February 7, 2017
Falling in love (with the wrong plant)
We are in between seasons here in Florida. It doesn't feel like winter, but we don't trust the weather enough to think that it is officially spring. This is the time when we find ourselves dreaming about bountiful spring gardens and a yard full of blooms. It is in this time that we gardeners are most vulnerable—suggestible actually—to spending money on crazy plants and inappropriate varieties that we see in catalogs or on the internet. We find ourselves falling in love with the wrong guy...I mean, plant.
Don't get me wrong, I love seed catalogs that are jammed full of fantastic flowers and vegetables. But we have to remember that we live in Florida and flowers like tulips and forget-me-nots are meant for cooler climes. Although we are tempted, veggies like asparagus and rhubarb will only break our hearts when they succumb to our sub-tropical heat.
It is always best to consult the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide and Gardening with Perennials in Florida, or the long list of annuals for Florida before falling in love with a picture in a catalog or on a website. It can save you lots of money and heartache. We have thousands of perennials, annuals, bulbs, and amazing vegetables that can grow in Florida, many of which can't grow well anywhere else. That isn't even considering all the native and exotic tropical trees, shrubs, and perennials that the Sunshine State is known for. So resist the temptations, set aside the "zone envy" and put the right plant in the right place. Your landscape and your wallet will thank you in the end.
-- Wendy Wilber