MOSI _ Tampa’s Butterfly Garden

December 1, 2009 by Rick
There are always butterflies nectaring on the plants in their gardens. You can teach children the amazing life cycle of the butterfly and the moth at MOSI. Watch as larvae feed on milkweed and other host plants and see them change before your eyes.

Friends of THE DIRT - Field Trip to the Farm

October 31, 2009 by Rick

Penny and Kim, The Dirt girls, organized a trip to see Riverview Flower Farm in operation today as we planted and packed orders to go to 144 of The Home Depot stores throughout most of Florida. All of our plants go to Home Depot and we couldn't sell any at the farm even though many folks asked.

Penny and Rick get 190 Friends of the Dirt Field-trippers organized in groups for the tours.

The Packing Belts The Dirt Field Trip 03 Oct 31 09

Enthusiastic FODies learned how we grow Florida Friendly Plants using a blend of local yard waste compost and drip irrigation to use the least amount of water and fertilizer while growing the best plants. This cuts waste and eliminates irrigation runoff and reduces the need to spray because the leaves and flowers stay dry.

They also learned how to save the most amount of water and fertilizer while maximizing growth and health of their own plants in their home gardens by using the Pot-in-Pot method.

 

PotinPot 

 

 

The succulents FODies saw today can be identified using these links:

Virtual Plant Tags        The Cactus Collection     Cactus & Succulent Id

and this image..

Succulent Names 

Hawaiian Portulaca         Portulaca in Maui              A new species 1987

Hawiian Portulaca Portulaca molokinensis 

A field of blooming Muhly Grass and another of Butterfly Cassia about to explode were also highlights as well as detailed information about new and existing varieties of Florida Friendly Plants.

Butterfly Cassia 

FODies learned how to recycle The Tampa Tribune by making paper pots and planting milkweed and sunflower seeds. Paper Pots are a big part of growing better starter plants and the method is very sustainable.

Making Tribune Pots The Dirt Field Trip 07 Oct 31 09 

This is a great idea and a fun way for introducing children to gardening as we did last week at A Kids Place in Brandon.

PaperPot Making Kids 

From all of us at Riverview Flower Farm, thank you Penny and Kim and we hope you plan another field trip to our farm next year.

You should click here and follow us on


Discover Florida Wildflowers

October 13, 2009 by Rick

Beautiful Butterfly Images

September 22, 2009 by Rick

At the University of Florida Museum of Natural History Butterfly Gallery you will find images of more butterflies than you probably knew existed. These are searchable by common and scientific name, country, photographer and other classifications so you can learn and find what you are seeking. This is a good bookmark for anyone starting their backyard or community butterfly garden or anyone who appreciates the beauty in nature.

Monarch and Queen Butterflies Nectaring on Scarlet Milkweed which is also their larval food source.

This year has been particularly good for butterflies. Traveling around Florida I have noticed more species in a larger quantity than previous years. They seemed to be everywhere. It could be that Florida had above average rainfall and the dry season ended earlier than normal this year. Hoe and Shovel has some excellent new images (Butterflies Galore) of different life stages that are worth a look.

You should click here and follow us on

  

Clickety click here and follow us on

 


Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 5 - Memorial Day

May 24, 2009 by Rick

The WOW price on perennials in the green Florida Friendly Plants containers continues through today Memorial Day, Monday May 25 while supplies last. Tell a friend. Click the Pass it on Florida link at the top of the page. (See store for limits and details). Lantana camara is the most popular flowering perennial in the Deep South. Lantana New Gold is the most popular variety as it blooms heavily and continuously and requires little care after it is properly established. Butterflies frequent these nectar rich flowers which come in a variety of new colors.

LantanaNewGold

LantanaPurpleSpreading

Lantana montevedensis - Purple Spreading Lantana

LantanaSpreadingLandscape


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Butterfly Garden | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Turf Substitute
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 3

May 22, 2009 by Rick

The WOW price on perennials in the green Florida Friendly Plants containers continues until Memorial Day, Monday May 25 while supplies last. Tell a friend. Click the Pass it on Florida link at the top of the page. (See store for limits and details). Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' - Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' (AKA R. twedia) is one of the toughest, showiest and most widely used Florida Friendly perennials. This cultivar does not produce seed and was found to be sterile by University of Florida research published in 2002 that was sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection. This is important because the non sterile wild Mexican type has exploded in Florida wetlands over the last century and they are impossible to eradicate. The wild type is listed as a category 1 invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Wading birds continue to spread the seeds far and wide making them a dominate species in many of our wetland areas. Purple Showers is a wonderful sterile Florida Friendly Plant. Your garden will have no impact on the wetlands using sterile Purple Showers which is an excellent choice as it grows well just about anywhere with little or no extra water or fertilizer thus reducing your environmental impact further. No wonder it is becoming one of the most popular perennials in the south.

MexicanPetuniaPurpleShowersSterileHybrid

MexicanPetuniaPurpleShowersSterileHybridEpcot

Disney uses Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' extensively for it's year round color and durability in a very wide range of water and light conditions. Here it is growing as a permanent planting in the beautiful floral display beds in the Canada attraction at EPCOT. Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' grows in ponds or in dry sandy soils and even tolerates coastal Florida salt air well.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Butterfly Garden | Cold Hardy Perennial
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 2

May 21, 2009 by Rick

The WOW price on perennials in the green Florida Friendly Plants containers continues until Memorial Day, Monday May 25 while supplies last. Tell a friend. Click the Pass it on Florida link at the top of the page. (See store for limits and details). Included in this event are Pentas lanceolata, one of the most popular Florida Friendly perennials. It blooms continuously and is one of the best Butterfly attractors. The tall varieties should be pruned several times a year to shorten and strengthen their structure. Soil enriched with 50% organic matter (compost, leaf mold, cow manure, peat) supports beneficial bacteria and microbes that combat microscopic nematodes, a pest that can cause the eventual decline of Pentas. Pentas is adaptable to full sun and partial shade and repeating several groupings across the length of your garden alternating with another tough and colorful plant like Variegated Flax Lily adds harmony, texture and formal appeal to a design.

PentasWhite PentasMixedColorLandscape

 PentasRoseDwarf

Pot in Pot in Pot 15  DiamondFrostPentas

Pentas is a versatile ever blooming perennial that is useful as a combination component.

Mixed with Euphorbia Diamond Frost, another ever blooming perennial, Pentas makes an appealing arrangement or mass planting in a flower bed or border.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Butterfly Garden | Container Gardening | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Color Me Native - A Coloring Book for Children that Teaches them Native Plants

May 7, 2009 by Rick

A free coloring book brought to you by the Florida Native Plant Society. Download the pages at:

Coloring Book 

Firebush

Teach children through visits to the garden and let them color and learn about the nature that surrounds them.


Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Visit a Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville

April 18, 2009 by Rick

Where Science Takes Flight ..... In the words from the center.... Come face-to-face with exotic, vibrant butterflies fluttering atop a lush tropical canvas of foliage and flowers as you experience the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History's newest permanent exhibit. The screened vivarium houses subtropical and tropical plants and trees to support 55 to 65 different species and hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Guests can stroll through the Butterfly Rainforest on a winding path and relax to the sounds of cascading waterfalls year-round. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflies/

 

 

Monarch and Queens nectaring on Scarlet Milkweed

 

Gulf Fritillary nectaring on Purple Coneflower

 

Zebra Swallowtail nectaring on Blue Salvia

 

Sulphur nectaring on a Blue Salvia

Fill your garden with butterfly attracting Florida Friendly perennials available at your local Florida Home Depot. These photos are from my garden south of Tampa. "If you build it they will come."


Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed