Garden

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week - Shell Ginger

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Shell Ginger, an Alpinia species, is making a hit right now with its drooping clusters of shell like, fragrant flowers. Variegated leaves are quite common on this plants, but it can also be found in a non-variegated version. It likes partial sun to shady areas. This plant does well in zones 8-11, but it is prone to freezes in central and north Florida. If it freezes back, it is less likely to flower, so in our area, the flowers are a gift only after a warm winter. Shell ginger can grow 6-12 feet tall and get to be 3-5 feet wide.

Recycling Raindrops

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Photography by Ryan Griffis

Once upon a time, I could tell you that the rainy season will start at 4:00 PM on June 11th, and continue with a shower every day at 4:00 PM, until September 13th. For reasons which could be discussed and debated at length, we no longer have that kind of predictability. So, I’m not going to give any anecdotal predictions about this year’s rainy season. I am fairly confident it will indeed come this summer, but don’t quote me on that!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Maintained by members, Auro Community Garden is a sustainable garden using organic growing methods.

Photography by Sue Quigley

Growing your own food is undeniably the best way to get fresh, nutritious food economically, ethically and eco-friendly. But although we would all love to be able to pick vegetables straight from our garden for dinner every evening, for many it is just not possible. To be successful in growing your own food, you need enough land and nutrient-rich soil to grow that food. You have to be able bodied, have time to devote tending the garden and a budget to acquire seeds and supplies for starting a garden.

Planting the top of a Pineapple

Photography by Rocco Maglio

Have you ever wondered what you should do with the top of the pineapple that you purchased at the store? You can plant it in the ground, water it and it may grow into a pineapple plant that gives you another pineapple.

Pineapples grow well in Hernando county. The editor of the Brooksville Star began JC (John Cabell) Burwell planted pineapples in his backyard. There is a beautiful photo from 1899 of his daughter Sally standing in the pineapple garden at their house on Olive Street in downtown Brooksville.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Oakleaf Hydrangea

Lilly Browning serves as the Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator.

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, is a fantastic native shrub to have in your yard. The flowers are white or pink, and are quite lovely. Don’t expect the ball of puffy blooms you will see on the non-native French Hydrangea, but they are prolific and stunning in their own right. Even when not in bloom, this native shrub has very large and distinct leaves, shaped like oak leaves. So, this shrub holds interest even when not flowering. It prefers dry to partially wet soil, but can do well in occasionally wet soil.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Chickasaw Plum

Hernando County Florida Friendly Plant Program Coordinator

Chickasaw Plum, Prunus augustifolia, is a lovely little native tree that provides white flowers in late winter/early spring. It can be seen on roadsides peeking through the edge of the forest. Often confused for dogwood from a distance, Chickasaw Plum is a harbinger to central Florida spring. Chickasaw Plum can grow from 12 feet to 20 feet in height, and can spread 15 to 20 feet wide. It prefers well drained soil and doesn’t mind sand a bit. It has a high drought tolerance. It prefers full sun to part shade. It has a medium salt tolerance.

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