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The Book Shelf - Recommendations for all that reading time you have now

The Overstory by Robert Powers – winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction “The best book I’ve read in 10 years. It’s a remarkable piece of literature, and the moment it speaks to is climate change. So, for me, it’s a lodestone. It’s a mind-opening fiction, and it connects us all in a very positive way to the things that we have to do if we want to regain our planet.” - Emma Thompson “An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.” - citation from the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction “This book is beyond special.… It’s a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about an

Botanical Gardens

Spring is the perfect time to visit botanical gardens. But this year we’ll have to make virtual tours of some of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

Right Plant -Right Place

Florida-friendly plants need little care if you put them in the right spot. Sunny and dry – Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) will produce beautiful flowers with little-to-no care and there are hundreds of cultivars to choose from. Years ago nurseries carried dozens of varieties. There was a hibiscus show at the Melbourne auditorium twice a year and Harry and Linda Goode were deeply into breeding and showing them. Sun/mixed shade and dry – Pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is a low-key beauty that turns bright pink in the fall. Soggy spots - Florida canna (Canna x generalis) likes wet feet and has beautiful yellow, orange, pink or red blooms. Shade – Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elat

Attract birds Naturally

Plant to Attract Birds with sunflowers (Helianthus spp.), the champ of seed flowers, coneflower (Echinacea spp.) bachelor’s button or cornflower (centaurea cyanus), Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta), which now comes in a variety of colorful cultivars, daisy (Bellis perennis), marigold (Tagetes spp.) best planted in cooler months, Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis) requires most area and all parts but the flowers are toxic), Sumac (Rhus spp.), Florida privet (Forestiera segregate), Firebush (Hamelia patens), Dahoon Holly (Ilex cassine) Gardening for Birds Landscaping guide to attract birds in South Florida

Perfume Your Garden

Consider adding a fragrant tree or plant near your patio or entrance area. Recommendations from Sally Scalera. Fragrant Native Trees The first set of fragrant plants are native, which attract and support our native insects. Native insects perform a variety of important functions, including aerating the soil, controlling insect and plant pests, and pollinating flowers. Sweet Acacia (Vachellia farnesiana) is a small, very fragrant tree that produces small yellow pompom flowers. It grows 15 to 25 feet tall with a 15 to 25-foot spread. The flowers are produced year-round, and this tree prefers a location in full sun. Sweet acacia is a slow-growing tree, and it does have thorns. Fringetree (Chion

In the Garden - What to Plant

Flowers that tolerate full summer sun include floss flower (Ageratum), amaranth, asters, vinca (or periwinkle), celosia, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dahlberg daisy, lisianthus, blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella), gazania, gerber daisy, kalanchoe, sunflowers, gomphrena, melampodium, lobelia, portulaca, blue salvia, red salvia, dusty miller, marigolds, and zinnias. Flowers for shady areas include flowers in shady areas, here are some to choose from; non-stop and tuberous begonias, caladium, coleus, firecracker flower (Crossandra spp.), impatiens, and geraniums. Flower seeds to plant right away include Celosia, Coleus, calliopsis, Crossandra, dusty miller, Exacum, Gaillardia, Gazania, holly- hoc

love note - Covd-19 changed everything

If there is a silver lining to this very surreal time of social distancing it is that our calendars are clear and we have endless discretionary time. We can be alone but not lonely. Technology enables us to be in touch with family and friends around the globe. And we have more time to walk in the neighborhood and chat with friends. At home there is time for spring cleaning, organizing that closet you’ve been meaning to get to or going online to take advantage of the endless cultural riches available. You can watch a movie, an opera or a play, undertake a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, learn a new skill or brush up on an old one. When you go outdoors you realize how truly fortunate we are to liv

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