Wednesday, May 22, 2013

F.N.P.S. 2013 Landscape Award Winners

Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply for a Landscape Award this year. By going native, we ALL win. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Page Field Aviation Terminal, Lee County
FNPS Landscape Award of Merit
     Designed to blend with the Southwest Florida environment, this new aviation terminal opened for business in August of 2011. Airports typically do not fit in with a community setting so an important part of this project was design it to blend in with the urban setting and enhance the aesthetics of the airfield, while still enabling safety and aviation protocol. Choosing the landscape plant materials for an airport is challenging because the plants and trees should not attract birds or other wildlife that could interfere with aircraft. This is the opposite of why we typically plant native landscapes. The challenge was to choose native palms and trees, shrubs and perennials that not only added to the beauty of the site, but also don’t attract birds or insects. Additionally, Lee County regulations require that 50% of the plants be native to Southwest Florida. This project far exceeded the required percentage and contained 84% native species. The design incorporated 12 different native tree species and 14 different native shrubs as part of two wet retention ponds and an entrance drive.  This is a unique and exemplary aviation landscape in Florida.

One of the landscape challenges at Page Aviation Airfield (pictured above and below) was

to find natives that would not attract birds or other wildlife that could interfere with aircraft.

Cowie Residence, Brevard County
F.N.P.S. Landscape Award of Merit
     Located six miles west of the Indian River Lagoon, this beautifully detailed landscape was once a monoculture of non-native, chemically dependent plants. Today these award winners have achieved their goal of having a landscape that attracts wildlife, creates privacy, adds to the ecology of the community and one that stands out with curb appeal.
     Their landscape contains live oak, Sabal palmetto, beautyberry, wild coffee, Fakahatchee grass, sunshine mimosa, pineland heliotrope, Verbena tampensis, Senna ligustrina, and firebush. Their native plants have provided resources for pollinators and food, habitat and shelter for birds and butterflies.
     The site has been featured in the Florida Association of Native Nurseries (F.A.N.N.) catalog, used as a demonstration garden by the Conradina chapter of F.N.P.S., included in a documentary film by the Brevard Museum of Arts and Sciences, and appeared as the centerfold in the Guide for Real Florida Gardeners.

Curb appeal, wildlife, privacy, and eco-friendliness - the Cowie residence
(pictured above and below) achieves all of these goals and more

Beaupre-Heitzman Residence, Pinellas County
F.N.P.S. Landscape Award of Excellence

     As a typical suburban subdivision property, the existing landscape comprised a monoculture of lawn sod and non-native foundation shrubs. After the removal of the non-natives, the owners' objectives were to create a screen for some “outdoor” rooms, ameliorate noise from the adjacent street and effectively layer tall to low plantings to create habitat for a variety of species.
     After several years of planning and planting, the landscape now consists of many native species including sabal palms, sea grapes, saw palmetto, gumbo limbo, red cedar and slash pine. Understory plantings contain myrsine, marlberry, snowberry, beach sunflower, varnishleaf, wild coffee, porter plant and beautyberry.
     This home landscape has been featured in the Tampa Bay Times and on local landscape tours. Further, it was awarded "Home of the Year" from the City of St Petersburg.

The Beaupre-Heitzman residential landscape design (pictured above and below) effectively
creates outdoor "rooms" and blends the man-made and natural environment through the use
of native plantings and hardscape that reflect the owners' keen sense of proportion and scale.

Royal Grove, Residence of David & Louise King, Dade County
FNPS Landscape Award of Excellence

     Royal Grove is located at the edge of Everglades National Park not far from Taylor Slough where the owners are Park Naturalists. The land had been previously farmed in row crops and was bare soil when the property was purchased. The design objective was not to restore any one plant community but, rather, to establish an arboretum of native plants that would evolve into a natural landscape and attract/feed a diversity of wildlife. Plantings include wild coffee, coontie, live oaks, satinleafs, cherry trees, persimmon, royal palms and crabwood trees. 
     The first materials planted were the large tree species followed by understory trees and shrubs, then oak hammocks. A pond area was created and trails were established over time as the vegetation grew. Eventually, elevated boardwalks were built through the north hammock and epiphyte species were added.
     This property contains seven species of native trees that have been recognized as "National Champions" on the American Forests’ List of Big Trees. These include Florida licaria, pale lidflower, cinnecord, Florida nectandra, boxleaf stopper, Florida fiddlewood, and myrtle-of-the-river. Their wingleaf soapberry is the Florida Champion.

