Book Bit – Fruits Of Florida
In The Garden – By Stephen and Kristin Pategas
At first blush Florida seems like one of those states where growing fresh fruit should be a no-brainer. But if you are from a northern clime, you may quickly descend into despair as you realize apples, pears, and plums are more of a novelty south of North Florida. However, having a copy of Florida’s Best Fruiting Plants on hand is better than eating a northern fruit out of hand. It shows what is possible in Florida – in Central Florida it includes carambolas, mangos, papayas, bananas, pineapples, jaboticabas, persimmons, and pomegranates.
We turned every page of this comprehensive encyclopedia on 80 fruiting plants and marveled at the thoroughness of the information along with the attractive presentation. Each plant receives at least two pages of information with an illustration, photographs, range map, fruiting bar by month, plant silhouette, characteristic rating chart, and hazards. Text thoroughly describes each plant. References for Florida include maps with detailed plant hardiness zones, annual chilling hours, and rainfall. Also included are a glossary, lists of fruit tree collections and nurseries, native fruiting plants, and an index.
We were most intrigued by the Geographic Origin of Fruit Species map. Except for blueberries, blackberries, and muscadine grapes, which are native to our region, all the best-known fruits hail from elsewhere on the planet. If we were limited to only natives, our palates would suffer.
This is an empowering reference for homeowners that amazingly was crafted entirely by the author Charles Boning. He also tested almost all these plants in his own gardens in all three regions of Florida. We see more fruit in our future and you should in yours.
Florida’s Best Fruiting Plants by Charles R. Boning from Pineapple Press, 2021, 2nd edition in print and eBook.
Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at 407-622-4886/ email@example.com and visit www.houzz.com/pro/hortusoasis/__public.
Credit: All photography by Stephen G. Pategas/Hortus Oasis unless otherwise noted