The Neighborhood Gardener – August

Lavender blue flowers of plumbago

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Cocoplum growing as groundcover in a divided street islandGroundcover, hedge, and fruit tree; how many plants check all of these boxes? Cocoplum is a versatile, hardy, native plant, perfect for coastal landscapes in the warmer half of the state. Chrysobalanus icaco is available in two ecotypes and at least three cultivars, however, so do your research before you buy! Read this new article in Gardening Solutions for more about cocoplum varieties and care.


A sliced up cucumberCucumbers are a popular garden crop worldwide. Easy to grow, they're refreshing and versatile. And as a crop high in vitamin C, Florida gardeners can feel good about adding cucumber to their veggie patch. UF/IFAS recommends several varieties for Florida including 'Sweet Success', 'Straight Eight', 'Space Master', and 'Boston Pickling'. Get planting advice and more information in this expanded article on Gardening Solutions.


Small low-growing weedChamberbitter is the common name for two weeds that have invaded our gardens and landscapes. Non-native to Florida, these plants hail from the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Both chamberbitter species are easily identified by their mimosa-like leaves and characteristic seed pods. They're warm-season plant pests and found throughout the state. Read on for ways to identify and manage both species.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberWhat motivates you to design and maintain your garden and landscape? Is it to create curb appeal for you and your neighbors to appreciate? Maybe it is to establish a habitat for birds and butterflies, or perhaps to make a special garden retreat as a respite from the busy world. It is probably all of these and more, but have you ever thought to establish a garden space that maximizes the sensory impact of all five senses? Wendy has some suggestions.

Plant of the Month: Crinums

Hot pink trumpet shaped crinum flowerA hallmark of Southern gardens, crinum lilies work well in the Florida landscape because of their easygoing nature. Many crinums have been known to grow for years on old home sites or cemeteries with little or no care. They are resistant to drought, although some also don't mind having their feet wet. There are some 130 species in the genus Crinum, although many of those are not in cultivation. Read on for more information on the planting and care of crinums.

Florida MGV Book Club Summer Selection

cover of book features purple orchid flowerTo wrap up our summer book club we will be having a live meeting with "Scent of Scandal" author and investigative journalist, Craig Pittman. Wendy is excited to talk true crime and orchids with Craig and the Florida MGV Book Club, and you're invited! You can join the conversation, or just sit back and enjoy, at 1 pm on Friday, August 26th; registration details to come soon. Learn more about the book and our book club.

August in Your Garden

Tomatoes on the plantThe hottest days of summer limit annual planting to vinca, gaillardia, bulbine, and other heat-tolerant plants. In the edible garden, many cool-season crops can be started now, as well as a final crop of warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and peppers. South Florida gardeners can start pumpkins from seed this month.

For more month-by-month gardening tips, check out the Florida Gardening Calendar. Three different editions of the calendar provide specific tips for each of Florida's gardening regions—North, Central, and South.

What's Going On?

If your Master Gardener Volunteer program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.