Sunday, April 18, 2010

I had weekend watering duty today; that's always a good excuse to poke around in the greenhouses looking for cool stuff

Actually it's more like a directive to methodically travel all the greenhouses, polyhouses, and lath beds and to water the plants as necessary. But it is a good opportunity to look at things I'd likely have missed otherwise. So I found that Yellow Water Tulip/Orchid, Cypella aquatica (a Brazilian irid) that I remember seeing last year and then losing track of. And that odd Pink Passionflower, Passiflora sanguinolenta, from Ecuador, and who knew the huge Coffea arabica had set and ripened fruit? In winter when the garden is slow I would've found them but this time of year there isn't really any spare time to steal from the Collection. So, as much as I complain about weekend watering, I'm glad to do it.

And all those tropicals remind me that this weekend I'm going to Florida to see what ravages the "coldest winter in the history of Central Florida" has wrought. I expect that it'll be a lot like last winter. The low temperatures weren't much different, it just stayed cooler longer this year. I watch the NOAA weather data for Wildwood and Leesburg Florida and while there was considerable rain a month ago, not so much lately. No rain and a cold winter suggest that the garden will be an ugly mess, but the world being the ironically contrary place that it is I'm sure the garden will be lovely for the first time in  4 springs. And I'm only half kidding.

This is another driving trip so that many of those inexpensive Florida tropicals can come north for summer bedding out.  Karen and the Boys supply many Gingers, Brugmansias, Palms, etc to their customers that come north on  this return trip. I like this season because I'm reasonably comfortable planting now since the regular rains of summer are just about due to begin.

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