Anya's Garden

The Joys of Nature  and the 
Beauty of Knowledge are Blended Here

I have progressed from designing and enjoying fragrant gardens to natural perfumery.

As a natural perfumer, I host a group on Yahoo with over 2200 members Yahoo Natural Perfumery group

A commercial website has grown out of that group, where natural perfume is the theme,

both educationally and market-wise. Natural Perfumery is where artisan, botanical perfumers are found.

My perfumery website is Anya's Garden of Natural Perfumes

B.A. Economic Botany 
Masters degree Landscape Architecture


Elected Collier County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor 1990
Former Organic Gardening magazine columnist and seed tester

Started community gardens in 1977, advisor to new community gardens
Zone 10 -- South Florida
my other webpages:
Home  Land Planning     Music in word and photos Cats

What is a Certified Florida Yard,  aka a "Florida Friendly Yard" and why is it something to be proud of?
It means that you are trying to design a yard that conserves water by grouping plants according to water needs (eliminating blanket irrigation, which wastes water), minimizing grass area (eliminating the need for lots of irrigation, chemicals and noise pollution from mowers and edgers), using lots of mulch to keep down weeds and conserve water, and other environmentally-friendly measures.  This certification  is in the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN) program. From their website:  Key focal areas include water conservation, improved water quality, proper fertilizer and pesticide use, proper plant selection, and other issues related to protecting water resources.

I removed every blade of grass in my backyard when I moved in 10 years ago. I allow the leaves from my heritage oaks to remain on the ground and supplement them with purchased mulch (leaving yard 'waste' onsite is a factor that will get your points in the FYN rating system :-)

On Monday, July 7, 2003, FYN Agent Laura Vazquez toured my yard and gave it a passing grade of 61.5. To become certified you only need 36, so I'm confident I'm doing my part for the environment. I hope you will too. To read more about the Florida Friendly yard program, and perhaps to call and get your yard certified, visit:  or call 305-248-3311 x 245 or email

My garden was later awarded the Golden Oak award, the highest one given by the Florida Friendly Yard program

anya mccoy with  Florida Friendly Golden Oak  award

Take your time and peruse this entire page, which is loaded with information, but here are some quick links to some other pages of mine:
Click here to read a Miami Herald article about one of my herb garden designs

Click here to see pictures of my garden designs
Click here to see a graphic of the Biscayne AquiferSAVE WATER

Click on here to go to the Zone 10 - South Florida -- veggie planting guide

Click here for My Gardening Almanac for Zone 10 - South Florida
Click here to see my pages on St. John's Wort -- I infuse the oil for pain relief

I was the Zone 10 columnist for Organic Gardening magazine for years.
I have been an organic gardener since childhood,
and will share with you many tips I have gathered over the years.

Angel Trumpets sweetly  scent the night air outside my front door.

What sort of garden are you?
I took the test and up popped a sunflower and the following message:

You are a summery cottage garden! Lots of colorful flowers happily grow and multiply, slightly
unkempt and very well loved. You and your bird friends sing happy silly songs while clipping
branches of lavender to bring into your kitchen. You are optimistic, outgoing and generous.
Yes, that's pretty much me!
What sort of garden are you?
Visit to see what type of garden you are.

Pictures of some of my favorite plants growing in my garden

Galangal is a root from Thailand, used in soups and to flavor other food.  It is similar to ginger, but hotter in flavor. The large, tropical leaves provide a nice landscape accent.  This plant is one year old, and just flowered for the first time. This scanned with a pinkish tone, the flower is actually white with red markings. You can find the fresh roots in some Asian grocery stores, and plant it in your garden or in a pot.  D

CARDAMOM Eletteria cardamom
The fragrant  seed pod from this plant is a staple in Indian cuisine. It is a rough-textured plant that has good landscape use in South Florida.


This is a photo of 3' cuttings I took from the Mother tree. The blooms last all spring and summer. They smell like ripe peaches.  After you water in the cutting to establish the plant, you never need to water it again!

A tropicana rose and mexican petunias frolic together 
in a xeriscape bed. 

This purple-leaf Japanese honeysuckle is drought-tolerant and a wonderful additon to a garden. The flowers cluster is so large, it looks like a 5" dia. yellow rose from a distance, and is beautiful against the dense foliage. The fragrance is fabulous, an identical combination of lemon and honeysuckle.

SWEET KUMQUAT -- Fortunella crassifolia var. Meiwa
The small round fruits are candy-sweet and have a hint of mango to accent the orange flavor. Eat them rind and all. The fragrant flowers and fruits appear year round.
(note: all my citrus were destroyed by the  Florida Citrus Police in a hare-brained attempt to stop the Citrus Canker.)
Read more about it here: 
Save Our Trees

COLLARDS  Brassica oleracea
Every Southern garden -- and Northern ones, too, should include these attractive, nutritious plants. Hardy even after a freeze, they need lots of room.

