Monday, March 15, 2004
I was chatting with my chiropractor the other morning about this website and our shared love of gardening. In between adjustments (gotta get that spine straightened out), Dr. Lovett mentioned he’d only lived in Florida about 4 years so wasn’t sure where he would begin with his new yard. That comment reminded me of when my husband and I made our roots here 8 years ago.
Before we moved we subscribed to the St. Petersburg Times to learn more about the area. One morning I stumbled across an article about Florida gardening books and, to my delight, found exactly the reference source I needed, The Yankee’s Guide to Gardening by Hank and Marlene Bruce. The first thing I learned when I opened it is that all my years of northern gardening knowledge had to be thrown out the window. Why? Because:
- my northern soil was clay and I was moving to sand.
- my planting zone was 7 and I was moving to 10.
- my planting time was changing from spring to fall-winter (yes, winter).
- many of the plants I came to rely on for lasting beauty would burn to smithereens here.
A few examples of northern favorites:
and their substitutes:
The Yankee’s Guide to Florida Gardening is a wealth of information for gardeners planning relocation, and I highly recommend it. You’ll note the dog-eared look of my copy in the picture. This informative resource tackles everything from Florida soils to “the funny stuff growing in the trees” (it’s Spanish moss) and can be found at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. Happy Gardening and watch out for that stuff in the trees.
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