"A wealth of practical information on plants and gardening techniques, supplemented by valuable anecdotal references that only someone with tremendous personal experience could share. . . . I am a great fan of Mrs. McSwain . . . [and] this is a very special book."--Tom Underwood, manager of horticulture services, Walt Disney World
Florida Gardening by the Sea is a primer for anyone new to gardening in this state’s surprisingly hostile environment, especially near the coast, with its sandy, alkaline soil, drought and downpours, salty well water, wind and salt spray, high humidity and heat, and occasional freezing weather. Starting with the basics of plant care and propagation, the book also covers what coastal gardeners need to know about control techniques, specific plants, landscaping, and gardening activities month by month.
Too many newcomers to Florida try to grow plants the way they did "back home." When they meet with failure, they give up. Florida Gardening by the Sea is not simply a "how-to" book. It helps readers understand what they are doing and why. Full of specific instructions, the book helps gardeners understand and use common sense in working with soils, fertilizing, composting, mulching, watering, and controlling pests--by the sea or in any sandy, alkaline soil. If they follow the expert advice in this book, written in Mary Jane’s warm, encouraging style, they’ll be successful!
--specific instructions about bulbs, shrubs, and trees that can most successfully be grown in coastal areas--or in any sandy soil devoid of nutrients
--complete characteristics-at-a-glance tables for hardy and flowering trees most successfully grown in coastal areas
--line drawings illustrating the basics of pruning and air-layering
--how-to instructions for pre-freeze preparation and post-freeze plant care
--the basics on lawn care: types of grasses, mowing, and maintenance
--flower planting guides for roses, poinsettias, hibiscus, and more
--a section on balcony gardens for condo dwellers
--detailed calendars for each month--what to plant, timely chores
--16 pages of Mary Jane’s own color photographs.
For eighteen years, Mary Jane McSwain was garden editor for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, writing the weekly columns and feature articles that have made her one of Florida’s favorite gardening authorities.
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"Most gardening books in this country, with an emphasis on more temperate climates, have nothing or little to say about Florida's unique conditions. Here is a book devoted solely to the Florida gardener. It includes chapters on basics, control techniques, specific plants, landscaping and garden calendars (geared to our seasons!). This book invites even the inexperienced to pick up a trowel and dig in."
"a primer for all Floridians who try to grow plants in the state's demanding conditions. It pays particular attention to gardeners whose landscapes are buffeted by stiff coastal breezes and salt spray." "It also points out the benefits of the nation's No. 1 hobby."
--Daytona Beach News-Journal
"There's not a more hostile environnemt to gardening than the seashore." "Florida Gardening By the Sea by Mary Jane McSwain (University Press of Florida, $24.95, hardcover) offers seaside residents hope for an attractive landscape."
"There have been numerous books published about gardening in Florida. One of the best is Mary Jane McSwain's 'Florida Gardening By the Sea', which offers an abundance of useful information that anyone interested in gardening will welcome. Newcomers to the Sunshine State will find it particularly helpful."
--St. Augustine Record
"Florida Gardening by the Sea is not simply a how to book. It helps readers understand what they are doing and why."
"The best way to learn gardening is from someone who knows. McSwain, The News-Journal's garden writer, is a native Floridian who's been growing plants in Ormond Beach for years."
--Daytona Beach News-Journal
"Here is everything you need to know about gardeing: How to plant bulbs, select shrubs and trees, how to deal with a sandy soil, how to grow plants in condo living, mini gardens, wall plantings - and 16 pages of full color photographs. Wonderful!
"Considered one of Florida's favorite gardening authorities, McSwain . . . offers . . . pearls of wisdom."