Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 4

May 23, 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). Purslane - Portulaca oleracea are a favorite warm season tender perennial that are very popular throughout Florida. The new Pazazz series significantly upgrades the flower power. Find them this spring at most of your Florida Home Depots and you will have more flowers that stay open all day. Pazazz Purslane will make a great long lived 'SPILLER' item in combination planters for hot sunny spots. Pazazz Purslane is very forgiving so go on vacation and water it when you return and it will be just fine. Pazazz will be available in the convenient Classic Selection 9 count trays and gallon containers in a variety of colors.

PurslanePazazzPinkGlow PurslanePazazzRoseGlow

PurslanePazazzSalmonGlow PurslanePazazzUltraPink

PurslanePazazzVividYellow PurslaneHybridSamba

PurslaneHybridSambaBicolor PurslaneHybridSambaWhite


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.


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.


Perennial Mania at The Home Depot

May 20, 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). Among the top performing and top selling Florida Friendly Plants on sale today is Persian Shield - Strobilanthus dyerianus, a striking silver and purple plant, grows 4 feet tall and wide in the landscape. It highlights the shaded/partially shaded garden and is a great contrast to green foliage as well as bright colors in the perennial border. Prune the tips once or twice between May and August to make the plant sturdier and bushier. Protect it from frost and severe freeze and salt air. Use Persian Shield as a 'THRILLER' in combination with shade tolerant plants like Jewels of Opar, Red Flame Ivy, Impatiens and Begonias.

PersianShield

 


Pot-in-Pot for Container Gardens - Buried in the Ground

May 18, 2009 by Rick

If you liked the Pot-in-Pot concept http://floridafriendlyplants.com/Blog/post/2009/03/03/Pot-in-Pot.aspx and benefits we described for garden planting try Container Gardens planted to be buried in the ground. Use this time-tested method:

  1. where you find it difficult to work in ground beds on your knees
  2. where you want to swap container gardens to have the best looking plants in place
  3. where you have difficulty digging because tree roots or rocks
  4. where tree or shrub roots will encroach into your rich organic flower beds
  5. where nematodes (microscopic root feeding worms) are a problem on certain plants
  6. where you need to save the cost of incorporating organic matter to build a rich flower bed
  7. where all you have is sand in your garden
  8. where all you have is coral rock in your garden
  9. where you need to save money on water by focusing the water in the container
  10. where you need to keep fertilizer contained and available for the plant with less leaching
  11. where you need the ability to rotate the best bloomers to the front of the bed
  12. where you need the ability to experiment with color in the design
  13. where you want to plant before the last frost free date and have the option to lift and protect it
  14. where you want to experiment with a plants suitability to your light levels
  15. where you might need to rotate the containers to face the sun when it comes from 1 direction
  16. where you can change your landscape in the dead of night while your neighbors sleep

Drop in a container of the same size and shape that nest together neatly.

Change of season....Change your mind...Change your planter

 

 

When its time for a little maintenence or weeding, lift the planter out of it's home in the ground, spray

some roundup on the weeds and let it dry. Replace your planter.

 

 

Why not a Pot-in-Pot in a Pot and then into a Pot buried in the ground? Presto chango! 


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Categories: Container Gardening | Drip Irrigation | Florida Friendly Landscape | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
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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.


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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Cora Vinca Headlines Huge Annual Sale at Home Depot

May 13, 2009 by Rick

Large, beautiful gallon annuals regularly $2.97 are on sale through Sunday at your Florida Home Depot for $1.67 while supplies last. See store for details and limits.

Vinca used to be one of the most popular bedding plants around. However, its popularity has suffered due to its susceptibility in the home garden and landscape to aerial Phytophthora. Realizing this weakness in the plant, Goldsmith Seeds set out on a twenty year breeding program to come up with a series of seed vinca that would be resistant to this devastating disease. The result of this effort was the introduction of Cora™ vinca, the only vinca series from seed with patented disease resistance to aerial Phytophthora. (NIRVANA vinca is a vegetative Phytophthora resistant variety, also bred by Goldsmith and with even larger blooms is available as a Premium Flowering plant)

This breeding breakthrough will benefit gardeners who have planted beautiful vinca plants only to see them perish in the garden during adverse weather conditions.

Benefits of Cora vinca include:

• Patented disease resistance to aerial Phytophthora

• F1 hybrid vigor

• A real heat lover that thrives under humid or dry conditions

• Large flowers

• A variety of beautiful colors are available

 

 


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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Warm Season Gardening | Warm Season Gardening
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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.

AfricanBushDaisyCombination 

Ornamental Sweet Potato Persian Shaield Combo

OrnamentalSweetPotatoPersianShieldPetuniaCombo


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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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Happy Mother's Day - Send Flowers from Your Heart

May 10, 2009 by Rick

SpringBouquetHappyMothersDay

If you can select fresh cut Chrysanthemums, Alstromeria, Carnations and Statice that are not fully open when you buy them they will all last more than a week. Complementary colors make this arrangement pop. You can make a mixed bouquet look better if you add another bunch of your favorite flower to the mix.


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Categories: Design
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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.


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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education
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