Florida Flower Trials

What sort of person goes to Epcot, only takes pictures of plants, then leaves with a smile on his face? Any attendee at the Florida Flower Trials last month in Orlando, Florida. This annual gardening exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association (FNGLA) Floriculture Division. The purpose is to encourage plant breeders…

Do I Have to Get My Hands Dirty?

“Here. It’s a rock.” My wife held out her hands with hesitation. “Um…thanks?” She wondered what was the big deal with this dirty piece of limestone. “Look closer” I encouraged her. When she examined the rock she found a crack along its circumference. Then she separated the two halves and discovered the crystals inside. “Wow,…

God and Gardening

What is it that draws us outdoors? What is it that stirs us deeply when we breathe in fresh air? Answer: When we are surrounded by plants, we are reconnected. Whether you consider the Bible fact or fable, it describes our intimate connection with nature. When God created the universe and the sun, moon, earth,…

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…

Don’t listen to the gardener. Listen to the shopper.

Every year I look through the pile of colorful seed catalogs and order new vegetables for our garden. My wife also looks through the flower sections and points out plants she would like us to grow. Then I discourage her with wise comments like “No, that’s a zone 5 plant. No that’s a biennial. Oops, wrong time of…

Nasturtium shadows

Afternoon light penetrated these nasturtium leaves, revealing shadows of the petiole (leaf stem) and tight flower buds behind.