There are several things you can be sure of when summer comes to the Gulf Coast: hot days on beautiful beaches, canoe and tube rides on the cool rivers, lots of sweet tea and the beautiful blooms of the crepe myrtle. The crepe myrtle is a great plant here in our area, with it's showy blooms through the hot summer, tolerance to our scorching sun and ability to stand periods without much water. It can be shaped as a standard (tree form) or left go to act as a shrub.

   Another thing you can count on for the past 18 years is the Santa Rosa Clean Community System's biggest fundraiser: the Annual Crepe Myrtle Sale at Green-Up Santa Rosa. Hundreds of crepes are available in a wide variety of colors and mature sizes. One gallon plants are priced at $5.99 and three gallon at $9.99. A further discount is available on bulk purchases of 10 or more.

   All of the proceeds from the sale go to funding the programs of the Clean Community System, such as the Great American Clean-Up, Rivers Clean-Up, Paint Your Heart Out, Coastal Clean-Up and many more. Green-Up Santa Rosa, the nursery open to the public, has planted thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers over the years throughout the area. The nursery is located at 6758 Park Avenue in Milton and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am through 5 pm. For more information, you can call 623-1930.