Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Papaya By The Sea

A papaya, battered by the brutal coastal environment. A feast for birds and lizards.

Lithops lesliei cv Albinica. This tiny South African plant, the size of a dime, is oblivious to the winds. The old outer leaves are nourishment for the new lime colored bodies in the center.

Brooding sea.



Sea Layers.

Room With A View.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Amaryllis and True Capitatum



Pelargonium capitatum
Rose-scented pelargonium or True Capitatum

The leaves on this geranium have a wonderful rose scent when bruised. Gentle winds often cause enough friction to imbue the air with its heavenly perfume. The plant also known as true capitatum is grown for its essential oil which has commercial applicability in perfumes, potpourri and skin care products.

Clivia (my little canary)

Two, better than one.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pachypodium Parasols and Other Things




A familiar friend.

Pachypodium Parasols.

Aloe sinkatana.

I'm glad.

Jatropha podagrica (Buddha belly plant)

Who is the joker with the red paint can?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Mysteries

There are two mysteries today, though completely unrelated. The first concerns the little elephant. I would provide photographic enhancements - but it (seems genderless) is temporarily lost. Someone put Mr. Elephant in the wash. Was it the urchin? Perhaps Mr. Elephant got tired of being scuffed up and timorously tattered, and surrendered to the washing machine voluntarily. The elephant is the urchin's favorite toy. No question. But the soap and suds treatment alienated the urchin. Such are the deep mysteries of life. However, in a remarkable gesture of forgiveness, the two are once again friends.

The second mystery involves something oddly botanical: Did a silken blossom zigzag down from some exotic tree like a feckless feather or did a flower manage to grow straight out of the ground? Being contrarian, you probably supposed the latter possibility. You found yourself to be correct, but still puzzled. Then you remembered your awesome crocus. Kaemferia rotunda, in fact, is known as the "tropical crocus" for its charming ability to flower without any visible sign of foliage, straight up from the earth. Later, the plant produces purple-red erect stems and is a joy in the garden. It is one of my favorite gingers - perhaps it will be one of yours too.

Kaempferia pulchra. Unless you are a student of Linnaeus or have had evanescent thoughts about entering the Catholic priesthood, you probably don’t know that pulchra, in latin, means beautiful. So, for instance, Urchin pulcherrima means the most beautiful one. You see, it's easy.

Kaemferia pulchra is also known as the "Peacock Ginger."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clivia miniata var. citrina

Years ago, the rare yellow-flowering Kafir Lily (Clivia) sold for a princely sum of $300 USD. Today, they can be bought for a couple of bubble gum wrappers.

Chamaerops humilis, European Fan Palm

more roses...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Our planet's goodness, disappearing.

In response, please be kind to your frail environment... and

... regain the equilibrium.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


By the fish pond, near the cement steps, was an old bench of cedar planks, a carpet of dried leaves clinging to the rusted metal legs like some gremlins whirled in a spell, and on it sat a woman, Madame Sosostris, an old lady with a strict, angular face.

I wondered if she would stay or continue to gaze distractedly at the restless coral glitter of the Peregrina. Did the color indelicately cross a threshold in her mind and illuminate a forlorn memory or was it another specious daydream, the kind she’d been used to having on days when her arthritis dominated?

Peregrina - Jatropha integerrima

Little dove makes her nest in a bunya-bunya tree. These Australian trees have extremely sharp spines, keeping predators at bay.


Canna Lily.


Salmon Geranium.

Peachy Peaches.