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Promoting a Friendly Eco-system - Green Tip #8

Updated on December 22, 2014

Howdy All!

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!

Society Garlic and Strawberry Punch Superbells
Society Garlic and Strawberry Punch Superbells | Source
Society Garlic and Wildflowers
Society Garlic and Wildflowers | Source

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!

My mom, Master Gardener and board member of Mounts Botanical Group
My mom, Master Gardener and board member of Mounts Botanical Group | Source
Mom's message to me in a book featuring her gardens:  "Whether it is the seed of a flower or the seed of an idea - plant it and watch it grow!"
Mom's message to me in a book featuring her gardens: "Whether it is the seed of a flower or the seed of an idea - plant it and watch it grow!" | Source

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

All Rights Reserved

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling


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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wayne, we have sandy soil on this side of the state also. I amend it with compost (that I make as well). I'm currently experimenting with building a Hugelkultur bed. It's not complete, but I'm curious to see if I can grow veggies in it when I finish building it. And yes, your homegrown food is much healthier than what you can buy, especially if you grow organically.

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      I love gardening, Sha. I have very sandy soil here, you may as well, being a Floridian like me, so I have built raised boxes and I create my own compost which which makes Miracle Grow look silly. It's a bit of work, but the fruit and vegi's we get are tastier than anything we get at market. I would imagine healthier as well.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanx, unknown! Where is back home? Do you do any gardening now?

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      This is one great hub bravewarior!

      Gardening is one of my favorite hobby way back home. Used to plant all kinds of vegetables and flowers.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I agree with you, shining! Gardening is not only good for the environment, but it's good therapy.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I love to dig in the dirt and its one of my favorite places to be - in my garden. You are so fortunate to have a Mom who is such a wealth of information.

      I'm always looking to expand my knowledge, especially when it helps my environment and those around me.

      Great hub

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      You make my heart swell, my friend! God bless you!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      maintaining a friendly ecosystem has only benefits and no negative effects on the environment you dwell in!

      Anti-toxic agents or rather purifying agents.. evolve in plenty in such ecosystems and help maintain an air of freshness all the time.

      Plus who does not love a bit of flora and fauna to dwell with. there's nothing better

      Excellent write Shauna

      Very useful