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Is it Spring or Fall?

Every year about this time, I get emails asking "what’s wrong with my tropicals?".

Now that winter is finally gone, spring growth will come on strong. In the process, the old leaves of many trees will drop, being pushed off by new growth. Just before they break away, they may turn yellow.

Seagrape, green island Ficus, and some of the legumes often shed their old leaves now. Last weekend I gave my seagrape a head start by removing all the old leaves. I can already see the buds swelling.

If you are experiencing this "yellowing or shedding leaves problem", look more closely. It isn't Fall, you just may see those first buds of Spring.

(Don't worry the heat and rampant growth of summer are not far behind!)

Bonsai Societies of Florida

37th Annual Convention

May 28 – 31, 2010, Orlando, FL

It's been a few years since I attended a convention. I'm looking forward to this one. Robert Steven, from Indonesia, is the headliner this year.

By the way this convention is not just for Floridians! I think you may be pleasantly surprised with the overall program, the exhibit and the sales area. The convention committee also managed a great price for hotel rooms! It's not too late to sign up, but hurry.

My Everglades Report

I've made two special visits to the Everglades since last month's newsletter.

One chilly morning my daughter Angela and I headed south, thinking it may be warmer there. It was not! The wind was blowing, the birds and gators were hiding. I even kept the top up!

Just about the time I thought the whole idea had been a big mistake; we stopped to walk through the mangroves to West Lake - one of the quietest, most surprising spots in the Glades.

As we stepped into the tall mangrove 'forest', this is what we saw - blood red water!

The water in this area always has a reddish brown tinge caused by the tannin from the Rhizophora mangle (red mangroves).

But, this was vibrant, almost shocking. We have been down that path many times, but we had never seen anything like it.

Season? Angle of the sun? Cold weather? Time of day? Whatever it was, the sight itself made our trip worthwhile.

My other visit to the Everglades was with Jose Miu. Jose comes to the states every couple of years from Lima, Peru. He is dear friend and a wonderful flower arranger and designer. He often comes to visit flower shows.

Jose also has an interest in bonsai. (I'm sure many of you have met him.) When I discovered he had never been to the Everglades, I put on my 'tour guide' hat.

It was a beautiful, warm day and a wonderful experience for us both!

For me, there's nothing like seeing someone else enjoy their first live alligator, roseate spoonbills in flight and acres of dwarf cypress!

What’s New on

I've been busy on my site. I added several new pages this month. Two pages about greenhouses are up and looking good. The first page is about three different greenhouses attached to homes.

The other is a truly unique greenhouse.

There's a beautiful snow photo to go with it! Even if you don't need a greenhouse, I think you'll enjoy the pictures and stories.

Another new page has nothing to do with bonsai (well, maybe just a little). In the Articles section, I added the story I wrote for Florida Gardening magazine called Who's Painting the Trees?

Comments? Ideas? Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Just ‘reply’ to this e-zine and tell me what you think.

See you here next month.