Showing posts from December, 2013

Go Green in 2014

By Laurie Sheldon Most of us are not so perfect. Except me, of course. ;-) Well, here we are at the close of another year. For most of us, it's a time for reflecting on the past and determining what changes we hope to make in the future. This process typically boils down to making one or many resolutions about how we're going to turn those hopes into realities. Now, I've been on this earth for more years than I'd like to admit, and I must say that I've met very few people who actually follow through on these resolutions indefinitely. Why? Maybe they're too vague or a touch too ambitious. That's one to talk over with your respective headshrinkers. I'm not here to psychoanalyze. Rather, I'd like to make a few unsolicited suggestions (just humor me, please) for some green resolutions we can all make good on through 2014 (and beyond). Here goes... Dish Out If you enjoy following us on Facebook/Twitter or reading our blog and you aren't alre

Christmas is for the birds

My daughter sends a wreath to all the family members each year. They are perfectly fine wreaths that are part of a local fund raiser in her community.  This year it is a full spruce wreath with a bow, some pinecones and plastic red berries that you can stick in the wreath--a product of Nova Scotia.  I wrote about how I make my own wreaths in The Recycled Wreath  to supplement her yearly gift. And each year I feel bad for the small birds that are attracted to those fake berries. So this year I decided to take action and I added cranberry chains to both the original wreath and the recycled ones so the birds will find something to eat. The fake berries are still there, but they now hold up the cranberry chain. I also added various seed heads to the original wreath. So now all of my wreaths are bird-friendly. For more on making wreaths using native plants see Sue Dingwell's post from a few years back: Native plant wreath making .  Original wreath So this is what it looks l

Plant Shopping 101

by Laurie Sheldon If there’s one question we answer over and over again on the FNPS Facebook page it’s, “where can I find (insert name of plant) in my area?” We are thrilled that you are looking for natives to incorporate into your landscapes! This blog should hopefully become a great reference tool for you to use when shopping for plants and/or seeds in your area. So, without further ado, here are the four different webpages I typically use when asked to locate a particular native species; one is for wildflower seeds and the remainder are for plants. Wildflower Seeds Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seed sources can be found on the internet - why do I limit my seed search to one resource? Simply stated, WHERE seeds are collected is just as important as what species they come from. Allow me to briefly touch on the notion of ecotype without getting completely carried away...  Within a given plant species there are varying degrees of genetic adaptation to the surrounding en

Native Landscaping Course to be Offered in Fort Pierce by the University of Florida

By Robin Koestoyo The native section of the Ft. Pierce "teaching garden". What do Mexican firebush, gumbo-limbo, and Stokes aster have in common, aside from their versatility and compatibility with a wide array of landscape settings? For starters, they are native to Florida, require a minimal amount of care, and are  featured in either of two botanic gardens situated at the University of Florida/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce. Lucky for you, they are among the more than 100 plants to be studied in “Florida Native Landscaping,” an upper division environmental horticulture course offered at the UF Fort Pierce campus. Many industry professionals, nursery owners and state employees have completed the course. Course Schedule Registration for “Florida Native Landscaping” is taking place now for spring semester 2014.  Course lectures will be delivered live with laboratories will take place on Wednesdays, and will begin Jan. 8, 3:00 unti

Protecting our Native Plant Populations

By Juliet Rynear, Conservation Committee Chair We took immediate action after being notified of this patch of Dicerandra cornutissima , an endemic endangered species, which was growing on a roadside in Ocala. Photo credits: above - S. Denton; below - K. Puracan. FNPS members often contact about native plant populations which are in imminent harm – from development, highway and road construction, vandalism, poaching, or even fire suppression. This is especially disturbing when the plant species are state and federally listed as threatened or endangered. All inquiries are forwarded to the FNPS Conservation Committee for immediate action. It is very important that you contact us if you believe that a native plant population is in danger of being destroyed or negatively impacted in some way. In just the past few months we have received notices of plant poaching by FNPS members, loss of rare plant populations to development (private and commercial), and destruction