Tropical South

April, 2004
Regional Report

Books

Florida Gardening Magazine
While thousands of us enjoy Florida Gardening Magazine, the only home gardening magazine just for Florida, there are still some people who are not familiar with it. Started in about 1995 by Kathy and Wae Nelson, who formerly owned Southern Seeds, it has been an excellent magazine from the very beginning, thanks to their hard work. Wae can be found at flower shows and plant festivals all over the state, selling back copies and subscriptions. Many nurseries and newsstands also sell copies, and if you library doesn't have it, ask them to get it. All of the articles are written by and for Florida gardeners. There are six issues a year for an annual subscription rate of $20. It makes a great gift for any occasion. Contact the publishers at http://www.floridagardening.com, or at P.O. Box 500678, Malabar, FL 32950, (321) 951-4500.

Favorite or New Plant

Torenia or Wishbone Flower
I always buy the first plants I find of torenia (Torenia fournieri) in the spring because I love the little purple/blue, snapdragonlike flowers that bloom constantly until cold weather returns. I've even had one of the new, low, ground cover types live over the winter, but mostly they are a summer flower for full sun to light shade. Also called Florida pansy, wishbone flower, and blue wings, torenia is a very rugged and reliable annual that quickly grows a foot tall and covers itself with tubular flowers of plum, dark blue, light blue, pink, or white. There also is a T. baillonii 'Suzie Wong' with yellow flowers. Instead of deadheading, shear them back once or twice during the summer. Give them ample water and fertilizer and take cuttings to make more. They sometimes self sow.

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