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Re: Florida trip

wow! the whirlwind is back! hi, tony, glad you had a good trip.

i'll see if i can do some idents and answer some of your questions.

oyster plant is rhoeo spathacea. it's also called "moses-in-the-boat" because the flower is sort of boat shaped with what sort of looks like a blue baby in white swaddling in the center [need suspension of disbelief and a handful of imagination for this].

micronutrient deficiency among citrus is a chronic problem in florida. all nutrients, including the micros,
leach easily from our sandy soils and need to be replenished often. [as an aside, i discovered today that my old duncan grapefruit is in terminal distress. my yard guy said he would yank it next weekend. it's like losing a pet, and i've got to figure out how to get the orchids out of it and what to do with them.]

the cardboard palm, zamia furfuracea [although i think the taxonomist have changed our minds on this one again], is actually a cycad not a palm, and a very handsome piece of dinosaur fodder it is. it may be cold tolerant enough for you to leave outside most of the year, tony. check the sunset western garden book. and don't worry about dogs eating the seed--the seeds are pretty well cloaked in velvet-like veils until they're ripe.

phoenix robellini is the pygmy date palm, and a very handsome dwarf of the phoenix tribe, which includes the california date palm. all phoenix have a tendency to clump; in this characteristic, robellini is second only to recilnata, which many palm freaks think is the star of the show.

the palm that seems to grow wild everywhere is the saw palmetto. sabal minor [i think]. it's not invasive, tony. it was here first! there are two naturally occurring cultivars of this native, one that is green [as seen in most of florida and coastal south carolina and georgia], and one that is silver [as seen along the coast near your daughter's place in melbourne]. the silver ones are gorgeous given a chance to mature.

and, finally, the best banana for central florida, in terms of producer, flavor, and cold-hardiness, is one called "goldfinger". your daughter should go on line to "goingbananas.com," which is in homestead, and check out the availability and prices. she might want to tool down there some saturday. there is nothing quite as good as a homegrown banana.

hope i've helped; take care.

At 12:53 PM 5/24/03 -0700, you wrote:
Hi my dear garden friends. Finally caught up reading my mail. Sounds like a
lot was going on. BD's, trips, weather, family loss & the usual looking for
info & sites to look at.
Had a nice time visiting my daughter/ son- in law & & going to my grandsons
graduation from Melbourne H.S. The weather was in the evening was perfect
for it. Nice breeze/ very low humidity. Surprisingly, which surprised my
daughter, I tolerated the heat / humidity. Each day I sunned myself,
carefully. got a nice tan. Look like a real Sicilian now. Dipped into the
pool. Couldn't swim because the PICC in my arm, so I just soaked did leg
exercises. They are attempting to garden. she has a a Plumeria in bloom,
lots of  oyster? plants. Mystery gardenia, azaleas, southern indicas, on the
north side that look very good. Limes in pots by the pool side & a grape
fruit tree. The citrus have a nutrient deficiency, probably minor elements.
Said to check with a MG. We were in Wal -mart  & my son - in law called to
me to see this palm. It was a Zamia, "Cardboard" palm. Beautiful. Bought one
& they will grow it in a pot for now. I went into google & the red seeds of
this palm are poisonous. A letter from a woman, said one of her 2 dogs died.
I saw beautiful specimens of Sago around town. My daughter has a nice
Phoenix Robellini in the front yard. Island Jim, what is this palm that
seemed to grow wild all over the place? Grows low / spreads. Almost
invasive. there were some small seedlings of a plant? popping up all over
her yard & finally I recognized it as spurge. Also she has a giant "bird"
growing nicely. I suggested to get a couple of banana trees thought they do
get light frosts. Any suggestions for hardy types? That's about all I can
think of for now.
They took real good care of me while there. My son - in- law is a gr888
cook. I felt really good & rested regularly. I couldn't have mt chemo before
I left. Platelets were down. Day after returning home, couldn't have chemo
again. This time my whites were slightly down. Should be ok for next week.
Gr888 to back with my child bride.
Hope you all have / had a gr888 Memorial Day weekend & a safe one.
Blessings to all.

Tony Veca <><
Another Gr888 Day in Paradise !!!!!
Vancouver, WA  USA

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