Who knew dragonflies are attracted to light colored river rocks?   I had no idea!

In its previous incarnation, the Ranchero was a Koi pond surrounded by river rocks.¬†¬† When I moved to small house, I threw out the plastic pond¬†insert and enlarged the area by half, meaning¬†I was short¬†on river rocks to edge¬†my¬†new garden space.¬†¬†Rather than buy¬†additional ones (waaayyyyy expensive) I¬†intended to use¬†cement curbing I’d gotten for free but,¬†you guessed it….not enough of that either…

….so I finished the project¬†with a few feet of river rocks and set about “hiding”¬†the evidence with¬†Kalanchoe diagremontiana¬†like you see in the picture.

Who knew dragonflies are attracted to “mother of thousands” kalanchoe?¬† Again, I had no idea!

Unexpectedly¬†the stars had aligned, bringing¬† life¬†to my yard and¬†adding quite nicely¬†to my¬†land use plan!¬†¬†ūüôā

Until next time….