Immersed in Color

The Florida Flower Trials were a beautiful learning experience. On Wednesday, May 15th, we started at the Orange County Cooperative Extension office in Orlando. Surrounding the bedding plant trials were many other gardens; Guest speakers continued to inspire and educate landscapers, growers and retailers;

Trials Pass with Flying Colors

American Farms in Naples runs new plant trials from numerous breeders around the world. They commit valuable production space and efforts to discover: How will they grow here, are they really improved, and lastly, do consumers like them? Here are a few outstanding plants from those trials that concluded in January, 2019. My compliments to…

Tropical Plant Industry Exhibit 2019

Once a year, for three days in January, people from around the nation visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida to see the natural beauty produced by local greenhouse and nursery growers. Over 200 vendors display their best under one roof for a tropical extravaganza.

Orange County Extension Office

While visiting the Florida Flower trials in Orlando we enjoyed the many gardens at the Extension office: Formal, vegetable, pollinator, wet/rain, dry, and native.        

Florida Flower Trials 2018

Two days, three locations and thousands of flowers. Once a year in May the Florida Nursery Grower Association sponsors the Florida Flower Trails. The purpose is to show industry professionals some new and improved flowering plants by breeders from around the world.  (Some introductions were from the Neatherlands and Australia). The three trial grounds: U.F….

January Color

January 1, 2018.  A walk around the garden today shows lots of color.

Florida Flower Trials 2017

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…

Jelly Bean Box (Hypertufa Succulent Planter)

What fun, making a pot out of dirt. Actually hypertufa is a mix of peat, perlite, and cement but working with it is just like making mud pies. I went for the rustic look so I did not screen the peat, making it lumpier with some sticks. And I colored it “charcoal” to avoid the…

Pomegranate Paradise

It’s a beautiful, fruitful day at Green Sea Farms in Zolfo Springs, Florida. Thanks to the owners, David and Cindy Weinstein, and the Florida Pomegranate Association for the luscious field day, Saturday, June 23rd. Despite typical wet summer conditions we were able to enjoy educational talks about insects, diseases, fertility, irrigation, and the panoply of…

Growing Tomatoes in Zones 9 and 10

My first vegetable garden in South Florida was a crop failure. I thought I had a green thumb because I was able to grow many productive gardens from scratch in Michigan and Illinois. But there was the root of my mistake: I planted as I had done up north, in the spring. 28 years ago…

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…


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 available by plants. I’ve seen ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Cherokee Purple’ plants at local building supply stores. But you’ve got to…