A winter's day

Friday, January 28, 2011

After the hubbub of the Chocolate Festival, the Garden is in repose this

Mottled and twisted seed pods of
Lysiloma latisiliquum, wild

week, enjoying the soft light and quiet of a January afternoon. Visitors meandered in ones or twos yesterday, content with the winding down that’s apparent in the brown edges on leaves, the brown coconut fronds, and the brown coconuts floating in the lakes. There are beautiful turquoise seeds of the Chinese fan palms littering the Bailey Palm Glade along with mottled and twisted pods of the wild tamarind nearby, little works of art that can be found underfoot.

Unusual fruit of the Pseudophoenix
Sergeant's cherry palm.

In the lowlands, a Pseudophoenix sargentii , Sergeant’s cherry palm, is dropping unusual red seeds that are doublets or triplets – with two or three seeds in a single fruit. This salt tolerant native is not far from Center Lake where companionable coots swim in a clump near the shoreline.

A short distance from the tram stop, parrots feed on the Ceiba speciosa pods with more gusto than is seemly in the otherwise subdued day, a day that is played with an unseen foot on the soft pedal.

There are bright spots, of course. Cardinals animate the Madagascar exhibit, which is itself abloom with the red, oranges and golden flowers of aloes and kalanchoes. The flame vine dares the pergola to ignite, and ornamental bananas send up pink flower stalks.

But mostly, it’s a gentle Garden this time of year, taking its sweet time.

Flame vine on the pergola.