Coastal and Tropical South

November, 2006
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Learn and Do
Check out these gardening classes at Leu Gardens in Orlando, if you live there or will be visiting soon. Landscaping with Bromeliads will be the topic on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Exhibition Building. You'll learn ways to incorporate these brilliant plants into your landscape and how to winterize them. Registration is $14 or $8 for members.

Beginning Birdwatcher's Outing is a field trip for novices led by Tom Williams on Monday, December 4, from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Registration is $32 or $22 for members. The day begins at the gardens in the Palm Room and transports those attending in a van to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Plan to bring lunch and water for sure, binoculars and field guides if you have them. For more info or to register, call (407) 246-3621, or visit: http://www.leugardens.org.

Favorite or New Plant

Banana Shrub
Turning the corner by the old French House at LSU in Baton Rouge, I had my first encounter with a banana shrub. Shrub, hah! This old beauty was at least 15 feet tall with a trunk as thick as a baby elephant's foot. But that's the name given to Michelia figo and it's completely descriptive. Not only are the flowers a charming shade of banana yellow, their aroma is more like banana than anything else. Evergreen and long lived, this shrub is a classic of the south, even though it is native to China. Not as popular as it should be, probably because it's not lovely in a pot. Once in the ground, however, banana shrub will grow denser with the years.

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