Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blanket Flower is So Beautiful!

Native to Florida, Texas, the great plains, the prairie of the Midwest and on up into Canada, this wildflower can take harsh conditions and blooms beautifully. 
All pollinators love it: butterflies, bees (natives too).
Readily reseeds, looks best in winter and spring in the south, spring and summer further north.
Can take dry, well drained, low nutrient soil. 
Mine is along a fence line and mixed in with goldenrod and native grasses.
Easily found at any native nursery.
Please do not buy hybrids bred for larger blooms at big box stores. That sends the wrong message.
We need to appreciate flowers and all native plants just the way they are and for all the good they do.
When plants are bred by humans for bigger blooms, they often lose the benefits they provide for wildlife. That is NOT what we should want!
Also, the true natives can handle tough conditions with NO fertilizers, NO pesticides.
In order to protect our water quantity and quality, it is absolutely essential we learn to love what grows in our region naturally just the way they are.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lee County Commissioners Once Again Poised to Screw the People

How sorrowful it is for any us regardless of where we live to be done in by our elected officials.

Once again, Lee County Commissioners are gearing up to benefit private developers at the detriment of the regular people who voted them into office.
The absolute gall it takes to screw over working class people this way is hard to imagine. If you live on Pine Island, be sure to attend.

Subject: Town Hall mtg, 9 March, 7 p.m.

Please attend the subject meeting to discuss how to respond to the 17 March commissioner meeting at which they plan to hire a Tampa law firm to rewrite the Pine Island Plan.

CU there.

Phil Buchanan

Thursday, March 5, 2015

FYN a Good Place to Start

The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program is a good way to take that first step to chemical independence, and welcoming wildlife into your yard. Classes are coming up, be sure to attend one!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Floridians, It's OK to Clean and Weed Your Garden Now!

Before and after pics of my own yard. I have a 150 ft. long fenceline where most of my wildflowers are...

Before: the poinsettias and porterweed are spent. There are lots of seeds down in the leaf litter, so it will come back.
You probably can't see it, but there is a brand new baby blue porterweed to the left of the main plant in this bed, and lots of little plants getting ready to grow tall.


After. Still lots of plants but all ready for spring!

After. My blanket flowers are blooming like crazy!

Yes, It Really Is This Easy!

I took this picture just 2 days ago. A beautiful bee came to my NATIVE tropical sage, a Florida wildflower that does not require ANY special conditions or assistance. I never use fertilizer or pesticide in my yard, NEVER.  The wildflowers I have planted along the fence line readily reseed year after year, so all I need to do is clear it out of dead plants in the spring. I get at least 7 species of butterfly at any given time, lots of native insects (bugs are beautiful!) of all kinds, many of whom prey on other insects to keep everyone in check, and others who are also pollinators, and lizards and toads. Yes, some are exotic, unfortunately. But lots of natives too. And of course, all the insects and caterpillars are food for the birds.

Wherever you live, find a native nursery, add more natives to your yard, stop using chemicals, and you too will become a haven for wonderful wildlife.

It really is this easy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Plant Real Florida is AWESOME!

I will never be able to say enough good things about the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.  Cammie Donaldson has put together a retail and wholesale group of native plant enthusiasts and professionals who really have made Florida a better place because of the work they all do.
The retail website is absolutely LOADED with good, inspirational information, videos, and the best part of all, just type in your zip code or look up your county and find the native plants that are historically native to your area.

And yes, they are on Facebook!

And, coming soon for landscape professionals, the Native Plant Show!

They also are responsible for the Guide for REAL Florida Gardeners! FREE at native nurseries and lots of other organizations who believe in native plants.  The Back Ten Feet was mentioned in the 2012 issue.

FANN also has designed this beautiful yard sign and we need to see more of these all over Florida. They are metal, and available at most retail native nurseries, or just order one online! By the way, when you go to their website, that pic you see of this sign in a yard with blue porterweed by a fence...that's MY sign!