Florida Friendly Demonstration Gardens - The Discovery Garden

February 19, 2011 by Rick

This week I visited The Discovery Garden at the Hillsborough County Extension Office

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as the Master Gardeners did a spring cleanup and planting.

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It should be ready for prime time Monday but call before you go or check the status on their web site.

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They decided to employ the Pot-in-Pot method for their most colorful plantings of seasonal flowers.

In the Pot-in-Pot containers they have selected Voltage Yellow Osteospermum which is the first truly Florida Friendly Osteospermum. Voltage Yellow is available most of the year at your local Florida Home Depot Garden Centers. As a permanent border they planted Sedum Florida Friendly Gold which is becoming one of the most popular chartreuse groundcovers and combination container plants.

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At the Discovery Garden you can see the 9 principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping in action and learn how they can help you design and maintain a home garden and landscape that is easy to maintain, beautiful and has a positive effect on the Florida environment.

There are many of these similar U of F Demonstration Gardens around the state and much of the funding comes from Florida Yards and Neighborhoods programs and the plants are usually all donated from growers like Riverview Flower Farm.

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Rocky was captured that morning at the Discovery Garden and is ready for transplanting elsewhere.

 

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Spreading Lantana, Durable Butterfly Garden Groundcover

November 24, 2010 by Rick

Spreading Lantana is available in Purple or Pure White at your Florida Home Depot Garden Centers year round. Find out about it and more at Floridafriendlyplants.com

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Spreading Lantana - Lantana montevidensis blooms best Fall through Spring and is a more prostrate grower than the New Gold and mounding types. This South African species also comes in white and both are hardier to frost and freeze than other Lantanas. Few pests bother it once it is established in a well-drained site. It tolerates salt air and poor sandy soils but, for continuous blooming, fertilize and water it more frequently or just wait for fall when it puts on a spectacular display.

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Fragrance and Beauty for Your Florida Garden

November 5, 2010 by Rick

Burgmansias fill the garden with delicious scents in the evening. They are very undemanding plants and fill the space given in a home garden. With their big leaves able to capture light energy they are capable in growing in partially shaded settings. Burgmansias send their roots deep and are quite capable of surviving in our sandy soils on rainfall alone once they are established making them very Florida Friendly. Mulch them heavily once or twice a year and you can fertilize them only if you want them to grow faster or larger. Even after the extreme winter of 2009-2010 all the Burgmansias sprouted back from the roots and were in bloom by summer.

Check out Fred’s Blog for some of his new hybrid Burgs that may amaze you.

 

Another hybridizer, Alice Harris has some beautiful success stories to share too. Check out the availability of many Harris and Karchesky hybrids on their site.

Here are some Google images to show you the diversity of the new hybrids becoming available.

 

Check out some images and what Ewa is posting from Europe on Burgs.

If you really get into Burgmansia breeding and history there is a Registry of Hybrids to show who has done what. Enjoy and share gardening with friends.

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Purple Showers Mexican Petunia, The Sterile One

August 29, 2010 by Rick

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Purple Showers is becoming the most popular perennial in Florida for good reason. It is very Florida Friendly as it grows in wet or dry sites without irrigation, requires no fertilizer, has no pest problems and it attracts butterflies. Sulfur butterflies are a regular visitor to these plants. Purple Showers has double the number of chromosomes as the wild Mexican Petunia. Currently, sterile Purple Showers only comes in one color but Rosanna Freyre, Ph.D. of the University of Florida has figured out a way to breed other sterile forms and colors. In the coming years we will have more choices. Read the last paragraph of this article Breeding Brilliance.

Mexican Petunia with 1 day per week watering in full sun 3 yr old plant after 2010 Jan freeze in August

This is a three year old Purple Showers that receives one day a week watering under the Tampa rules and no fertilizer. It is growing in full sun in a median setting with bark and rock mulches covering plastic. The plant was damaged by the January freezes but recovered quickly. You can see that it is clump forming and many folks point this out as aggressive behavior but that can be a good thing if you are trying to replace turf with larger beds of carefree flowering plants. Want to remove them from and area? Three successive sprayings of roundup at four week intervals will kill the plants. This is the same recommendation for other plants that store a lot of energy in their roots like cattails. More information on Purple Showers. Floridagirl’s blog My Florida Backyard has her take on Mexican Petunias you will enjoy.

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Purple Showers are always available at your Florida Home Depot garden centers where you will find a great selection of dependable Florida Friendly plants at a great price that are guaranteed to grow or you get your money back.

 

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Lakes of Mount Dora Gets It!

August 6, 2010 by Rick

Following the 9 principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping is so rewarding for you and the environment. With a little study you can convert your yard and garden to one that requires less water and fertilizer and is still the nicest on the block. You can let your yard make a statement about who you are and how you feel about protecting the environment and reducing chemical and fertilizer runoff pollution.

