Monday, March 9, 2009

Botanical Gardens

Can anyone tell me the name of this beautiful blooming tree? I keep wanting to say a Jacaranda, but I'm pretty sure those are purple.

Well, I'm disappointed to say that the Pinellas County Extension Botanical Gardens was not what I had expected it to be. But I'm not giving up. I figure I may have just gone at the wrong time of year and should have waited unti next month. I also think that the Extension may be short handed (on account of low funding) and may be working with a smaller crew than usual. Although all the paths were clear the garden areas were in disarray and many of the plants looked like they were in pretty bad shape - again, maybe because of my timing. Most of the trees looked as if they could use a good pruning, and the flower beds needed some mulching as well. Also, very little was in bloom, which was the point of my visit.

I did take a few shots:

This little guy greeted me on the way in. It doesn't show up very well in this shot but he has a bright red beak. Couldn't find what kind of bird he was, but I don't think it is a duck - the bill is not right.

This is the best flower shot I could find. It is a white Bird of Paradise getting ready to burst forth and spread its wings.

One lonely nest in a very naked tree. I didn't see any activity around the nest so I'm guessing it is abandoned, or, on the brighter side, waiting for some lucky bird to claim it as their own.

These were a display on raised bed gardens done by the master gardeners who work at the gardens.

Starting at the bottom of the picture are Alyssum "Snow Crystals", then pansy "Delta Berry Tart" mix, followed by Viola "Penny Citrus" mix, and several beds of Snapdragons in every color you can think of.

My visit to the Farmer's Market was interesting. The local fruit and veggies are so much healthier than the ones at my grocery store. The market also features homegrown Florida honey, and many different crafts.

I must say I am really beginning to understand peoples obsession with orchids. The shots above are just two of the many, many varieties this dealer had. The price was right too, $7!! There were some that were larger that were $12, but if I had had some money to spend, it would have gone right here.

I really want to work to make this blog not only a personal journal of sorts, but also to be informative and to teach, or at least lead the way, to becoming more self-sufficient. And, undaunted, I will continue my exploration of the many gardens in this area: next stop the Hanging Gardens in downtown St. Petersburg. Now that place should be a bloomin' wonder!

On the brighter side - my carrots and bush beans are popping their heads up out of the soil - I'm so excited!! I know I can grow carrots because I've done it before. But what wonderful feeling watching something you started with nothing more than a packet of seeds and some dirt start to take form. So this is what it's all about . . .

Take care and stop by again. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)


Frances said...

Hi Kathryn, I was wondering if the botanical gardens need more volunteers, but the master gardeners displays show that someone is working there. Maybe they need better coordination? Or maybe there is a work day scheduled in the future and you arrived too soon. Hope it is better on your next visit. The farmer's market seemed a better destination!
Thanks so much for that fairy story about your teacher on Sept. 10, 2001. That is incredible. I will be sending it to my kids. :-)

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