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Tuesday October 16, 2012

Butterfly garden

butterfly garden

Hey everybody, check out my butterfly garden. Actually, it looks a little sad right now. It’d been planted for awhile and was getting overgrown, so I replanted everything Sunday to give it more space. Consider this a “before” picture.

butterfly garden

That’s not to say there aren’t some flowers happening. How this happened is that Hillary and I were visiting Fairchild like a year ago and happened into conversation with a very knowledgeable volunteer in the butterfly garden. Before you know it I was jotting down names of flowers on my phone (Milkweed, Corkeystone Passion Vine, Border Weed, Tropical Sage, Egyptian Star Clusters, Scorpion’s Tail). He recommended checking out Richard Lyons Nursery”:http://www.rarefloweringtrees.com/, which sure enough is an amazing place.

butterfly garden

The guy at Richard Lyons recommended one or two more plants, and these five are the ones we came home with. Milkweed and Passion Vine are for sure in the mix, but I don’t remember what the other ones are. No matter, really, because we have seen exactly ONE butterfly this whole time — this weekend (maybe it’s the start of an influx, tho I doubt it; we’re near the bay, and I doubt butterflies like the salt air?).

butterfly garden

This is the Passion Vine. But in any case, I’ll keep y’all updated. Now that I’ve got this post, it should be easy to drop in more photos as the everything fills in.

butterfly garden

Hey, lizard, this trellis is not for you! This PDF is a pretty great resource on planting a butterfly garden in Florida. It’s complicated! For best results, you’re supposed to take into account plants that are common within a quarter mile of you, among a grid of other factors. I sprawling Miami I should think this amounts to doing trial and error with lots of the species on the list.

butterfly garden

The idea though, is that you need a combination of plants — some that attract butterfly larva, and flowering plants that the adults feed on. Then, different species of butterflies like different plants (some like rotting fruit and manure). The Miami Blue Chapter of the National Butterfly association is an excellent resource. I am also to point out that there is a thing called Butterfly World, and their website at least is a rare and beautiful flower.

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Friday May 26, 2006

Fairchild (reprise)

audreyIII

I happened to be back down in Fairchild again this week. The Chihuly made a little more of an impression this time, but Audrey III stole the show. Audrey is a Amorphophallus titanum, a bizarre flowering plant of which most lives underground. Once a year (at the most, sometimes once a decade), it produces a gigantic flower, which grows practically overnight and lasts just a few days (it then produces a single gigantic leaf). You can see that when we were there, the flower was already wilting, and the “corpse” smell was gone. It’s fun, because these plants are obviously extremely rare, and Fairchild has one of the really spectacular ones: it grew to over 7 feet: the same height as Shaq!

Here is a picture of it in full bloom, taken on May 21 (my picture is from the 23rd), and Here is a link to Fairchild’s Audry blog. Oh, and here is a link to my flickr set from the visit, and though it’s mostly pictures of signs, I do have a nice one of a molting lizard.

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Friday March 31, 2006

Orchid Weekend

Hey: Also, I’m working on something about the UM Janitor strike. Anyone have any thoughts, e-mail me; think of it like comments in reverse. In particular, I want to get my hands on something called “Why the Protest Continues: It’s All About Democracy.”

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