Coastal and Tropical South

July, 2008
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Audubon Insectarium
Open barely two weeks, the first big attraction to open since Katrina should be on your list next time you're in New Orleans. "Wow!" doesn't even describe its wonders, from true insects like ants and mosquitoes to arachnids like spiders. Located in the Old Custom House, there's something to pique everyone's interest. Gardeners thrill at butterflies or earthworms, and homeowners may boo at the termite colonies. The historic Custom House maintains its grace and architectural integrity, including a new load-bearing column cleverly appearing to be a cypress tree. Visit and be amazed.

Favorite or New Plant

African Violet
Everyone gets an African violet as a gift, or buys one in full bloom on impulse. Some go on to specialize in these gesneriads, but most struggle to find the perfect spot for even one. High light but no direct sun can be the key to success, along with reservoir watering to keep leaves dry and almost constant fertilization at half the recommended strength. If the center holds, but outside leaves stretch, pop them off and root them. Don't overlook these common plants; even the simplest single purple flowers are beautiful!

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