The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
July 25, 2019
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The Weekly Special  |   Tropical Landscaping  |   New Arrivals    |  2019 Workshops

The Marching Flamingos
by Joey Bokor

Two more flamingos join the flamboyance.
I've seen my share of trained animals over the years. Lions, tigers, bears and elephants at the circus. Dolphins, whales, sea lions and otters at Sea World. Birds at Busch Gardens. But this week at the Ardastra Gardens Zoo and Conservation Center in Nassau, Bahamas, I saw a group of trained animals that I've never seen before: Flamingos.

Ardastra Gardens was designed by a Jamaican horticulturalist in 1937 and was originally developed as a nature preserve. In the 1950s, the first Caribbean flamingos were brought to Ardastra from the island of Inagua. At that time, the Caribbean flamingo was endangered, and the intention was to develop a breeding program. Fortunately, they were quite successful and helped increase the numbers of the Caribbean flamingo, and today it is no longer an endangered species. To draw attention to this beautiful bird and help demonstrate some of the flamingo's natural behaviors to the public, a group of flamingos was trained to march in formation. These marching flamingos were featured in National Geographic in 1957 and even today, over 60 years later, they continue their daily shows.

Flamingos marching in formation.
They march in formation and listen to commands from their drill sergeant. They can right face, left face and about face with military precision. OK maybe they weren't quite that precise, but they did march around the little arena area and turn to face the audience as they made their way around. Probably the best part of the show, though, was when they allowed a few volunteers to come out and be flamingos. Abby and Maddy were all to glad to join in, and they were pretty good at balancing on one leg, just like a flamingo. Seeing the group of trained flamingos was definitely a unique experience. 

Being in such an amazing tropical place and seeing these bright colorful birds has tropical plants on my mind now. The summer is a perfect time for turning your landscape into your own personal paradise. Everywhere we turned in the Bahamas, there were crotons, ixora and bougainvillea, but the most beautiful tree was the royal poinciana. It was in bloom with fiery red-orange flowers all over the island. I've been inspired to add a little tropical fun to my own landscape and below I've given you some of our tips for tropical landscaping. It's so fun playing with the variety of foliage and flowers that are the hallmark of tropical plants. Find your favorite combination and transform your backyard into your personal paradise. Flamingos optional.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
All Palms - 20% Off
Offer valid through 8/1/19
Cannot be combined with other offers.
In Stock Items Only

You've got to start your tropical landscape somewhere, so why not go big with a lovely foxtail or christmas palm. It's the perfect beginning to your personal paradise. To get you started, all palms are 20% off this week only.

Use foliage and flowers to create your paradise.

Garden Tip
Landscaping with Tropicals

Why wait until you go on vacation to experience the beauty of the tropics, when you can have it right in your backyard. In this part of Florida, we can grow all kinds of tropical palms, shrubs and flowers to turn your outdoors into the paradise that you've always dreamed of.

The Centerpiece - Every great landscape starts with a beautiful centerpiece. When we are talking tropicals, that centerpiece is often a palm tree. Foxtail and Christmas palms are gorgeous with self-cleaning trunks, which means there is no trimming palm fronds. These palms are a little cold sensitive in our coldest winters, but the statement they make in a tropical landscape is hard to beat. If palms aren't your thing, there are lots of gorgeous flowering trees that can create the centerpiece for your landscape. If you want to go big, try a jacaranda or a poinciana. For something a little smaller a hibiscus tree has amazing flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

It's all about the Foliage - One of the fun things about tropical landscaping is that you get to play with foliage. Many tropical plants have big, lush leaves that come in a variety of colors. Have fun finding the color combination that you love and filling your landscape beds with a little slice of paradise.  Some of our favorite foliage plants are ti plants, crotons, stromanthe and bromeliads.

Don't Forget Flowers - Bougainvillea, hibiscus, princess flowers are just a few of the amazing tropical bushes that bloom with bright beautiful flowers. The great thing about tropical plants is they are native to areas with warm weather all year. That means they never take a break. If it is warm outside (which describes about 11 months in Florida) there will be blooms. Mix a few great bloomers with some of the foliage plants to create a real tropical atmosphere.

Texture Too - Once you've got beautiful foliage and bright flowers, it is time to complement it with plants that have green leaves in unique shapes. Foxtail ferns (or any fern for that matter) will soften a landscape with their light, delicate texture. Agave, cactus and succulents give a sharp, architectural feel. Gingers and philodendrons give a glossy green and unique shape that adds an extra dimension to your tropical paradise.

Contain Yourself - Bright colors are the hallmark of tropical landscapes and glazed pottery is a quick and easy way to add bright color and fresh blooms into your tropical design. Flank a porch entry, or position a few lovely pots by the pool. Now whip up a batch of piña coladas, find your favorite lounge chair and enjoy your backyard paradise.

New Arrivals
Dwarf Navel Orange

Grow Oranges in a Pot.
5 Gallon Pot - $79.99
Dwarf Yellow Mussaenda

Yellow Flowers for Shady Areas
10" Pot - $19.99

New Shipment of Palms

A Landscape Statement
Sizes and Prices Vary

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

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