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.

Plan and Plant Wildflower a Garden part 2

November 20, 2009 by Rick

U of F Teaching Garden on Plant City Campus

November 14, 2009 by Rick
Experience a beautiful garden and learn what grows well in Florida and how to grow it. Open 7 days a week for you to wander in and enjoy the park like setting while observing some very diverse garden and plant types.
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SausEdge ...get the egde on your beds

November 9, 2009 by Rick

Plan and Plant Wildflower a Garden

November 2, 2009 by Rick

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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education | Turf Substitute | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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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.





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.

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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping
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Ornamental Grass - Putting on a Show

October 25, 2009 by Rick

Muhly Grass is a Florida Friendly native grass that is a spectacular fall bloomer.


This grass is widely adaptable to wet and dry areas throughout Florida


Look for them now in most Florida Home Depot stores.


Red Fountain Grass is the most popular ornamental grass. Use ornamental grass as a substitute for thirsty turf areas where you don't want to irrigate as much.


Ornamental Grass adds accent structure and height to a garden.

Fountain Grasses work well in containers. Be sure you cut back the old foliage and flowers in February to 4 inches above the soil line so all new foliage and flowers resprout to repeat the spectacular show again each year.



Movement is another design element that adds interest and is most easily attained with ornamental grasses sited to sway in the breeze.


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Container Gardening | Design | Turf Substitute
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Bulbine Popularity Soars

July 31, 2009 by Rick



You can see struggling turf surrounding the thriving Bulbine here (above). Jelly Burn Plant is getting very popular in landscapes throughout Florida.

Drought Tolerant Bulbine at Epcot Demonstration

Bulbine is easy to establish in the hottest months when other plants take more water and TLC.



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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Cold Hardy Perennial | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute | Warm Season Gardening
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Dwarf Allamanda - Perennial Beauties in the Store

July 24, 2009 by Rick


Dwarf Allamanda s

If you are looking for some bright and cheery color in the warmest months ahead don't overlook Dwarf Allamanda. These beauties are easy to establish and at your local Florida Home Depot now. These dwarfs put on a nice show summer and fall and are perennials in zones 9-11. They are drought tolerant once established. Allamanda does not do well next to the beach and is poisonous if eaten. Pest and disease problems are few and rare.


Dwarf Allamanda and Snowbush

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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute
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Choosing Success in The Garden

July 16, 2009 by Rick

Did you ever go into a garden center and were so overwhelmed with choice that you couldn't decide on anything? Here is an interesting video that might shed some light onto garden center shopping dilemmas and happiness.

bookJacket5 The Paradox of Choice Video introduction


With so many choices at the garden center these days how do you decide what to plant in your flower bed or garden? Successful gardeners usually rely on some past experience and couple that with recommendations from various sources. A common reason for choosing a plant is a reaction to seeing one successfully blooming in your area. You choose to have that plant in your yard too. When the plumbago is heavily blooming many people come to The Home Depot and ask for the blue flower they saw across the street at the neighbors.


Often choices  are made from what is available in the garden center the day you are there. The Home Depot tries to have it all. According to the Paradox of Choice video, they have too much?

Choose Success. Choose Florida Friendly Plants at The Home Depot that will perform to your expectations. Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Every day people plant vegetables that are out of season and flowers that won't grow in the place they are set. Ask questions at the garden center because this knowledge has to be learned for you to succeed. The Home Depot wants you to be successful in every purchase and will gladly give you back your money if you are not satisfied. While you are here, bookmark our Database Search Engine so when you are looking for that Right Plant for the Right Place you have a place saved to come back to.

"Consult the genius of place in all" to quote Alexander pope. Check out the free and easily accessible  U of F Cooperative Extension Service.

You are here reading this so you rely on the web for the correct Florida gardening information. Click on the Pass it on Florida tab at the top of the page to share success with friends, family and neighbors (another choice). While you are at it click the subscribe tab for regular updates on gardening success in Florida. Also check out our blogroll for some timely tips and interesting facts and images. I highly recommend Hoe and Shovel for accurate first hand Florida experience and the outstanding pictures that show Meem's success and learning experiences. You can't go wrong following Meem's blog. You are sure to see something growing there that would be right for you. The Dirt has plenty of timely tips and advice too. Make a plan. It could be as simple as I need a plant that is right for this spot in my garden. Choose to be successful.

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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