Clinica de las Plantas

You've got the family, the job, the little plot of land. What's missing from your idyllic life? Oh, right. The folks from whom you bought your house had thumbs about as green as the sky. You need trees, and since you live in Miami you figure they might as well bear fruit and save you some bucks in the end. Not that they cost that much to begin with, if you buy them young and do so at Clinica de las Plantas. "Florida Master gardener" Jesus A. Ramos stocks a large supply of subtropical saplings in this nursery. Don't be fooled by the flowers in front; make your way to the back. There you'll find sapodilla, mamey, guayaba (guava), lychee, and longan trees. In the market for mangoes? You can find at least five different varieties here, including the ever-popular Haden, football-size Keitt, juicy Edward, sun-yellow Carrie, fiberless Beverly, and top-notch Nom Dac Mai. Bargain-hunting for bananas? Buy them if you see them -- these are the Clinica's biggest sellers and Ramos is often out. Trees range from $29.95 to $39.95, depending on size, and the staff will assist you in choosing the nicest specimens and then carry them to your car for you. In fact, the only thing they won't do is help you plant them at home. But that's okay. Nothing's more satisfying than knowing the fruit of your labors is yours alone.


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