November 2013 newsletter
Our Roser Park
Florida gardener's almanac
monthly timetable of gardening chores:
probably one of the best months of the
year to garden in the Sunshine
dry weather finally begins to visit Florida
and usually makes itself welcome for the next six months. While
we do not get the colorful leaf
that our friends up north do, we are still treated to a nice show in
especially in the more northern parts of the state.
cooler and drier weather also helps to lessen the bug populations. By
this time of the year fleas, chinch bugs,
mosquitoes and others are hardly noticeable. There
is also a change in the wildlife. Not
only will there be more snowbirds in
the state, but many fine
feathered migratory birds will be seen heading southward to their
of these birds will be
making pit stops along the way to take in food and water before
their journey so make sure to fill your bird feeders with a mix of
they will stop off in your yard for a snack before moving on! Be
careful though because some of these birds
just might take a liking to your vegetables and strawberries and help
themselves to your crops.
aware that even though the cooler weather will lessen certain
insects, not all of them will disappear. Aphids,
beetles, cutworms, cabbage
worms, corn earworms, leaf miners,
mole crickets, leaf hoppers, leaf rollers, squash bugs and other
still be around to munch on your plants if you are not watchful. Early
detection and ecological control is the
best medicine for your garden.
take a break from fertilizing your lawn and trees this month, your
and annuals should still be fed. A
composted manure or balanced liquid fertilizer will be much appreciated
these plants and will help to give you an abundance of blooms and
vegetables. Do not neglect to water your
plants. Even though it is not as hot and your plants' water demands are
great, judicious watering must still be done. Mulching your plants, of
lessens how much water they will require.
are some “quick tips” for our Florida Fall:
is a great month to begin planting roses. Be sure to buy locally pot
your nursery or garden center be your guide for growing annuals and
Choose healthy specimens for a quick-start garden.
lawns can be revived with the application of quick acting high nitrogen
fertilizers and regular irrigation.
attention to insect infestations and rust or fungal infections on your
vegetables, herbs and flowers then immediate control will help to head
major problems later in the season.
buds on your Poinsettias will begin to open and many tropical plants
to bloom. Color will be just about everywhere.
next few months are open to planting and growing almost anything you
imagine especially as far as herbs, vegetables and annuals are
bets for starting a traditional garden this month are:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots,
Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Kale,
Leek, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peppers, Pumpkins, Rhubarb,
Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard,
Turnips and almost any other vegetable you desire.
- Herbs: Anise,
Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil,
Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary,
Sesame, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.
Asters, Baby's Breath, Bachelor's
Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas, Callas, Candytufts, Carnations, Cosmos,
Cockscombs, Daisies, Dianthus, Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias, Gladiolas,
Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers, Lilies, Lobelias, Lupines,
Narcissus, Sweet Felching Nasturtiums, Pansies, Salvias, Scabiosa,
Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Sweet William, Verbenas, and
cool season flowers.
Garden in Sarasota
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar for lots more gardening
Beautiful Commission in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum in St. Petersburg
Monthly meetings at Moccasin
2750 Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
1st Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
First Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
3rd Thursday, 7:30-9:30pm
will be on Sunday, November 17th at 1pm. Again this month, we
exploring new grounds. Jim has invited us all to visit his
nursery in Gulfport. He is shutting things down for the winter,
so he will have lots of plants for sale for anyone interested in making
a purchase. I'm sure he will also have many for the plant raffle as he
is always very generous with us. Jim is only a few blocks from
Rick Nale's home, so you might want to swing by Rick's after the
meeting to check out his fantasy garden. He typically has
something interesting to show us.
there is a pot-luck, so bring something delicious to share, bring
a chair to sit on - just in case, and bring something for the plant
to Members page
If you plan to bring a guest, please email
Joe so he can make your guest a nametag. It's a much
more welcoming experience than having one of those "Hello, my name is"
like to help the
club by being responsible for the coolers or tables or anything else,
please contact Bud so he
can fill you in on what is needed. In the meantime, check
the hosts about seating arrangements. It may be necessary for
to bring your own chair.
of the month by jim
Well, it’s time again to
share my latest obsession with you all. My favorite plant is the
passionflower. I’ve discovered since my decision to start
breeding them that there are over 470 species and 150 named hybrids.
Surprisingly, there are only 4 or 5 seen with any regularity in Florida
gardens. The most common around here are the red passionflower,
Passiflora coccinea, which has no fragrance and produces no fruit
without manual cross-pollination;
and the native maypop or its
vigorous offspring, Passiflora ‘incense’, which is
fragrant, but still produces no fruit. Incense and the maypop are also
the favorite food of the gulf fritillary butterfly, which alarms many
gardeners when they see the caterpillars devouring every last leaf on
the vine. Not to worry; the vine is indestructible, and the butterflies
Most nurseries also carry the
purple passionfruit, P. edulis, which produces lots of delicious fruit,
but no fragrance, and not much color in the flowers.
In my garden, I leave incense to
the butterflies, and the other species are all for me. When it comes to
choosing varieties, I want it all: vigorous growth, fragrance, color,
and delicious fruit; and this is what I hope to produce in all my
hybrids. Some of the existing cultivars which meet these criteria and
thrive in Florida’s climate are: the giant granadilla, Passiflora
and its close relatives,
P. macrocarpa ‘Warmlands’, P. actinia and P. alata.
Looking for a quick screen from
the neighbors? Most Passiflora species will cover 60 feet of fence in a
year, and provide you with months of gorgeous flowers to boot.You can
find just about any color you’re looking for in a passionflower,
but in Florida, don’t go for pink. Nearly every pink flowering
Passiflora dies at temperatures over 90 degrees, but I’m working
on that! I’ll get back to you in a few years.
The meeting this past month was quite
unusual for several reasons. We were in Roser Park, a hidden gem in the
heart of St. Petersburg, and our meeting was up on one of the rare
hills of St. Pete! Ron opened his home and garden to us on one of
the most beautiful of afternoons, which probably accounted for the
Ron's home in up on the hill overlooking Booker Creek, so the views
from any part of his yard are extraordinary, starting from his white
picket fence in the front. Since it was getting time for
Halloween, Ron had his yard bedecked for the holiday. Of course
our gathering wouldn't be complete without Joe and Bob greeting
everyone and signing them in.
More than 30 people joined us for the pot-luck, and there was plenty of
good food to go around.
After lunch we had our business meeting with Barry leading the troups
as Bud was involved elsewhere. Mike talked about his arrangements
for the trip to Fairchild Gardens in Miami, and we discussed the
possibility of a holiday coctail party instead of our usual December
Then Jim lead us in the raffle, carefully identifying every plant in
the raffle so winners could make an informed selection.
To close out the meeting, Ron took everyone on a walking tour around
his section of the historic neighborhood, pointing out the
commemoratived markers in front of each of the unique homes.
- Jim's backyard nursery in Gulfport
December - Holiday party - location TBA
Now is the time to volunteer
your garden for a meeting. The new year is just around the corner and
we have almost the entire year to choose from - just pick a
month! Send your emails to
- Bud Gunter
- President - Barry Campbell
- Ken Nichols
- Gary Raush
- Joe Kosmal and Bob Conner
Coordinator - Jim Nevers
Chair/Club Outings - Mike Gray
Special Projects -
- Bryan Hopper
The new year brings new officers. If you would like to help steer
the club to a better new year, please consider running for any of the
offices. Each involves only a few hours a month, and is so
important for our continuation.
The new year also brings the time to renew your membership. Dues
are only $20.00 a year and guarantees you a potluck meal each month and
exciting emails from me! See Gary to make your payment.