Tabebuia Trees Spring Blooms

Common name(s): Golden trumpet tree

Family: Bignoniaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11

Origin: native to Central and South America

This last week I was surprised by the sudden blooms of bright yellow on trees in the neighborhood. I wasn’t familiar with the species. I did some research on the golden trees. Tabebuias are from the West Indies, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Central America, but several species are very well adapted to South Florida. I was thrilled to find the golden beauties here in central Florida. Since they are tropical plants, they WON’T SURVIVE HARD FREEZES.

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5 Reasons to Make Your Garden Organic

This is an updated post (2024) with information to help our pollinators. Several years ago I wrote about what to do to help bees, Make Your Garden A Haven For Bees, and butterflies, 5 Steps for a Butterfly Garden. Does it seem strange to write about gardening in February? No, now is the time to dream and plan. Forget the snow, and imagine a spring day.

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Barbecue Cauliflower Wings

These crispy cauliflower wings, coated in sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce, are a plant-based twist on the classic chicken wing appetizer. Made with just a handful of ingredients they’re a welcome way to add more veggies to your next outdoor BBQ or game-day get-together. Make sure to leave the florets slightly larger with a little bit of stem for easy hand-held eating. Serve the smoky wings with blue cheese or ranch dressing to add refreshing coolness to the tang.

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6 Natural Ways To Remedy Winter Dry Skin

Winter is a terrible time for many of us with dry skin. Harsh weather and forced air heating can bring on itchiness, dryness, discomfort and even cracked or chapped skin. I’ve tried using so many creams or lotions through the years. Dehydrated skin makes wrinkles and other signs of aging more visible. If you have a similar problem with dry winter skin, let’s discuss natural ways to try and prevent dry skin.

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Valentine Fun Treats With Fruit

Next week is Valentine’s Day. Everyone enjoys the day from small children to grandparents. Today let’s discuss ways to provide healthy fruit treats for kids and adults that involve a heart shape. Remember Valentine’s Day treats don’t have to be red.

Cut fruit into heart shapes. Since Valentine’s day falls in February, look at what fruit is available in your area. Several years ago I made brunch for a friend with regular chocolate pancakes and heart-shaped strawberries.  It was a simple meal with a festive Valentine-inspired table.

Strawberries are being harvested in central Florida in February and March as it is a cool weather food. Summer in Florida is way too hot for strawberries. I used a paring knife to remove the stem and notch the top of each strawberry. They are little hearts now.

Cutting hearts also works well with small melons for a multi-colored plate of fruit treats. These little hearts were made with cookie cutters.

A slice of watermelon can make lots of little hearts.

If you don’t have time to cut lots of fruit, start with a heart-shaped dish. Berries are perfect for this with no cutting.

Want a mix of fruit? Add berries, pineapple chunks, cut kiwi, grapes, and/or tangerine segments – whatever is in your local market. You now have a cute snack or dessert for Valentine’s Day.

Start with a plate or bowl and add small pieces of fruit in a heart shape. Simple to do. I like white dishes with colorful blueberries. Place a dollop of whip cream in the center of the heart. I suggest having a bowl of just blueberries and one of whipped cream that everyone can spoon onto their saucers.

Want an alternative to passing out candy valentines to your child’s class? Help your child write heartfelt messages on tangerine skins or decorate them with fun stickers.

Tangerine valentines

I’m wishing you all a fun and tasty Valentine’s Day!

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