Turmeric is an easy-to-grow tropical plant

Saturday, June 28, 2014

There’s been some information floating around social media and the Internet about the health benefits of turmeric, including its ability to fight anxiety and depression. While I can’t support or deny these benefits, I think we should all take a look at turmeric. It may be known to many as a spice in curry or an ingredient in mustard, but what actually is turmeric?

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How to improve soil texture

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The texture of soil is as important as its fertility.

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Water features create wildlife hotspots

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

As a kid, I loved digging a hole during the summer, filling it with water and jumping in. I suppose I was easily amused. If you, too, do this, but without the jumping in, you will have begun to attract amphibians like toads and frogs to your garden.

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How to help our beleaguered bees

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bee populations are declining precipitously. Sadly, that’s no longer news.

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Forget flowers — scented foliage lasts all year

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Why wait for the flowers to scent your garden? There are plants with foliage that rival the scent of any bloom, and they last a lot longer than the ephemeral flower.

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Uncontrolled balsam pear can burden your plants

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Every spring and summer I see beautiful, pendulous orange orbs hanging from my hedges. At first I was curious about a new plant. Then as a Miami resident who has regretted letting invasive plants grow unchecked, I became suspicious: What is this strange plant and what does it want?

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Native plants can be the solution for difficult garden location

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let’s see what we can do with a small, inhospitable plot of land. I have in mind an area in my front yard, about four feet deep tapering to about two feet. It runs north-south, is about seven feet wide and backs up against the house. It’s rocky, gets brutal summer sun and intense rain, including runoff from my roof. In other words, the worst that South Florida weather can throw at it.

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Monsters of the Backyard

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My father taught me to appreciate the natural world of our home garden. The day-to-day of my young life was tied to the cycle of the plants, the animals and yes, even the insects. There was always a lesson to be learned, an eco-adventure to be observed, played with, or tackled head-on.  I grew up, but did not out-grow this adventurous ...

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The Antidesma (Antidesma bunius)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Florida is far from exhausting its list of possible fruit for testing and the antidesma now takes center stage. Dr. David Fairchild, namesake of Tropical Botanic Garden,  first brought the antidesma to Florida in 1900s from one of his expeditions to the Philippines. He intended to bring back a berry than can grow in South Florida to please the new residents coming from north of the United States. It has been over a century and the antidesma still grows in relative obscurity, being kept mainly as an ornamental....

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Botanic misnomers: the name conundrum

Saturday, March 15, 2014

You know that big, beautiful ponytail palm in your yard? It’s not one — a palm, that is.

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