Clean Ocean and Shore

Cancun, Mexico

Recently, I was garden touring in Cancun, Mexico. Every morning and evening I took time to walk several miles of the shoreline to check out the plants.

Shoreline Crew

The hotels along the shore had dedicated staff to keep the surf and the sand trash free.

Great dive conditions. This is at 50 feet.

During my visit I planned to Scuba dive. The clean shore set up the expectation that the water would be trash free. The dive conditions included great visibility and trash free water.

Around the world trash plagues oceans and shorelines. Research has shown that the man-made environmental trash crisis begins inland. A shoreline crew member explained depending on weather and wind conditions trash can float in from somewhere at anytime.

Shoreline Plants

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Looks coconuts!

My visit to Miami welcomed me with cool breezes with temps in the upper 80’s.  Very nice.   Why did this garden maker go to Miami for plant and design study?  For me it was all about tropicals for conservation and design use.



The Fairchild history is humbling story about people looking into the future and realizing the importance to creating a place for Cycads, Palms, and tropicals for study and preservation.

What to learn about Cycads, Palms, Orchids, and iguanas?  Spend a day at Fairchild.  For me one day was a great introduction because all that I knew before was not good enough.


Lecythidaceae – Wonder fragrant Cannonball tree!

Fairchild does a wonderful job educating visitors.  They offer free trams and walking tours.  Of course you can tour the grounds on your own.  If you choose to tour the grounds on your own pay attention to the gator sighting signs!


Glyphosate, several weeks ago I attended a landscape design symposium.  One of the lecture topics was on biodiversity planning in landscape design.  The speaker was from a well-known University the handout included the University and USDA logo.

The University had a grant to plan, design and install a residential landscape that improved environmental biodiversity.  The University found a homeowner that agreed to a landscape makeover.  In return the new installation would be maintained by the University for 3 years.

Sounds great!  The design scale was impressive.  Like most designs the design scale exceeded the budget.  To save money the University decided to use Glyphosate (RoundUp) to kill the lawn.  Using Glyphosate (RoundUp)  eliminated the cost of renting a sod cutter and hauling the debris.

So I was confused.  Someone is lecturing me on the environmental benefits of using Glyphosate (RoundUp) to promote biodiversity planning in landscape design.  Two weeks prior to this lecture I attended several herbicide lectures so I am not totally confused.

In my own practice there has been many times where the design exceeds the budget.  It happens.  Best practice is to discuss the options with the client.  Never has a client chosen Glyphosate (RoundUp).  Either we scale back the design or the client agrees to increase the budget.

The University had a choice.  Scale back the design and do what was environmentally beneficial.  Instead, the University knowingly used Glyphosate (RoundUp) ignoring the environment issues.  The funded University project was focused on the environmental benefits of biodiversity planning in landscape design.