Peace

IMG_1446 bar harbor(3)“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
― Thích Nhất HạnhBeing Peace

Photographed in Bar Harbor, Maine.

 © 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Joy

La Rochelle,France (2)“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
― Iris Murdoch

Photographed in beautiful La Rochelle, France.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Sunflowers

Amsterdam (3)“The earth laughs in flowers.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photographed outside of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

The Miracle of a Flower

saint peter port, Channel Islands (2)“Around us, life bursts with miracles — a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”  — Thích Nhất Hạnh

Photographed in Saint Peter Port, Channel Islands.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Frenchboro Flower

IMG_1421 frenchboro (2)“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.”

–  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Highest Version

orange flower (2)I came across this great quote from fellow blogger Madeline Johnson: “What would the highest version of myself do in this moment? What would the bravest, most fearless, strongest, happiest, calmest version of me do right now?” Good to think about for a few days…

I photographed this flower in the medieval walled town of Concarneau, France. Anyone identify it?

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Flowers of the World

IMG_1491 (2)I love beautiful flowers and take lots of pictures of them while I am traveling in the U.S. and all over the world. They don’t grow abundantly in Miami. It’s just too hot in South Florida for a large variety of flowering plants. Here’s one from a recent trip in Maine. It was taken in Bar Harbor. Can anyone identify it?

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

A Turtle in the Garden

IMG_1585 (2) IMG_1584 (2)I came across this cute turtle at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Turtles eat plants that grow in the water, insects, snails, worms and aquatic animals & fish.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Coral Gardening

dive (2)
Maintaining coral fragments. (Me on right)
Did you know that corals are animals? Many people think they are plants or rocks. They are actually hundreds to thousands of tiny creatures called polyps that band together and take root on the ocean floor. According to the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, 95% of staghorn and elkhorn corals have been lost due to a variety of stressors. Corals are vital to the health of a reef; they provide essential habitat for reef organisms. To help restore the reefs with threatened Caribbean staghorn coral, they started a program of “coral gardening;” and this year they began taking “citizen scientists” with their scientists and students to help in this effort. I was able to join them on a recent expedition in Key Biscayne.

We were first shown (on land) what the structures would look like that the coral fragments are hung on to grow; how to clean the structures and how we would “plant” pieces of coral on a reef. We then boarded a dive boat, which took us to the first stop: the coral nursery. Those of us who were certified scuba divers donned our gear and went down with scrub brushes to clean the PVC structures that held the coral fragments. Once we were finished, the boat took us to our next stop, which was the reef where we “planted” coral fragments. This consisted of hammering large nails into the ocean floor (easier said than done) and then fastening a piece of coral to each nail with a plastic tie. The corals will eventually grow over the nails and cover them completely.

This is a great project and it was such a pleasure to spend half-a-day working with the scientists in their restoration efforts. If you’re a certified diver, the next expedition is on Saturday, 8/29/15. It’s also possible to help in other ways. For more information, check out Rescue A Reef

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela. Pictures are property of Rescue a Reef program.