Monday, March 28, 2011

Wonderful heavy rains -- and in March!

Carl the handyman and his giant shoes are gone, and my plants are all breathing a sigh of relief. Paint spattered and trompled though they are, they are coming back to life. My sea grapes have all new buds after that brief freeze last year.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

first bloom on my Valentine's Day hibiscus

I had finished weeding and was heading back into the house when I glanced over and was popped in the forebrain by this giant blossom. Gardens are like babies; there's no Monday through Friday for them.  Time speeds up and slows down and suddenly the unexpected happens.

Marty picked this out for me for Valentine's Day.  Doesn't seem to be a hybrid, which means it may survive what appears to be a bumper year of chinch bugs in 2011.  I love the soft pink; it's the first non blue, white, yellow, purple plant I've put in the front garden. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Agatha Christie quote on pretentious gardening

"Tush!" said Colonel Pikeaway... "I could do a column on gardening  myself without knowing a thing about it -- just crib from a few luridly illustrated nurserymen's catalogues and a gardening encyclopedia.  I know all the patter. 'Why not break away from tradition and sound a really tropical note in your border this year? Lovely Amabellis Gossiporia, and some of the wonderful new Chinese hybrids of Sinensis Maka foolia. Try the rich blushing beauty of a clump of Sinistra Hopaless, not very hardy but they should be all right against a west wall.' Nothing to it! The fools buy the things and early frost sets in and kills them and they wish they'd stuck to wallflowers and forget-me-nots!"
---- Cat Among the Pigeons, Agatha Christie, 1959.

Some things never do change.  Memo: vinca, Mexican heather, and sweet potato vine in the summer. Purple petunias in the fall.

No new Chinese hybrids of Sinensis Maka foolia.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Squirrel Time!!!

From Care of Injured and Orphaned Squirrels by  R. Avery Bennett, DVM. MS. Diplomate
ACVS College of veterinary Medicine, University of Florida Gainesville, Fl.
In north central Florida the birthing seasons are February-April and July-October, with a 44 day gestation period. Litters average 2.5 offspring in winter have been known to stay with their mothers for 3 to 9 months.

During the first week baby squirrels are pink with no hair and closed ears and eyes. At two weeks age squirrels turn a pinkish-gray color. The third week brings tiny hairs to the body and the hair on the back darkens. At 3.5-4 weeks the ears begin to unfold, fur starts to show at the nose and tail and spreads toward the body, turning brown on the muzzle and eyelids. Fur appears on the stomach and the incisors push through.. At 4-5 weeks there is a line velvet hair coat. Silver fur appears on the dorsal aspect of the tail. The eyes open at about 5 1/3 weeks and the squirrel begins to stand.