Royal Grove (above) is the home of David and Loiuse King, both of whom are Park Naturalists.

Linear features including an elevated boardwalk (above) and an allee of trees (below)
challenge the notion that native landscapes are unkempt, informal spaces.

The pond they created (pictured above and below) incorporates both marginal and
aquatic native plantings, which give it softer edges and a more naturalistic form.
Posted  and edited by Laurie Sheldon
Are you interested in becoming a part of the Landscape Award Committee, which examines images, site documentation, and deploys local judges to visit qualifying contenders? E-mail Karina Veaudry to learn more about Committee member requirements.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Live blogging from the conference: Saturday

Saturday at the conference: 

FNPS held its annual membership meeting, winners of the plant ID contest were announced, and Palmetto awards were presented. Then everyone turned out for keynote speaker Roger Hammer.
Saturday keynote speaker Roger Hammer entertained a full house.
His theme was "La Florida" so he showed us how
Ponce deLeon probably appeared here.
He also had wonderful slides of some of the flowers
that would have inspired the name.
We had many great speakers...
Bill Berthet talked about rare butterflies of NE Florida. He also led one of the field trips. Andrea Delong-Amaya talked to us about the cool projects at the Ladybird John Center in Texas. They've been created innovative venues for kids including this Stumpery and bird nests that kids can play in.

Lunch Break

Many attendees spent lunchtime out on the back deck: the pavilion.
Roger signed his books along with other authors at lunch time out on the pavilion.
Some movers and shakers for FNPS.

Afternoon sessions:

The afternoon presentations included the special homeowners' workshop.
Ixia members and landscape architects, Laurie Sheldon and Jake Ingram, presented the workshop
o a group of more than 60 participants. Many of them bought native plants from our vendors to get started right away.
The homeowners workshop included landscaping principles and personal
experience with natives in your yard. Hint: They grow!

The silent auction room was busy as the bidding time drew close.

Linda Schneider won the quilt raffle.

FNPS president, Steve Woodmansee, won the kayak raffle.
REI donated this item to the conference.

The Saturday Evening Social

The committee arranged for a Low Country boil in the Dolphin Plaza located in Hanna Park, which includes miles of Atlantic Ocean Beach. The food was great and so was the company.
Dunes next to the Dolphin Plaza, the location of our Saturday evening social.

Our performers at the Saturday evening social: Bella Voce.
We were treated to a wonderful selection of 16th century Spanish pieces to complement the conference theme: "La Florida"

The dune vegetation included some windswept magnolia trees.

Magnolia grandiflora

And so another conference ends...

People were off on field trips this morning to conclude the 2013 conference. Thanks to everyone who came. You made it fun for all of us on the committee.

The organizers of the 2014 conference were in attendance and were taking notes and soaking in some of our experiences. It will be hosted by the Coccoloba Chapter in Ft. Myers at the Florida Gulf Coast University from May 15 - 18, 2014. See y'all there!

More detailed summaries of some of the presentations will be posted here in the next few weeks.

Photos and text posted by Ginny Stibolt.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Live blogging from the conference Friday

The crowd assembles on Friday morning for announcements and awards.
Anne Cox accepted the award for the Society,
and of course, for herself.

Friday at the FNPS conference

Susan Grandin, Director of State Lands for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,  presented awards of appreciation for FNPS, for Anne Cox, and then for the whole land review comittee. (Anne Cox, chair; Danny Young and Kevin Love, vice-chairs; and to long-time reviewers Annie Schmidt and Jack Stiles.)

