Tropical South

May, 2004
Regional Report

Books

A Cutting Garden for Florida
The only such book for Florida, Betty Mackey wrote the first edition of A Cutting Garden for Florida as a small booklet when she had a cutting bed at Leu Gardens. When she moved north and I moved south, we wrote the second and then third edition together (B.B Mackey Books, 2001; $15.99), each book growing in size and breadth of information. For her it grew into a small but very busy publishing company, B.B. Mackey Books. This book tells how to start and grow flowers for all seasons, gives specific Florida growing instructions for 200 of the best choices, and also tells the best way to condition each one and how long each should last in the vase. It has a chapter on drying and using everlastings and one on how to make arrangements.

Favorite or New Plant

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
Often used by florists, this plant grows from seed or can be purchased from your favorite nursery in various sizes. Cuttings are very difficult. A gallon-size plant will make a small tree in two
years. Mine is now 25 feet tall and the foliage is hard to reach, so you may want to keep cutting your plant back to grow as a shrub. Even so, stake the young plant and train one branch as a leader for best growth, and keep it staked for the first few years because the root system is very shallow. Start it in full sun to partial shade, and cut the foliage often so there will be plenty of silvery, new growth. Use it fresh or dried.

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