After our first two vacation options fell through, fortune smiled and we were able to spend a week with my brother at his new getaway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As we neared our destination, the driver in the car knew we were not in Kansas (or Virginia) anymore and were entering the land of zone 10 gardening. God bless my wife and son for graciously putting up with all my excited exclamations as I saw yet another plant only known to me as some small little thing growing in the back of a greenhouse, only now encountered in its full potential and glory. They must have also quickly gotten sick of me uttering the word Bismarck, every time I saw favorite exotic palm, but they held their tongues. Once we reached our destination, I did not have to venture far for up-close encounters with foliage, all I had to do was open the condo door and there was...
Giant Spider Lily (Crinum x amabile)
Variegated Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet 'variegata') and Buddha's Belly Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris 'Wamin')
I think this is some sort of Strelitzia.
Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)
All this foliage surrounds and softens stark white, modern architecture, making a nice combination.
Up on the 4th floor roof deck, Penny had a conversation with her own ghost.
Out on the streets of Fort Lauderdale there were other strange encounters, like seeing Schefflera actinophylla also known as Umbrella Tree or Octopus Tree.
Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
Sausage Tree flowers (Kigelia pinnata)
Traveler's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis)
The illusive Mirror Palms
I also walked by this hedge of the overused houseplant, Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) several times before I recognized what it was.
This was also the first time I had ever seen a Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant Tree (Delonix regia). Being an orange person, I was instantly infatuated and thanks to the Google machine an ID was quickly made. We will be seeing more of these.
Here is also the first of several Bismarck Palms (Bismarckia nobilis) we will be seeing in these Florida posts.
The first full day we were there, provisions had to be layed-in, and while we were out I got a glimpse of some of the homes we would see later in the week. I half expected to see the ghosts of Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur lounging on the patio.
And speaking of strange encounters, I fell in love with the Kenann building with its fantastic mosaics, lush plantings and George Jetson inspired details. It was built for Ken Burnstine in 1964. Burnstine was a drug smuggler and pilot who disappeared at an air show, leaving only a thumb behind, leading people to speculate that he faked his death just before he was due to testify in several drug cases.
Stayed tuned, as there will be future posts from Florida after Bloom Day.