Coastal and Tropical South
Growing and Using Citrus
Citrus: How to Grow and Use Citrus Fruits, Flowers, and Foliage by Monica Brandies is a new book for everyone in our regions who likes to grow, eat or design with citrus. It will help you choose citrus for the garden and for growing indoors, as well as give you ideas on how to use citrus in ways you never thought about before. You'll find ways to use every part of these wonderful plants in a variety of ways: peels and zest, fruit juices and marinades, but also air fresheners and colognes. It's a comprehensive little volume that is charming in its design and content. In the interest of full disclosure, my publisher is also the publisher/vendor for this book. I've found that many of the best publications these days come from niche publishing houses like B. B. Mackey Books. Visit the website, www.mackeybooks.com, for more information and to order. Full color, 72 pages.
Favorite or New Plant
South of Orlando, Norfolk Island pine grows outdoors, as it does in its namesake Southern Hemisphere islands and Australia. Not really a pine, this tree is noted for its long, widely-spaced branches and strong upright form. It can be a stunning addition to the shade garden in the Tropic zone, but Southern Coast gardeners can grow striking specimens in large containers. Very well-drained soil is the key to this conifer's healthy growth, along with regular watering and minimal fertilizer. The lower branches will dry and self-prune as the tree grows; your only job is to remove them cleanly once they've browned completely. This time of year, you'll see these classy trees beautifully decorated for the holidays. Maybe the best news is that recycling is seldom needed as the Norfolk pine can be a long lived tree.