Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2014
Regional Report


Guide to Florida Fruit & Vegetable Gardening
Many books on food gardening leave Florida gardeners feeling left out. Here is one written specifically about growing fruits and vegetables in the special conditions found in Florida. Guide to Florida Fruit & Vegetable Gardening by Robert Bowden (Cool Springs Press, 2010) covers more than 25 fruits and berries and more than 35 vegetables. Author Bowden is Executive Director of Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida.

Favorite or New Plant

Springtime brings plenty of beautiful flowers to the tropical region, but a particular joy is tabebuia tree, also known as trumpet tree (Tabebuia spp.), resplendent usually in yellow, occasionally pink. Orlando has many claims to fame, but none more important to gardeners than the late Mulford Foster. He was a world traveler and plantsman, and we are all the lucky recipients of his curiosity and collecting. Among his finds are many bromeliads including some named for his family and friends and the Brazilian native, tabebuia. Usually grown from seed, this colorful tree is a fast grower to 25-30 feet that is tolerant of many soils as long as they are well-drained.

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