 

 

Search our Database for many of these plants that can be found at you Florida Home Depot garden center.

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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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Butterfly Garden | Cold Hardy Perennial | Compost | Design | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Mulch | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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St Bernard’s Lily a Tough Grass Like-Plant

May 1, 2010 by Rick

Saint Bernard's Lily - Anthericum saundersiae. This grass-like plant has long, narrow leaves that are dark green forming a clump with upright arching leaves.

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Showy white flowers with yellow stamens persist throughout the year. Give it well drained soil and it grows to 3 feet or less. We have found that if you cut it to the ground every other year it sprouts back rejuvenated and to a similar size quickly. Use it as a 'THRILLER' in the center of a large combination planter for a long lived and trouble free focal plant. Mass plantings are very attractive especially when they are flowering heavily.

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Clumps are well behaved and dependable. St Bernard’s Lily can thrive on rainfall alone once it is established. It will grow rapidly and flower more with some irrigation and fertilizer if you feel the need.

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Anthericum tolerates a fair amount of shade and will grow as a companion to shade lovers like Impatiens and Persian Shield. Here is a link to the Top 10 Florida Friendly Shade Tolerant Plants.

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Spring is Coming to The Home Depot Garden Centers

February 19, 2010 by Rick

Over the last 3 weeks I have traveled around the state and met with 600 Home Depot garden associates spreading news and knowledge about great Florida Friendly Plants. This excited team is chomping at the bit for good weather after all the freezes we have had. We did have a little sleet and snow on January 10th in parts of Florida. What an El Nino winter this has been! With climate change we know winter and summer precipitation will be greater as there will be much more water vapor in the atmosphere as the planet warms yet droughts in drought prone areas are worsening. Poor Australia! We gardeners will just have to take what mother nature sends our way.

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A good percentage of associates are Florida Certified Horticulture Professionals (FCHP). Much of what I shared with the long time Home Depot garden associates (some as much as 20 year vets) is in the post  Successful Gardening in 2010.

Home Depot Delivery

New shipments of Florida Friendly Plants are arriving daily at most

Florida Home Depot garden centers.

 

Duranta Depot

 

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Successful Gardening in 2010

January 25, 2010 by Rick

 

1. Hardy Perennials – Gardeners are asking what plants thrive both frost and hot summer temperatures. These plants tolerate frost quickly recover after cold weather. These popular plants are what customers will have the most success with and will remove some fear of planting. Plant success!

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                           Sedum Florida Friendly Gold

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                                             Blue Eyed Grass

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                                 Bulbine – Jelly Burn Plant 

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                                            Dianthus Firewitch

2. Drought Tolerant Grass and Accent Plants – Gardeners looking for long lived, easy care plants that will survive the typically dry spring and fall growing seasons will be successful with these plants. For the Top 20 Drought Tolerant Florida Perennials go to http://floridafriendlyplants.com/

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                  Purple Showers                                       Purple Queen               

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                                              Variegated Flax Lily

3. Butterfly Plants – For success in attracting butterflies to your garden you can use both the nectar host plants and the larval host plants. Plant them in a sunny site them in the landscape. Refer to the Home Depot tag information for suitable planting conditions.

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                Lantana                              Pentas                               Milkweed

For the Top 20 Drought Tolerant Perennials and the Top 20 Florida Butterfly Plants go to http://floridafriendlyplants.com/

SausEdgeTM is an innovative way to save money and time and get instant results in your garden. Several popular varieties make an instant border in your garden.

http://floridafriendlyplants.com/Sausedge.asp

 

See the video at http://www.youtube.com/profile?edit=1#p/u/5/E1MObn0HqQc

or search Sausedge on Youtube

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                              Cuban Gold Duranta from SausEdgeTM

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                                          Lantana from SausEdgeTM

 

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Classic Selections are an economical way to plant perennials and use less plastic.

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Classic Creations give instant results for combinations in your own containers.

 

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Florida Friendly Flowers

December 18, 2009 by Rick

Polk County Florida Yards and Neighborhoods slideshow. Plan to add some flowers to your Florida Friendly Landscape in 2010. See all their images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/polkfyn/

Links to Help from FYN and The Cooperative Extension Service.

 

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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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Categories: Drip Irrigation | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | Butterfly Garden | Turf Substitute | Cold Hardy Perennial | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | Container Gardening | Cold Hardy Perennial | Design | Container Gardening | Drip Irrigation | Design | Environmental Awareness Education | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education | Turf Substitute | Turf Substitute | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | Cold Hardy Perennial | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | Container Gardening | Design | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education | Turf Substitute | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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