The big leafed green plant (without the red flowers) is Patchouli getting it's little bit of sun around noon. It is a shade-loving plant and is grown in Indonesia and other S. Pacific countries under coconuts, as it is here. Smells wonderful, light and soft and woodsy.

This is the rarely-seen lemongrass that is used in candy, sweet drinks and sweet foods. It is Cymbopogon flexuosus, East Indian lemongrass. The thick-stalked West Indian variety, C. citratus, is used in Thai and Vietnamese and Asian cooking, as it is not as sweet as this variety.


Symphytum officinale, Comfrey, subdued growing in the tropics. In colder climates its seeds would have propagated all over the garden, as it is quite invasive. Here in Miami is sits quietly, for five years now. It should be used sparingly in the tropics, as the PAs associated with liver damage may be greater here due to lack of cold season.

Rosemary frolics along my front path, often flowering three times a year.
The Great "Curry vs. Curry" Controversy
This plant is the subject of many newsgroup posts beause of the confusion between them because they share a common name. I believe these are  the first-ever
side-by-side webpage photos of the two. Enjoy.
^^^^Helichrysum angustifolium 
The small grey mound in the foreground is 
H. angustifolium.  The fragrance is warm, exotic, buttery. The taste is bitter although some do report using the leaves in biscuits, rolls, etc.  Next to it is rosemary. Behind it are garlic chives, roses and Aztec tarragon. 
This plant only grows1-2' tall.  Other Helis are taller.

Murraya koenigii
This is the true curry plant of India. The leaves are added to curry mixtures. The leaves smell almost repulsively pungent (to me). It is not related at all to powdered 'curry spice mix.' Instead, the Indian people quickly fly the leaves of this plant in oil, and them remove them before making a curry.
Update: Summer 2002 - this tiny plant has grown into a 5'tree. I believe this is the dwarf variety, by the size of the leaves

The purple flowers in front are 'tropical petunias',
When it blooms, I will add a photo of its cousin,
Murraya paniculata,Orange Jasmine, that has a beautiful  fragrance.
Well, I finally remembered to take a photo of this wonderful, fragrant plant in bloom, August, 2002. You can see why Murraya paniculata is called orange jasmine -- the flower looks very similar to an orange flowers. I would say the scent is more like night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) than Jasminum officinalis, or an other Jasmine specie (if anyone disagrees, please email me, somethimes I think my nose plays tricks on me when many jasmine-type plants are blooming, which they are now.

The leaves are also 'kinda' like citrus -- dark, leathery, shiny. For perfumery, I stripped my plant of flowers right after this photo was taken, and I macerated half in jojoba oil, half in alcohol. I add more flowers every day as they appear.

Here in Miami, this plant can be used as a hedge, but my plant is a standard, i.e, a single trunk about 4' high, with foliage on top.

This is the tropical Caribbean and Latin American plant, Culantro, Eryngium foetidum. It smells and tastes just like Cilantro. Note the spikey, painful seed heads. This variety has broader leaves than the more common variety. The biggest leaf in this pic is slightly damaged and light in color, usually they are dark green like the lowest leaf.

This plant is erroneously called Vietnamese cilantro. I don't see any resemblance to cilantro. It's botanical name is Pologonum odoratum, its Vietnamese name is rau ram. It is very good in egg dishes, soups and fresh, in salads. 

I just tranplanted this patchouli plant,  Pogostemon patchouli (may be incorrect sp. name, I have to wait until it flowers. It is about 15" x 15" at this time, it will grow to 4'x4' in the shade with good moisture. Grown under my Brugsmansia on the north side of the house, by the front door.

dracena fragrans corn plant with fragrant flower

Dracena fragrans, the Fragrant Corn Plant with fragrant flower



Nothing is better than homegrown pineapple- super sweet!


Please note: all of the citrus were destroyed by the Florida Citrus Police constitution-busting teams.

See links above (under the Kumquat photo) for links to read more about this.

I just can't stand to remove the names of the destroyed trees from this page, as I planted them and tended them for years, and they deserve a memorial.

