Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HYBRID DESIGN...

(links below both regional and national / US)
The Southwest Florida rainy pattern has started – so last week’s tortured landscapes are bouncing back from the additional water BUT…your water bill has you thinking…you may want an aesthetic change…or you may want to attract butterflies or hummingbirds…the reasons, actually, are just as varied as the plants themselves.  Go native?  Go xeric?  A Landscape Design does not have to be a complete “redo.”  If you have plants that are xeric in nature, a great “Interface” or “Hybrid” Design, may be your solution…A hybrid will incorporate a mix of native and non-native (but xeric) species, based upon groupings of similar irrigation water demands.
What is the big deal about native plants?..
Philosophically, they are:
Literally, they “pull in:”
Tropical Examples to consider [yep, I said it – all Florida Native plants don’t look brown, dead, or scraggly] –
Quick notes:
  1. check for cold tolerance/shade and water demands for each, when deciding where they go
  2. watch for imitations of the “real deal” when you go to purchase – porterweed is a good example->http://www.fleppc.org/list/list.htm
  3. a quick “mailbox note” is an efficient/easy-going way to meet your neighbors, get permission, & procure cuttings/seeds of a yard specimen you’ve seen
  4. happy hunting in the included links, at the store, and looking for flora/fauna (after you try some)!
Here are a few used closer to the Coast: (this touches only the tip of the iceberg!) 
SHORT GROUNDCOVER (1) / POTENTIAL SOD (ST. AUGUSTINE ‘FLORATAM’) REPLACEMENTS
Sunshine Mimosa
Sunshine Mimosa (laughs at full sun spots!)
Peperomia (loves the shade)




FLOWERING GROUNDCOVERS (2) / ANNUALS
Dune sunflower
Dune Sunflower (re-seeds readily / watch for the youngsters!)         Porterweed (the native is a true groundcover and seeds readily)                                                 



SWALES / NON-NATIVE CANNAS
Blue Flag Iris
Blue Flag Iris (almost orchid-like flower)
Duck Potato









ORNAMENTAL GRASSES / FOUNTAIN GRASSES
Muhly Grass (amazing red plume)
Cordgrass
MEDIUM SHRUBS / IXORA & HIBISCUS
Firebush (Dwarf & Standard - irresistible to zebrawings and ruby throats)
Beautyleaf (fireworks along the stem when “left alone”)          
PALMS / CHINESE FAN PALM & PYGMY DATE
Silver Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto (Green & Silver)
Thrinax Palm (Green & Silver)






SHRUBS/HEDGE / FICUS & CHERRY HEDGE
Myrsine (trim this early for “fullness”)
Simpson’s Stopper (buckle-up for an amazing flower show)
TREES / BLACK OLIVE
Buttonwood (Green & Silver)

Additional Resources:
One of the finest book on Native Plants:
More info & obtaining Plants:

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