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Friday, Aug 01, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

A new guide from gardening dream team

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“Florida Getting Started Garden Guide: Grow the Best Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, Vines & Groundcovers” by Tom MacCubbin and Georgia B. Tasker; Cool Springs Press (240 pages, $24.99)

Perhaps you’re one of those carefree gardeners, always planting what you want when you want and where you want it.

I used to be.

But after that terrible frozen winter of 2009, when pretty much my whole garden turned brown and mushy, I became a better label reader and book consulter.

I’d already been gardening for a decade by then, and yet I had so much to learn.

My go-to experts became Tom MacCubbin and Georgia Tasker, whose colorful gardening books are as complete and readable as any I’ve found. My longtime favorite is their “Florida Gardener’s Guide,” which is wonderfully specific when it comes to getting information on “right plant, right place.”

Now the duo have a new book, the “Florida Getting Started Garden Guide: Grow the Best Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, Vines & Groundcovers.” And though one of its aims is to help newbie gardeners — or those who are new to Florida, anyway — I’m happy to add it to my library.

Yes, it looks a lot like the old guide, but this one is cleaner, the photos are better, and the growing tips are good reminders to be careful, careful and even more careful when you plant — because, let’s face it, this is a very big investment in time and money.

There are more than 175 plant recommendations, all chosen for their ease of growing, maintenance and beauty. And I’m addicted to the companion planting suggestions. There’s also plenty of useful information about climate, soil types and using native plants.

So if you’re interested in getting started — or just getting wiser — consider adding this reference to your garden book stash.

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