Bulbine Popularity Soars

July 31, 2009 by Rick

 

 Bulbine

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.

 

JellyBurnPlantBulbineFrutescensHalmark

  http://twitter.com/FlFriendlyPlant


Real Turf vs. Fake Turf and the Environment

June 18, 2009 by Rick

FrontLawn

Have you seen the modern Astroturf? The 2009 version is very nice and can be seen at EPCOT. It feels really good to walk on and you can add a rubber under layer for play areas.

Artificial Turf 1 Artificial Turf 2

Artificial Turf Artificial Turf 4

Artificial Turf 5 Artificial Turf 3

There is an interesting pro and con article at Sustainable Gardening Australia if you think this is appealing to you. In some Florida counties we have Energy from Waste plants where the synthetic turf product will be incinerated 10-25 years after installation rather than land filled which adds to the facts of this article.

Artificial Turf 7 Artificial Turf 6

For more inspiration check out  Felders New Lawn


"Consult the genius of place in all"

May 28, 2009 by Rick

Alexander Pope's 1731 statement is one for the ages. Today gardeners can seek local genius from the U of F's body of Florida research by scientists that seek out and publish facts to make us successful. As gardeners we benefit from the knowledge of what plant works in what setting. Right Plant - Right Place. The recently updated Vegetable Gardening Guide tells what modern and heirloom varieties of vegetables will work in the part of Florida where you live but just as importantly what dates we need to plant them to ensure a harvest.

        

If you garden in Florida your genius bookmark should be Solutions for Your Life. There you can easily access the knowledge database from the U of F Cooperative Extension Service and find the right answer to common and not so common problems with your turf, garden, house plants, pets, energy consumption, home economics and much more. The information is local to your county and staffed by a local genius who is just a call or email away and it's FREE.

You will also find your local county extension office is also the office of your local Florida Yards and Neighborhoods coordinator. FYN information is largely based on U of F research and partially funded by the DEP and water management districts to help you decide how to plant the Right Plant in the Right Place the right way to protect our rivers and lakes. Pass along these links to family, friends and neighbors so Florida's environment can improve. Learn what it takes to do your part to protect the environment and you too can become a genius of place.


Florida-Friendly Landscapes Pass the Legislature

May 16, 2009 by Rick

Landmark legislation went through several face-lifts during this legislative session resulting in a huge win for the environment.  The Florida-Friendly Landscape bill provides a critically needed and much overdue update of Florida law relating to landscapes. 
Historically, Florida law has highlighted Xeriscapes.  If signed by the Governor, the law will be updated to showcase the use of Florida-friendly landscapes (put the right plant in the right place). The bill also provides a missing link to Florida-friendly landscaping by recognizing not only the water conservation, but also the water quality, benefits which Florida-friendly landscapes provide.
The law explicitly adds a connection to the UF/IFAS Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program for homeowners and builders.  The bill references the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology (for which FNGLA helped establish and secure funding four years ago) and the educational resources it provides. 
Finally, the bill strengthens protections for homeowners wishing to install Florida-friendly landscapes and clearly states local government ordinances cannot prohibit or be enforced to prohibit Florida-friendly landscaping.  Special thanks goes to Sen. JD Alexander (R-Lake Wales) and Rep. Seth McKeel (R-Lakeland) for shepherding this victory through the Legislature.


One potato, two potato, three potato, four!

May 11, 2009 by Rick

George Washington Carver invented 108 ways to use the sweet potato. Sweet Potato Products

Plant Breeders today have found sweet potatoes can be very useful as sturdy landscape perennial color components. You can eat the ornamental varieties but once you taste them you will go back to the traditional and much more delectable garden varieties suitable for Florida. Maybe you want to have your cake and it eat too. Alternate your favorite color of ornamental sweet potato with edible varieties to create a pleasing and extensive ground cover to replace thirsty turf while enhancing the view in your landscape. Focus the water on the plants in rows using highly efficient drip irrigation and you will use a fraction of what it takes to maintain an equivalent lawn area. Mulch the entire area with free oak leaves from your neighbors that they leave at the curb or buy some Florida Friendly Melaluca or Eucalyptus mulch to keep the weeds down. If you interplant edible and ornamental types, as you harvest your edible tubers the ornamental vines will keep the view looking beautiful and quickly cover where the edible tubers vines are harvested. Her are some good reasons you might Eat the View.

Margerita Tuber

Ornamental Sweet Potato tuber of Sweet Potato Vine 'Margarita'

OrnamentalSweetPotato

Today, colorful hybrids are readily available in gallon containers and in 9 count Classic Selection trays at most Florida Home Depot stores.

OrnamentalSweetPotatoClassicSelection9Count

OrnamentalSweetPotatoClassicSelection

Ornamental Sweet Potatoes are easy to plant and thrive in Florida.

They make an excellent spreading ground cover and make the color of the other plants in your garden stand out. Think of ways to use the prolific and easy to care for plants as complementary components in designing with color. They can also be used dependably as SPILLERS and FILLERS in container combinations.

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Ornamental Sweet Potato Persian Shaield Combo

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Design | Drip Irrigation | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Turf Substitute | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

February 26, 2009 by Rick

For the 11th year, FNGLA will participate in the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an all-new concept and theme: Green Gardening for the family.  Focusing on two typical households, the garden will focus on two “families”: the I.B. Green household and the R.U. Wasteful family and the common practices of each.  
 hannah

The “Green” family will showcase the concepts of “Right Plant, Right Place,” composting, water conservation, gardening for consumption and will include an area focusing on bio-fuel plants while the “Wasteful” family will highlight some commonly found non-green practices such as improper use of plant material, excess recyclable waste not being recycled and the like.  This new, cutting-edge, contemporary theme showcases FNGLA as a leader in the green sustainability movement bringing easy-to-implement green practices, focused on plants.

Opening Day is March 18 of the 10½ week festival ending on June 1. We will be volunteering along with other Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Associate members to share the wealth of knowledge available to go "Green"


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Welcome to our Florida Friendly Plants Blog

January 19, 2009 by Rick

We plan to share through numerous posts our enthusiasm and experience as long-time Florida gardeners and horticulturists. Our hope is that your gardening efforts will be successful and enjoyable.  We’ll share ways to make your yards and patios beautiful while following the University of Florida's Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping:

 

1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.

 

2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.

 

3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.

 

4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

 

5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.

 

6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

 

7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.

 

8) Reduce Storm water Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.

 

9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

 

More details can be found here: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/nine_principles.htm

 

 
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