Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tools for Creating a Florida Friendly Landscape

Those of us who "play" (and work) in the garden have all our favorite garden tools. Those indispensable tools that we are sure make work easier! Most landscape crews seem to prefer power tools of course.  As for myself, I could not do without a cultivator, both long handled and short.

What other tools beyond the rakes, hoes, hoses, shovels, wheel barrels (or forget all of that and find a really good lawn maintenance or landscape company) do we need? Creating a plan would seem like the best tool of all. I often think that northern gardeners take time to plan their gardens and landscape because clod weather keeps them indoor, providing time to peruse the catalogs, magazines, books, and hopefully publications from their local Extension office. Maybe this is an old outdated image I have in my head from the days of my youth; I do remember looking thru Jackson and Perkins rose catalogs on the occasional cold winter day in Jacksonville.

Now, of course, we have become urbanites for the most part with plenty of things to do regardless of the season, hot or cold.  And here in South Florida we can plant and redo our landscapes any time of the year.  And almost everything will grow here, at least for a while. Why then do most of our landscapes look brand new?  Shouldn't they look lush and tropical in the summer like some exotic island retreat we hope to escape to?  Why don't our yards have a variety of things blooming throughout the year and not just impatiens replanted every winter?

Let's use this blog site to begin to explore plant life in the yard beyond wrestling with the lawn.  We will begin with creating a plan. It will be our first "tool." Until then, a short reading assignment to reacquaint ourselves with the lost skills we urbanites may or may not have learned growing up. Follow the link to the right to the 9 principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping. Read them and add the link to your favorites on your web browser to revisit as we progress with our explanations in creating a Florida-Friendly Landscape.

Until then see you at the next rain barrel workshop and happy gardening!

Barbara McAdam
Florida Yards and Neighborhoods
305-248-3311 ext. 245  

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