Showing posts from March, 2016

Find your "AWESOME" on a Conference Landscape Tour

Submitted by Sonya Guidry
The Pawpaw Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society recently held a South Volusia Landscape Tour that included many of the native landscapes  that will be featured on FNPS Conference Fieldtrip "K" Landscape Bus Touron Thursday, May 19th. They ended their yard tours at the Marine Discovery Center, the location for the Kayak (paddle) - Lagoon Restoration Tour , FNPS Conference Fieldtrip"I"on Thursday, May 19th. 

Here is a glimpse of some of the  tour's native yards, and the Marine Discovery Center...

Renee Luedke's Port Orange home.  Surprise, her front yard has no grass to mow!

Ray and Sonya Jarrett 's Landscape Carved Out of NatureWhat a surprising number of diverse tropical species, such as the Strangler Fig intentionally set loose on the laurel oaks, Florida Orchid, Jamaican Caper, and subtropical species Pinkster Azalea and Sassafrass!  

"It was remarkable to see the variety of plants and trees at the home of Ra…

Camp Kulaqua: My First FNPS Retreat

by Mark Kateli, Tarflower Chapter

I thought I knew my FNPS tribe! We were the rough riders of the Florida landscape that understood natural beauty in a manufactured civilization. But here in Camp Kulaqua (run by Seventh Day Adventists) I found pillows, pressed sheets, and (gasp!) Wi-Fi. Being a city boy this was certainly a welcomed sight as we are all accustomed to so many amenities that are taken for granted every day. That being said, this was certainly not the retreat I had envisioned in my head- chilly nights, encircled around a campfire in the middle of nowhere, listening to coyotes howling away, and cold showers in the morning. This was, comparatively, upscale living.

Opening NightFriday was an informal social gathering in the evening by the entrance lobby. I did, as usual, hobnob with some other local chapter members. In particular, I had a long conversation with Ina Crawford of Sweetbay Chapter.It was as though the heavens were listening to my prayer as I was hoping for a very…

The Not So Tidy Yard

By Devon Higginbotham

If you are like me, you want your yard to look neat. So you mow the grass the moment it starts to look unruly, clip the hedges into geometric cubes, rake the fallen leaves and pick up the dead branches. You may even be compelled to eliminate any pesky bugs that may munch on your favorite shrub, leaving them with unsightly bite marks. Isn’t that the human way?

But why is it we feel it so necessary to be in charge of nature? We love how it looks in the parks and natural areas, but in our own yards we feel we must help out, somehow control and shape nature into our ideals of beauty.

Who Are We Landscaping For?  But who I we really helping out? The leaf litter that falls to the ground eventually breaks down and supplies nutrients to the soil that help the surrounding plants (plants can’t just get up and move to a better spot if the nutrients are low). The dead branches attract insects that breakdown the fibers into more humus for the soil.  Insects, in turn, become a…


WHITE WORDLESS BUTTERFLIES...This is how poet Hogan Reiken (1779-1860) described Plum blossoms in his Plum Blossom Haiku 
Blog & Photography by Bill Berthet
Since 2003 I have looked forward each year to the start of butterfly season, beginning with the two to three week period in the month of February for the showy display of plum blossoms of Chickasaw Plum, Prunus angustifolia.

Flowers are white, small, five-petaled, and profusely showy in spring.  They mature into round, ½ to 1 ¼ inch-long, attractive red to yellow fruit that is used for making wine, jam, and jelly, along with providing food for birds. Leaves are alternate, lance shaped, 1-3 inches long, often reflexed upward from the midrib, shiny green above, with minute teeth along the margins. Bark is furrowed, Reddish brown, and somewhat scaly with age.

In Chinese culture the five petals of plum blossoms symbolize the “five blessings” referring to longevity, wealth, health and composur…