The humble gumbo limbo

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gumbo limbo, though a common tree in most South Florida neighborhoods, is one of the most important members of our hammock ecosystem.

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Growing annatto

Monday, October 12, 2015

Answer this plant riddle.

What small tree:

A) is not found in a home improvement store or even in many nurseries;
B) is pretty rare in landscaping, but common commercially;
C) can probably be found in your own kitchen.

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Cucumbers fit for a dollhouse

Friday, September 25, 2015

A short-lived perennial vine called creeping cucumber can be found spreading over hedges and fences this time of year. It produces essentially wild, but very tiny, cucumbers.

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Slime molds are no garden threat

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ever wander outside to find what looks like a shredded kitchen sponge — an alarming, shocking, bile yellow — roiling its way over your mulch? Is it an animal, plant, fungus or maybe some unholy combination? You may be cohabitating with slime mold.

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The reviled roach has a role in the garden

Friday, July 24, 2015

When I lived in New York, I was plagued by what we called waterbugs. They are what Floridians call palmetto bugs. Nearly universally despised, roaches play a necessary garden role as recyclers. Why do we hate them so?

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What’s that weed? Edible purslane

Friday, July 3, 2015

Don’t you wish growing edibles was like growing weeds? It can be. What is a weed, really, but a plant growing where we don’t want it to grow? Many weeds, it turns out, are indeed edible. Here’s a weed you can eat, is fairly attractive, and has an interesting history: Purslane (Portulaca oleracea).

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Geiger trees are tough but versatile

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What we call Geigers all belong to the genus Cordia. There are a good number (250-300) of them; Fairchild alone has a dozen species growing throughout the garden.

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Tree snags are a home for wildlife

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In my endless pursuit of doing less yardwork, I’ve realized our obsession with neatness and order causes a lot of work and wastes huge amounts of precious resources. Here’s one more task you can skip.

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Possums in the yard

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spend a little time in the garden and you are bound to see them, most likely scurrying across your patio or hanging out along the top of a fence. Familiar yet strange, your typical backyard possum may be off putting, but learning a little about them may help you appreciate them a bit more.

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An appreciation of the live oak

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The live oak spreads its wide canopy above and harbors life below — Spanish moss, resurrection fern, lichen and tillandsias.

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