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 Maybe this is an old outdated image I have in my head from the days of my youth; I do remember looking thru Jackson and Perkins rose catalogs on the occasional cold winter day in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!
Florida Yards and Neighborhoods
305-248-3311 ext. 245
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The green movement has taken over the nation and it’s a concept our program has been educating homeowners about since the year 2000. In Miami-Dade we have a growing population currently estimated at 2.3 million people, yet our freshwater supply is the same. The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program (FYN) was created to help protect our water quantity and quality and other natural resources by creating Florida-Friendly Landscapes.
What is a Florida-Friendly Landscape? A Florida-Friendly Landscape can take any shape as long as it adheres to nine principles. The basic concept is sustainability in order to save you time, money and effort in your landscape. The Right Plant, Right Place principle can help you eliminate 90% of your landscape problems. Using “Low-maintenance Landscape Plants for South Florida” will help you determine which plants require the least amount of water and are suitable for our local area.
As part of our program, we honor model landscapes by officially designating them as Florida-friendly. If you are interested in putting your landscape to the test just answer the questions in our FYN Handbook. Yards are then evaluated based on a checklist to ensure that they qualify as Florida-Friendly. New construction, whether home or commercial buildings, are evaluated with a separate tool that focuses on design and installation practices. In addition, our program can also help you earn credits toward the The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).
Our Urban Conservation Unit and our Rain Barrel programs are our newest additions to the program striving to tackle the Watering Efficiently principle. The average person in Miami-Dade County uses 145 gallons of water per day. Almost half of that total is used outdoors. Stay tuned for our next blog posting to learn more about other FYN principles and how these programs can help you save water and join our efforts in promoting a more sustainable Miami-Dade County.