Summer at The Phipps

Its still not to late to see the Summer Garden at The Phipps Conservatory. In addition to all your summer favorites, there are some less flashy yet interesting plants to see.

I especially like plants that look like other things. This bromeliad looks like a star. And the plant below that almost looks like lace. The Phipps is one of Pittsburgh’s cultural treasures and deserves at least a couple of visits each year.

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Bromeliad

Lace Plant

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Our Pittsburgh Garden–Rembrandt Tulip

Our garden in Regent Square is starting to look good after three years of work. Each year the deer have come up from Frick Park and eaten our tulips. A few have survived their evil appetite. The trick is to plant them surrounded by Daffodils.

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Rembrandt Tulip

Rain Rain Go AWAY!

I look forward to this time of year. It is my birthday month and usually the weather has broken and the flowers are rising. However here in Pittsburgh it refuses to stop raining. I don’t know who is taking this worse me or my dog.

I look outside and see all the daffodils beaten into submission by the rain. I really shouldn’t complain, some people have had their houses slide way. I will take solace by looking at old images of flowers until the weather breaks…sigh.

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Glass Brick

Global Warming Cactus

We have had this Cactus for at least ten years. It use to bloom every December like clockwork. You know when it use to snow in December. Last few years it began to bloom around Thanksgiving. This year is the first year in bloomed in October. I figure if global warming continues it will soon be a Memorial Day Cactus.

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Global Warming Cactus

Cowboy’s Best Friend

Years ago we attended a nature walk through the desert near Scottsdale Arizona. Our guide pointed to one of these cactus and called it the cowboys best friend. The needles could be used as emergency sutures or to sew up torn jeans or boots. It is a variety of Cholla cactus and they are plentiful in the Sonora Desert of the southwestern United States and Mexico.

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Cowboy’s Best Friend

The Good Side of a Caterpillar

My father introduced me to science fiction at an early age. He used to subscribe to Fantasy and Sci-Fi Magazines.I loved the covers and waited for him to finish reading so I could get the issue. I probably read some when I was too young and one was a story about a planet with Giant Caterpillars. It scared me to death. I can still remember the cover with giant caterpillars and one had a young damsel in it’s pincers while he was being shot at by solders with machine guns. I had nightmares and never liked caterpillars after that.

I remember when we moved to Pittsburgh from Cleveland and it was the summer of the gypsy moth. The caterplillars would crawl on my window screen and you could hear them eating the trees. The screen pulsated with insect life The roads had to be sanded because they were thick with caterpliiar guts. I guess around that time I learned about cocoons and how they turned into butterflies. I have been conflicted ever since

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The Good side of a Caterpillar

The Good side of a Caterpillar

Fountain in the Garden

The Florida Botanical Garden in Largo Florida is a wonderful experience and it is FREE! It addition to acres of stupendous plantings there is a Florida Heritage Park attached with historic buildings from the the beginnings of the State. There is a school, rail siding, auto repair shop and many others. The place is very large and can’t be seen in a single visit. This beautiful fountain is in the Tropical Plants area.

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Fountain in The Garden

Fountain in The Garden