Scenes From A Tropical Plant Sale

Spring in South Florida is plant sale season. Cities and garden clubs throughout the region are hosting sales of flowering shrubs, palms, exotics, and native plants — and very often, gardeners drive a long way to find their perfect plant, a great deal, or both.

Fortunately for me, the Tropical Plant Sale in Wilton Manors, FL, was only about a 7-minute drive. There, on the grounds of a historic house and under a canopy of palms, I  lost myself among the vendors lining the paths. It was a cool (in South Florida terms) morning, and the rainbow of colors looked especially fresh and crisp.

Naturally, since this is South Florida, orchids stole the show. In fact, my only purchase was an orchid with small burgundy blooms in a white-glazed ceramic pot.

A South Florida plant sale and farmers’ market wouldn’t be complete without a large assortment of locally produced honey.

I literally stopped in my tracks and gasped when I spotted this bromeliad.

Tucked among the assortment of orchids and bromeliads were a few surprises, some of which were old friends and others that were new-to-me surprises.

Oxalis just makes me smile.

This iris was so close to blooming.

A display of hanging pots filled with pitcher plants.

When I saw this climber, Monkey’s Brush, for the first time, I had to steady myself.


While I have your attention, I wanted to send a special thank you to my friend and fellow blogger, She wrote and posted a lovely review of my book Seeing Green, and I’m so happy she enjoyed it and was moved to write about it.

If you would like to win a free copy, simply leave a comment here about spring. What’s your favorite part about spring? How do you prepare your garden? What is a favorite spring gardening memory? Do you have a spring gardening hack you would like to share? (If you left a similar comment on the previous post, you’re off the hook on this one. You’re already entered to win a copy.) The deadline to leave a comment is April 16.

12 thoughts on “Scenes From A Tropical Plant Sale

  1. Gosh, I miss those south Florida plant sales so much! We recently had a plant sale at a local garden (Peckerwood) that I think tried its best to try to mimic that.

    As for spring, we’re off to a slow start in my garden, at least flower wise. The last week things are starting to take off. I do have tomatillos blooming, though!

    • Hi Misti. It seems there are too types of garden sales, and I’ve been to both. One is a group of gardeners who grow and divide their own plants for a club sale, and the other is much more organized with big-name vendors. There are aspects about both that I really enjoy. It sounds like you might need to get involved with next year’s planning committee. 🙂

  2. Wow, I love those pitcher plants! I’ll bet the orchids there are incredible. I love all the spring bulbs that bloom, and I enjoy starting seeds. That’s awesome you wrote a book! (I was out of the blogging loop for a while!)

    • Hi Indie. The orchids really stole the show — and I think the other plants were a bit jealous! As for the book, it was a long time coming — and I’m glad I was able to complete it. It’s nice to have a keepsake of my NY garden, and I’m thrilled that people are finding it on Blurb and purchasing it. 🙂 Happy Spring!

  3. Not yet ready for plant shopping here on LI, but is was a beautiful day to mow, rake, trim, etc.!
    The pictures here are inspirational!

    • Hi Maria. Gosh, I remember those spring cleaning days in the garden — and then how angry I’d get when I was ready to clean, but the weather said not-so-fast and unleashed a cold snap. In any event, enjoy the slide into spring. 🙂

  4. Such amazing colors, Kevin! It’s always a little frustrating to me to see orchids, bromeliads and many of the same beautiful tropicals in our garden centers, but they won’t generally thrive in our climate. I’ve had friends invest in elaborate overhead sprinkling systems and attempt to create an outdoor greenhouse effect in a side yard, and they’ll do “ok” with whatever they’re trying to cultivate, but really, we are just too dry! I’ll have to enjoy yours, and I do! I am looking forward to your book’s arrival. I’m confident it’s beautiful, too! 🙂

    • Hi Debra. I think is some areas of the country, orchids are better suited as an indoor plant in a brightly lit room. I agree that in your part part of the country, the arid conditions may not allow for enough humidity in the air, no matter how much is misted in… You also touch upon a sore point with me — the number of nurseries, particularly the national box stores, that insist on painting the entire country in a single brush stroke. The nation is diverse, including in cold hardiness and weather terms, and plant selection should reflect that. Ok, I’m off my soapbox now. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s