Promoting a Friendly Eco-system - Green Tip #8
I originally had something else in mind for this week’s tip, but an unexpected visitor redirected me this morning. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men…..and women! This week’s tip is brought to you by Mother Nature herself!
As I was having my morning coffee and watering the lawn, (no need to call the Water Police; today is one of two allowed watering days!), I was graced by a beautiful hummingbird feasting on Society Garlic and Star Jasmine. She then treated me to a water dance as she came within six feet of where I was sitting and hovered inside the spray of the sprinkler! Truly amazing! Mother Nature is a vessel to God, proving His presence is real!
Redefine your space
A few months ago, I removed a declining scheffellera and redefined a plant bed I have at the front of my property, in an effort to distract the eye from the city’s inconsiderate placement of a utility pole and line in the easement in front of my home. In so doing, I ended up with about five square feet of bare dirt on either side of the bed. I didn’t really want grass to grow over the exposed areas (how mundane!), so I got creative and bought a couple of decorative urns and filled them with Society Garlic and Strawberry Punch Superbells, both of which are drought tolerant and bloom. (Do you see the green factor here?)
Know your plant hardiness zone
When purchasing plant material, whether from a garden center or a catalog, buy for your zone. We, in Central Florida, are zone nine. Also, read the information spikes when browsing for the landscape. Pay attention to the light needed, spacing, and most importantly, the watering needs. Drought tolerant plants will require once weekly watering or less. Although the guidelines say a plant requires full sun, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to have droopy plants. Central Florida is very humid and hot. Many full sun plants require frequent watering to combat the conditions. Drought tolerant plants will keep the Water Restriction Police from tramping on your efforts, not to mention your pocket, as restriction violations result in fines!
Advice from a Master Gardener
My mother, who is a Certified Master Gardener and holds a seat on the Mounts Botanical Garden board of directors and whose County Extension Office Certified, themed gardens are featured annually on garden tours, recommends watering each zone of your landscape for 90 minutes. This practice not only reduces the need for frequent watering, but forces the roots of your plants to reach deep into the ground to find water, rendering them more hearty and healthy.
Attract butterflies to your landscape
When designing your landscape, choose butterfly attracting plants. As I discovered this morning, they also attract humming birds! These wondrous, flower loving creatures pollinate and spread seeds to create more blooms, attracting more butterflies and birds, perpetuating the life cycle, promoting a friendly eco-system! (See, I didn’t forget the theme in my wandering prose!)
I hope you find this week’s tip inspiring. I’m off to the garden center to buy some ground cover, the purpose for which, if successful, will be the subject in a future tip.
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
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