Home Page
Order Books
Featured Plants
Seasonal Advice
News Columns
Other Work

Book Signings and Lectures
by Monica Brandies


Would you like to be notified of new books or website updates?
Join our Mailing List.
It is completely confidential and voluntary. You may Subscribe or Unsubscribe at any time.



Tour Time Again

The blue false ginger and the white cat's whiskers put on quite a show in late October. Hope some will last for the big day.

You are invited to the 6th Annual Walk through my garden this Saturday, Nov. 12 or on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 am until 1 pm. There will chairs set about so you can rest and visit and iced tea by the front door to wet your whistle.

To find us, go north on Lakewood Drive from Highway 60 to Windhorst Road. Turn west or left and go the second right turn onto Estatewood Drive. This becomes Burning Tree Lane without any turns at the next block. We are on the left on the curve at 1508. There will be signs. Call 654-1969 if you get lost or need further details.

Parking on our curve can be a problem, so come in bunches if you can. Please, don't pull into the driveway unless you have someone handicapped to drop off.

Some of you have come every year and I watch for your faces. I can even put names with some, and if you put on one of the name tags we'll have, I'll learn some more. If I don't recognize you and should, tell me where we've met right away so I won't have to wonder.

Sharon Knarr, whom I did not know before she came to our first tour, has come to know my plants so well that she has offered to serve as a guide. She'll be either sitting on or pushing her walker in the backyard. She can answer most of your questions there, and I can answer most of them in the front yard. My children and grandchildren will also be on hand, too. I couldn't do this without them.

Now that the Florida Gardening Magazine puts the notice in their Calendar of Events, we also have people who come from far places.

I'm hoping you'll find my garden a little neater since the Tree Investment men took out nine tons of excess trees, shrubs, and branches. I even have at least one bare spot to plant another fruit tree. The citrus trees are loaded and leaning. We'll prop them the best we can and even pick a bit before you get here, but you'll still have to duck here and there. Also wear sock and comfortable shoes. I'm treating all the ants, but they are very good at sneaking back, so watch for them.

With this event in mind, I've become much better at year round maintenance, but the weeds and vines still get ahead of me every summer and a few will remain or pop up the night before. If you've got a garden of your own, you'll understand and forgive.

There is now quite a patch of this orange pagoda flower on the side of the house because it spreads so readily that it is almost invasive. But it is beautiful and blooms for two or three months. There will be small free plants to dig of this.

There will be labels on many of the plants so you'll know the names. Look for the lime green tape on plants from which you are invited to take free cuttings. There will also be pink tape on plants that you are welcome to dig up and take home and shovels will be handy.

The Golden Showers or Cassia is starting to bloom by the street and I pruned it back far enough for cars to get around the bend this year. There is more of it up by the front door. I've cut the candle cassia back drastically all year to keep it low enough on the front yard path. Red leaved sugar cane towers above everything.

My new Bird of Paradise is presently in bloom in the backyard and I hope it will last until then. I've had two stalks of bloom even though I only got the plant--out of a trash can, with the owner's permission--in the spring. Be sure to look up at the far back corner behind the house to see the pick orchid-like flowers of the floss silk tree. It has been blooming for at least six weeks now.

My most special plant, the orange flowered Vireya rhododendron by the front door, died as the result of a plumber's foot. I have three more small ones coming on and one has bloomed three times, but it has no buds at the moment, wouldn't you know. Maybe by Dec. 3. Many of the herb plants should be rubbed and sniffed for optimum enjoyment.

I hope you'll stop in the carport where I will be most of the time singing books and answering questions. I'm looking forward to seeing you.

The books I have written will be for sale, also some great used book bargains and some plants that you don't often find elsewhere like the leaf-a-day plant, Jewels of Opar.

Left:  My prize Vireya rhododendron died by a plumber's foot after many years. This small one has bloomed about three times this year but shows no buds at the moment. Next year...



Right:  You won't see the moonflowers that have been climbing all over the blue plumbago because they only open in the evening. The are very fragrant. I will have free seeds.