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Robin Robinson - Citizen Columnist

‘Make no small plans’ on public gardens

A park grows gradually. I am not simply speaking of the 15-foot new trees that will mature into 30- or 40-foot canopies, but also of the services, signage, horticulture, activities, uses and organizations.  Looking at parks the Key West may emulate took me to Chicago to examine the relatively new Lurie Gardens in Millennium Park[…]

Good gardening tips include wait, watch and water

“Hurricane Irma cleaned up a lot of unattended trees,” Patrick Tierny told the captivated audience at the Key West Garden Club’s monthly lecture series. “We can learn from her.”  “Irma cleaned up a lot of things that have been left unattended,” putting a positive spin on the extensive tree damage. He advised the gardener to[…]

Bane and blessing of orchids in the hurricane

The renowned orchid enthusiast, Peter Kouchalakas, displayed a table full of blooming orchids to the Garden Club meeting.  “All of these orchids rode out Hurricane Irma outside,” he said. “They are a little beat up, but are still blooming. Don’t lose heart with epiphytes,” he said. The orchids appear to be strong hurricane survivors.   Kouchalakas[…]

Education is the mission of the Key West Garden Club

The Key West Garden Club’s mission is to educate the public. In light of that there are going to be six educational lectures during the two days of the plant sale at the Key West Garden Club this weekend. This activity is new to the plant sales lineup but it is directly involved with the[…]

Native plants that survived and thrived

One tree that survived Hurricane Irma without a leaf falling or even browning is the Lignum vitae or Tree of Life. The trunks on these trees are short and gnarled making the tree as wide as it is tall. The U.S. Champion resides at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea. It needs full sun and[…]

Year-round blooms on plumeria shrub in the Florida Keys

Snowbirds seldom see the glories of the plumeria tree because most of them bloom in the summer. The Key West Garden Club is offering a few varieties that bloom year-round and will sell them at the club’s upcoming fall plant sale, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plumeria pudica’s white[…]

Garden Club to hold annual sale Nov. 18-19

The native silver palm (Coccothrinax argentata) is a sturdy 15-foot tall survivor in a humid, warm environment. Like the silver metal he is named after he is practical to plant because he is drought and salt resistant. This sun-loving beach bum has no pests. His fronds are green on the top and intensely silver underneath.[…]

Hurricane Irma pulled treasure from the deep

The gardeners at the Key West Garden Club’s Butterfly Garden took advantage of the piles of seaweed left after Irma by scooping it up and working it into the soil as they replanted the Irma-devastated gardens. Seaweed is excellent as a liquid additive or a mulch providing already chelated micronutrients that all plants adore.  There[…]