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Big Weekend

Today was one of those beautiful subtropical days. Mid to low 80s, not humid, gentle breeze.

We've been propagating, growing, and training a white-flowered oleander standard for a couple of years now, and today planted it in the ground. It's past due for a moderate-to-severe pruning, but we decided to wait until it's had a few weeks in its new home. So far, I'm rather pleased with it.

We planted it across the yard from the Florida room [that sounds kinda funny--they're all Florida rooms here, right?], so the short one can keep an easy eye on it.

We also cleaned out the cutting beds to make room for Petrea cuttings in late summer. We want to try to root a few of these to sell when they are blooming next spring. I got the bull's horn acacia planted and together we got the 24" pot with desert rose moved from the middle of the back lawn to the back patio [no easy task].

Yesterday, we drove to Naples to visit that city's new botanical garden. They have 160 dedicated acres, of which they have improved 1.5 acres--1 percent. We were very impressed by what they've done so far. For example, they've used arbors to shade many of the walkways and vines, such as stephanotis, to cover most of the arbors. And everything is either tagged or labeled or both.

Of special interest to me was a small stand of Timor black bamboo [Bambusa lako]. Truly fantastic. The canes are jet black and, if one rubs the blush off, they glisten like Japan lacquer. If I can figure out where to put one--and where to get one--I will.

On the way down, public radio touted a native plant sale at the Naples Conservancy, so we sought directions from the botanical garden folks, and sought it out. It was really a fun time, although the only plant sellers were native plant types and their wares were, well, not attractive. But the rest of the extravaganza was a lot of fun.

Island Jim Southwest Florida Zone 10

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