Happy Harvest at the School Garden

Today I was invited to San Carlos Park Elementary to see the progress the children made this year on the gardens. I was surprised by the number of excited kids, the great work they had done and the quality of their produce. The surprise continued with their appreciation for the work we did to make…

Royal Palm Recognitions

Tuesday, April 12th. The Royal Palm chapter of FNGLA met at the Iona House at the Caloosa Nature Center in Ft. Myers. I am very grateful to the members for nominating me for the Wendell Butler award. The official ceremony will be in Orlando this June.  My talk was on local people and places worthy…

Morikami Gardens

A couple of years ago my son John and I visited the biggest and best Japanese garden in Florida: Morikami in Delray Beach. It was far more than we had imagined: It is six separate gardens, totaling 16 acres. The museum and restaurant were a bonus. The bonsai collection was impressive. The shocker was seeing…

A Gardener’s Life

A gardener’s life is an action-packed, fun-filled adventure. Our heart skips a beat when the new, colorful seed catalogs arrive in the mail. With sweaty palms we caress each page, admiring the photography and imagine introducing these new flowers and vegetables into the next planting. Soon, with jubilation, we open that fat, brown envelope containing…

Botanical Art

My goal in high school was to be an artist. I took as many advanced placement classes as were available and prepared a portfolio to enter college. But the allure of working outdoors and a steady paycheck drew me to horticulture as a better use of my abilities. Gardening is a very creative activity that…

Tomatoes

Here is the most popular vegetable grown in American gardens. I love the variety of tomatoes available to us gardeners by seed. It’s nice to see growers now responding to the demand for more flavorful tomatoes by plants. I’ve seen Brandywine and Cherokee Purple plants at local building supply stores. But you’ve got to at…

Green Wall from Pallets

I wanted to hide our trash cans along the narrow side of our home. Rather than a fence I tried my hand at making a green wall from recycled pallets. I used new landscape timbers set in concrete as posts. Then framed the top and bottom with new 2×4 and 2×6 lumber. Better systems use…

School Garden Update

The garden at San Carlos Park Elementary looks great. The teachers and students are doing an excellent job of weeding and watering their crops.

Park Bench Makeover

Two benches facing the pond at our church were weather-worn and in need of repair. The wrought iron had pitted and rusted and the boards had rotted through. I took them back to my driveway workshop for rejuvenation.

Salsa Recipe

I have been a “cook” all my life. I come from a long line of Cooks. Dad was a Cook as was his father. But, there is only one thing I make in the kitchen that turns out well: Salsa. I won’t take any credit for some secret recipe. Fresh, home-grown ingredients make the best…

Oak Ignorance

The line of live oaks on the left are planted along a parking lot under power lines in Cape Coral, Florida. Why? The photo on the right is the same tree, in its mature size. This monster is in Jacksonville, Fl and is estimated to be over 200 years old. Look it up in any…

Make it Fit!

Another example of short-sighted landscaping. Did the designer or landscaper know the growth habit and mature size of these plants? I suspect they went to the nursery and bought a bunch of colorful plants and determined to force them all into the same size and shape with gas shears every week. Each one of these…