ATEMOYA Annona  cherimola x squamosa
BANANA Musa acuminata (four kinds of rare mini bananas)
BUDDA'S HAND CITRUS Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus
CATTLEY GUAVA Psidium littorale (yellow fruited)
COCONUT PALMS    Cocos nucifera var. Yellow Malayan
FIG, BROWN TURKEY Ficus carica
 THAI LIME LEAF  Citrus hystrix
JABOTICABA Myrciaria cauliflora
KUMQUAT, MEIWA - sweet variety  Fortunella crassifolia
LEMON, MEYER Citrus limon
LIME, KEY LIME Citrus aurantifolia
LIME, MEXICAN Citrus latifolia
LOQUAT Eriobotrya japonica
MANGO Mangifera indica var. "Julie" (dwarf)
ORANGE, NAVEL Citrus sinensis
ORANGE, VALENCIA Citrus sinensis
SWEETSOP     Annona
SURINAM CHERRY Eugenia unifolia
TANGERINE Citrus reticulata

I also design as many as possible into the gardens of clients.....

Allspice tree
Basil, Cinnamon 
Basil, Holy 
Basil, Lemon 
Bay leaf
Chives, Garlic or Chinese
Coriander, Vietnamese 
Curry Leaf two kinds, see pics, above
Epazote (bean herb)
Galangal root
Ginger root
Jasmine (true Jasmine, Sambac, Night-blooming and Carolina) 
Lemon Hyssop
Lemon Marigold
Lemongrass - East and West Indian varieties
Mint, Chocolate
Mint, Orange or Earl Grey 
Oregano, Cuban, variegated
Oregano, Italian 
Parsley, Curly
Parsley, Italian 
Pepper, Habanero
Pepper, Japaleno 
Pepper, Purple Devil 
Rosemary (4 kinds) 
Sage, Fruit
Sage, Pineapple
Scented Geraniums  many types 
Society Garlic 
Sweet Marjoram 
Tarragon,  Aztec 
Thai Lime Leaf
Thyme, Caraway 
Thyme, Lemon
Vanilla bean Orchid
Vanilla Grass

(not all can be grown year-round due to heat and humidity)


         Penta hosting a butterfly  ---"Turtle" sniffing Rose scented geraniums

Information Resources for South Florida Gardeners

Cooperative Extension Offices
These folks can help you with xeriscaping, plant ID, insect and disease problems. A great resource.
USDA experts will answer your questions. They also have pamphlets and reference material for the public.
Broward 954-370-3725
Click here for the Miami -Dade IFAS homepage  Dade 305-248-3311
Palm Beach 561-233-1700

24801 SW 187th the Redlands has classes 305-247-5727  Fruit and Spice Park
 has classes and special plant sales in Miami    Fairchild Tropical Garden
The complete text of this  book on tropical fruits is available online  Julia Morton's "Fruits of Warm Climates"
Miami, Florida -- monthly meetings   Rare Fruit and Vegetable Council
One of the best selections of topical and fragrant plants on the 'net. Very informative site, lots of photos Top Tropicals mailorder
lots of info and links
Florida Agricultural Info Retrieval System
FNGA - Florida Nursery Growers Assoc.
Soil and Water Conservation Society
One of the greatest sources of info on plants, worldwideBetrock's HORTWORLD  Plant Info Services
Research that disease or insect injuring your South Florida plant       Ft. Laud IFAS Ag research
Miami's last agricultural lands  Redlands Organic Farming
Coral Gables Farmers Market
 very comprehensive    Santols Tropical Fruit Page for Zone 10
Zone 10 Tropical Plants
USDA's Home Page
Tropical Fruit Facts
California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
I've used RainDrip irrigation for years, both at my home and on projects. Rain Drip Irrigation
 My undergraduate degree is in Economic Botany, closely linked to ethnobotany  Ethnobotanical leaflets
  New York Botanic Garden Official Website for the  Society for Economic Botany
CIEER - Center for Int'l Ethnomedicinal and Education Research
American Horticultural Society
American Association of Botanical Gardens
Great informative catalog, great seeds from around the world    Shepherd's Garden Seeds
Lots of various jasmines and plants from India with photos. Mail order company.   Bhatia Nursery  in New York
 Organic Gardening Forum
  I've ordered hundreds of rare plants from them, very reliable      Logee's Greenhouses
 Pepper Joe -- a source for hot and/or rare pepper seeds  Pepper Joe's

The Herb Society of America
The leading organization in American for herb medicine research Herbalgram - The American Botanical Council
Great catalog, haven't ordered from them yet, but heard good things. Live plants, seeds, some dried stuff Richters Herbs
   I've been ordering stuff from this company for years -- very reliable. Dried herbs, vitamins, etc. PENN HERB
 Henriette is the keeper of the Medicinal and Culinary Herb FAQs  - great info and links   Henriette's Herbal Homepage
 Good source of info and links for herbal businesses  HerbNET
 The Herb Research Foundation is a great resource Herb Research Foundation
 This well-respected herbalist's site is comprehensive, has many piictures and drawings of herbs  Michael Moore



To email me, please go to my perfumery site and use the contact form

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