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 Tour on 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!   Elizabeth ponders the diversity of plants in Renee's front yard. Most of the 16 tour visitors are gathered around Renee as she talks about her landscape.   Mike visiting from the UK notes Renee's creative bird feeders... including the log filled with peanut butter suet. Elizabeth Flynn will be the lead

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 landsc ape 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. Accommodations 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 Night Friday 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

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? A butterfly garden must support the caterpillars.  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 attrac


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 . THE CHICKASAW PLUM TREE & FLOWERS Plum Tree in Bloom 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” ref