Six on Saturday – The Pits

This Saturday we are in the midst of the peak of hurricane season in South Florida. The cicadas are singing, the temperature and humidity are soaring, the plants are wilting and so am I. Oddly, the hurricanes are in New England and Mexico. Last weekend, Tropical Storm Fred dropped eight inches of rain at my house. The garden was happy for a while, but is thirsty once again. We are definitely in the pits.

The pit above is much more interesting and from the garden. I finally got one Nam Doc Mai mango from my tree. This is a Thai mango bred to eat for dessert, featuring a small pit, fiberless flesh and a coconut mango flavor. The pit is nearly as long as the mango (6 inches) and about 1/4 inch thick. Here is the mango with a cherry tomato. My husband and I ate most of it for dessert last night. Yummy.

Another interesting observation in my steamy jungle this week – the formation of new shoots on the Hard Cane Orchid I installed in my Gumbo Limbo tree this winter.

Another view:

The Orchid is putting out roots and hopefully will grow into the tree trunk and flower this winter. The sprays of flowers are supposed to be five feet long. Hopefully. I mounted the Orchid by tying it onto the tree with old pantyhose. There is a bit of Orchid soil mix in the hose that has supported the plant while it grows in. I was about to remove it when a swarm of large ants came bursting out..the hose are still in the tree, ants and all.

Another new shoot.

A new butterfly in my garden this week. This is a Mallow Scrub Hairstreak on a Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) flower. A tiny butterfly, maybe an inch wingspan. Picture taken while crossing my fingers. The Sweet Almond is very popular with bees and butterflies.

That is it from the pits. To see more SOS posts follow the link and visit Jon, http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening..

Six on Saturday – Fork Failure

I have to report the fork experiment was a failure. I placed these plastic forks a couple of weeks ago after a rabbit ate my Blue Pea Vine; they got it again last night. I may move to tomato cages or a tall pot. This is far enough out in the garden I don’t want to have to water a pot..a dilemma.

On to more positive things. My back up Papaya trees have set a bud and are almost four feet tall. I am waiting, breathlessly to see if the flowers are male, female or both.

I found a Thai Dessert Mango (Nam Doc Mai) lurking in the interior of the tree. This mango flowered a couple of months ago and dropped (I thought) all of the flowers. Except this one! And I looked up and noted it is flowering again, so hopefully I will get more Thai Mangos in a couple of months.

Thai Dessert Mango

The flower of a Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum frutescens) This shrub is noted for flowering before it rains. And it is doing its job well. It flowered profusely before we had about four inches of rain this week.

Flowers on the native Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana). The Florida version of this shrub never fails to amaze me. It thrives in full sun during the hot summer and total shade in winter, rarely gets watered and produces a bumper crop of berries at the end of the summer – also attracts numerous types of butterflies with its nectar. I had these in my garden much further north and they were a shadow of this one.

That’s my six for this Saturday. To see more posts with six items of interest from gardens around the world, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening…