Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recovering from vacation

Coconut palm

What can I say, I'm one of those people who needs a day or two to recover from a vacation!  I also need a bit of time to sort through several hundred photos, upload them to Flickr, and get labels and captions on them.  So for now, just a few quick photos from our recent vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  More photos and a bit of commentary coming later!

Frozen Washington
Good-bye, frozen Washington, DC!

Ft. Lauderdale 2015
Hello, sunny and warm Ft. Lauderdale!

Sunset palms
Okay, so the first couple of days were a bit chilly and windy but c'mon, palms!

Ft. Lauderdale 2015
Sunset over the Intracoastal Waterway

More to come!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Screw the weather, let's talk soup

A night for soup
Exactly what I needed today

I spent some time today working on another blog post about the weather, OMG it's snowing, hoo-boy it's getting cold later this week, isn't it great to have another good winter for testing hardiness, yada yada yada.  Screw it, I'd rather talk about soup.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hope springs eternal - or - another good winter for testing hardiness

Begonia purchases
New begonias

I came back from Behnke Nurseries, a great local garden center just outside DC, with a few new plants in the back seat today.  How could I pass up these beautiful rex begonias from Foliera?  Especially at 20% off!  Call me an optimist, because I'm pretty sure I'll have room to put these new begonias somewhere in my garden this spring.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Needle palms: big, bigger, biggest

Needle palm, early January
Needle palm, January 2015

Something smells a bit funky in my garden this time of year.  The fruits of needle palms (Rhapidophyllum hystrix) ripen in late fall in dense clusters at the base of the plant and look--and smell--like some wild animal came along and pooped out a big pile of scat.  I suppose this must be attractive to some animal that disperses the seeds, but I don't think anybody has figured out for sure what animal that might be.  The flowers it produces in late spring are about as appealing, looking like some strange fungus attacking the plant.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A new hardy begonia?

Begonia hybrid
Unnamed begonia hybrid (August 2014)

I'm leading with a photo from last summer because that's what this blog post is ultimately about.  And hoo-boy, could I use some warm weather right now!  This has been a slow winter for me, with MANTS being an isolated bright spot of horticulture in the middle of January (see Beating the winter blahs at MANTS).  This hasn't been a bad winter for Washington, DC but I'm just back from an extended visit to Buffalo to help out with my dad, who is in a nursing home following a major stroke and was in the hospital for the last 6 days of my latest visit.  This was an exhausting visit, and to add insult to injury the weather was awful but for once it worked in my favor: there was a weather advisory on the day of my scheduled departure and I was able to extend my stay for an extra 3 days without any additional fee.