Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to make your garden therapeutic with white flowers

I used to yawn at white flowers in the garden.  Boring!  Bring on the color!  I changed my mind when I once saw a formal garden with only white flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.  The garden was understated and elegant.  Various shades of green sparkled with a dab  of white here, a splash of white there. 

There is therapeutic value in white flowers as well.  For the vision impaired, the white flowers “pop” at dusk.  The white flowers are similar to road reflectors on major highways.  The flowers act as a guide in the garden. They lead you in the right direction and can act as spotlights at nightfall.   Think of white flowers as a highlighter marker for a book. 

Too much white flowers during the day may hurt people with sensitive eyes.  People with blue eyes or macular degeneration need sunglasses for protection. White flowers work best with curves on a walkway as guideposts, or as a contrast to dark green leaves or as a low plant near a border.

This blog is written by a registered Horticulture Therapist with the American Horticulture Therapy Association.  To learn more visit here.

This YouTube video offers a brief explanation of how horticulture therapy heals. Please subscribe to my Garden/Food/Horticulture Therapy channel. Robert Bornstein on YouTube
Thank you for stopping by.  New next post will be about how to make a delicious mango smoothie!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Mango harvest time in South Florida

This is a wonderful time of year indeed, mango harvest!  I grew up in New Jersey and did not hear about mangoes until I moved to Florida.  Now I know why some call it the apple of the tropics.  The trees are ubiquitous here, especially in the older neighborhoods.  The trees tower over the homes.  Here is an article and slide show of the beautiful trees and fruit. Mangoes in South Florida

Today I picked some from my tree, a Cogshell variety that is simply one of the best tasting mangoes around.  I picked the tree to grow in my garden since it branches low and you can prune it to stay shorter than most mango trees. 

Every year, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens has an amazing Mango weekend, with executive chefs preparing a gourmet brunch that always sells out. There are a multitude of vendors selling mango trees, fruit, jellies and chutneys. Here is an article and slide show. Mango Festival at Fairchild Gardens 

When picking mangoes, one has to be very careful of the power lines.  Every year someone dies from the mango picker touching an electrical wire.  Here is a slide show and article.  Mango trees and power lines are a deadly combination

Although the mango season is from May until October, each variety bears at different times.  There are early season, mid season and late season varieties. They bear for about six weeks.  At the height, you are inundated with them.  My sink is now loaded.  Time for a mango smoothie!

Here are my favorite place to buy a mango tree:
Pepe's Plants Great resource for edibles such as herbs, rare and exotic fruit trees, veggies.  Added benefit - Has a booth at Hollywood's Green Yellow Farmers Market
Swap Shop - has lots of tropical fruit trees for sale.
Living Color Garden Center - Wonderful place to visit due to the huge selection and wonderful display gardens.
Spikes Grove Grand daddy of old time citrus stands, now also has a great selection of tropical fruit trees.
Flamingo Road Nursery Has a beautiful garden center, butterfly garden and farmers market also.

Support your local independent plant growers and buy local.  Have a wonderful day.