The land review committee does phenomial work and puts FNPS high on the list of influencial organizations that make the decisions concerning lands in Florida.

One of Jim Draper's ecosystem paintings.

Jim Draper

Friday's keynote speaker Jim Draper, a Jacksonville artist spoke about Florida's natural systems and how he depicts them his topic was the Feast of Flowers.



The Native Plant Sale

The eight native plant vendors have worked hard to provide a wide variety of plants for conference attendees
and the general public.

Dick Workman's basket weaving workshop.

The process of weaving.

Pametto Basket Workshop

Dick Workman led the hands-on workshop on how to weave a basket from one palmetto leaf which uses the stem (with the thorns scraped off) as the handle.

There were 25 participants. When asked later if there were too many participants, Dick said, "Well, if they had been fourth graders, it would have been great. Adults tend to overthink!"

Workshop explains the conditions where dahoon holly grows best.

The Tree & Shrub Planting Workshop

FANN member and local native plant nurseryman, James Loper, presented a workshop on planting a tree.

We'd completed all the paperwork to obtain permission to plant this dahoon holly on the UNF campus. Everyone was pleased with the information, whether it was new knowledge or mostly review of what they knew.

James Loper with the newly planted Dahoon holly on the slope near the pond.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rineman talks with FNPS members
after her talk about the St. Johns River and what her organization
can do the improve the state of the river.

Friday Evening Social

The Friday social sold out quickly when people found out that we were going on dinner cruise on the St. Johns River and that Lisa Rineman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper would be joining us.

The St. Johns is the longest river in Florida and is one of the few major north-flowing rivers in this country. Lisa talked about how its slow flow leaves it more vulnerable to pollution.

Jacksonville, the River City, was built up around the area where the river takes a sharp eastern turn as it flows out to the Atlantic.

Sunset reflection.

Sunset Jacksonville profile

Sunset Jacksonville showing some of the bridge illumination.
Friday was a great day at the FNPS conference. More to come...

I wish you were here! Reported and post by Ginny Stibolt

Friday, May 17, 2013

Live blogging from the FNPS 2013 conference

A lovely quilt made by FNPS member is being offered
as one of our raffle items. 

An update from the FNPS conference in Jacksonville. Wish you were here!

Yesterday, people coming back from field trips had smiles on their faces from all their great adventures from the Okefenokee Swamp just across the border in Georgia to Camp Blanding in Clay County.

Also yesterday, the first of four workshops was offered, the nature journaling workshop taught by artist and nature journalist Elizabeth Smith. (See below.) This workshop was one of four workshhops offered. We also have a basket weaving workshop taught by Dick Workman and a tree planting workshop on Friday, which have both sold out.  The homeowners landscaping workshop on Saturday still has room and you may sign up onsite. It's only $25.

All the vendors, inside and out, have set up and are ready for business. And we have three different raffle items: the lap quilt with FNPS chapter logos surrounding the FNPS logo, a wonderful kayak donated by REI, and a weekend vacation.  Tickets are $5 each.

After the introduction, Elizabeth demonstrated how
she sketches a blackberry flower, leaves and fruit.

Nature Journaling Workshop
by Elizabeth Smith

This three-hour workshop was limited to ten people so the participants would receive individual attention and each one received a bag filled with journaling supplies including a pad, a pen, mechanical pencils, eraser, watercolor palate and a water brush.

Each participant chose a spot for sketching. Eliabeth moved between the particpants
with help as they sketched their subjects.

The results... Elizabeth demonstrating the water brush, which
includes a tube to hold water that can be released
by squeezing.
After the water coloring, paticipants work on water colors
either to fill in their drawings or just to test the process.

The Thursday Evening Wecome Social

Members were happy that the social included dinner, because they were hungry after an exciting day on the field trips, workshops or just traveling to Jacksonville.
The ususal suspects gather for the evening social on Thursday evening.
Committee members Pete and Sally after dinner.Enjoying thebeautiful evening out on the pavilion after dinner.
Live blogging from the conference posted by Ginny Stibolt.