Sunday, March 22, 2009

It really is Spring!!!

Happy Cactus Monday to all of us cactus loving people, and for you and all others, I will show you a few things I found VERY interesting in my neighborhood today! These things are all evidence of Spring bursting forth, and many of them I was surprised to find all happening...some of which did not even make it into this particular post! Things are happening in the gardening world! My first pic is of my Mammillaria, which I had posted a few days ago, but it is now in such a better blooming stage, I just had to recapture it's beauty!

Next I found three fruits of a tropical nature really gearing up! First is one of the neighborhood banana trees...and this cute man came walking up and asked if I needed a monkey for the shot, so he joined in the fun! (My neighbor, Jeff).

Then one of my Mom's pineapples...they are about 5 inches long now, so they have a way to go still.

Check out this one particular coconut tree! I would call this CHOCK FULL!!! As I was walking I found several like this scattered about the neighborhood, but this one seemed to be the most tightly packed, with the most coconuts squeezed in and hanging on for dear life! If you look closely you can see them all up top behind some of the fronds sticking straight up too!

Our friends two dogs, Scooby and Ben! They were looking out at their Daddy who was outside doing some work, and they did not like being trapped inside for a minute without him!!! Aren't they cute??? Both are very sweet Golden Retrievers.

Another blooming Amaryllis my Mom owns and tends to! She is a master with them!!! I love this bright red!

Here is a Ravenala madagascariensis, or Travellers Palm, is a species of banana-like plant from Madagascar. It is not a true palm, but a member of the bird-of-paradise family, Strelitziaceae. It is called the travellers palm because the stems hold rainwater that can be used as an emergency drinking supply.

You can see in this photo that there is a bloom down on the left side of the trunk-like area, which I got a close-up of in the picture below this one! I have never seen one of these bloom before, so I was quite surprised and thrilled to see it. My Mom had not either, and she has lived in central to south Florida here WHOLE LIFE!!!

They look white from afar, but up close you can see there are purple parts to this inflorescence! It was outstanding to see something so beautiful...I will keep my eyes on it as long as it stays open for us to see!

And you know, last but certainly not least, I had to find a succulent for us! Senecio cineraria, or Dusty Miller, which I just adore for it's lacy appearance! This is in a neighbors yard, but I will add some in my yard plans as I am slowly replacing anything that dies during our continued drought, with succulent plants that can withstand the heat, sun and dryness! We are getting into a desert-like scenario here...I am almost prepared to replace my yard with rocks, if things don't turn around soon! Of course, you would never believe it could be this dry, with all of the gorgeous tropical photos I just showed you. Looks like we must still have enough moisture going on here to sustain it all. I'm sure is nice!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Tootsie said...

have you ever gotten a silver dust to bloom? the season is too short here and they matter what I do...I can't get it to the shots...

Hermes said...

Great photos. Definately warmer than here in the UK where winter is not quite past yet though on its way out.

marianne said...

Julie you live in paradise!!!!!!!!
What gogeous pictues!!
Love the cute dogs!
And the cactus shot of course
Your new bloglook is the best so far I think, very stylish!
Happy Cactus Monday!

messyfish said...

oh wow, what a glorious post! I am thinking pina coladas with the pineapple, banana and coconut! that travellers palm's blooms are AMAZING. We have them here, but same as you, never seen them flower before!

soulbrush said...

oh julie, what a feast for the eyes, and what a beautiful place to live in, puts grimy old london to shame. that last bloom is exquisite, and i like the monkey man too. hcm fellow cactuteer.

Claude said...

you can grow so many things there that we can only dream about... great pics... Thanks for sharing them with us.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Happy Cactus Monday Julie. What a wonder-filled post you have made for us today. Your blooming cactus is gorgeous. The Monkey is cute too. I hope you are feeling alright.

Cathy said...

Very cool Julie! Cute Dogs too!
Hey why don't you join Blotanical?
it's a great gardener's club, I am
a member and you get to meet other gardeners, read other posts and they
read your posts. It's a lot of fun to
be a part of Blotanical. Just visit
the site and join.

Judi said...

Oh my goodness...look at all that fruit!! I love it. I love that about Florida and all those warm places where you can have your pick of that type of fresh fruit. Mind you we do have the wild blueberries and other fruits that need our kind of temps..but I love what you've shown. that monkey..and your cactus looks beautiful.
have a lovely day

Teri C said...

HOLEY MOLEY Julie!!!! Everything is beautiful and way beyond spring! Wow, love all these colors and beauty!! I love those little mamm with their delicate little blossoms.


Flying Colors said...

Absolutely fabulous this post!
I can totally relate to all these plants since I'm from the tropics, so beautiful! It makes me homesick, specially the bananas, coconuts! and pineapple :-)

As for the """"WHITE""" Bird of Paradise, never seen anything like it!!!!
Can you send me some more photos of this bloom? I want to paint it! Amazing!

yoon see said...

Happy cactus Monday!
I am so surprise the yellow coconut tree got abundant of coconuts up there. Just so incredible!

Serena said...

GORGEOUS pics, Julie! The flower on the Traveller's Palm looks like a Bird of Paradise so it explains the family connection. Scooby and Ben do exactly what Cody does when I'm outside....he sits at the door and even barks if I go out of his sight. They are so cute.

WOW! Now, that IS a lovely bunch of coconuts!

Enjoyed your pics today ~ :)

Pouty Lips said...

Wow, you're spring is a little bit ahead of us. Our cacti in Arizona aren't bloomin' yet.

Margaret Ann said...

These photos are DO live in PARADISE!!! Everything is soooooooo Lush! :)

Bobbie Lynn said...

Miniature roses in a tire container would look adorable. If you If you do decided to plant a mini rose bush maybe you can add some mulch to help with keeping the area moist and it will help with watering it so much. I love the Mammillaria they remind me of hula dancers with flowers they wear on their heads. You have pineapple growing? Amazing!

Matt said...

Fantastic-- your neighborhood is almost like another planet, for those of us in the frozen north. I especially like the coconuts.

The one you have labeled as Traveler's Palm looks like it is really White Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia nicolai.