Ornamental Grass - Putting on a Show

October 25, 2009 by Rick

Muhly Grass is a Florida Friendly native grass that is a spectacular fall bloomer.

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This grass is widely adaptable to wet and dry areas throughout Florida

MuhlyGrass

Look for them now in most Florida Home Depot stores.

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Red Fountain Grass is the most popular ornamental grass. Use ornamental grass as a substitute for thirsty turf areas where you don't want to irrigate as much.

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Ornamental Grass adds accent structure and height to a garden.

Fountain Grasses work well in containers. Be sure you cut back the old foliage and flowers in February to 4 inches above the soil line so all new foliage and flowers resprout to repeat the spectacular show again each year.

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Movement is another design element that adds interest and is most easily attained with ornamental grasses sited to sway in the breeze.

 

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The Botany of Desire - Wed 8PM on PBS

October 25, 2009 by Rick

Check out this preview and go set your DVR/TIVO

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Changing the Eating Habits of Americans

October 24, 2009 by Rick

Today we are preparing a garden for foster children at A Kids Garden in Brandon. Exposing youngsters to growing vegetables is something we all can do. Community Gardens are making a big comeback in America. Plants some herbs or cool season vegetables and share your knowledge.

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SEEDS Com Gdn Durham 16 09 NC GWA

Exposing young folks to eating better is the message for us all in this video.

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Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 2

October 21, 2009 by Rick

The ARS is on the verge of victory in the battle of an aggressive invader that has swallowed much of the south.

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The invincible, KUDZU. Seems they have figured out how to infect it with a fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria, specifically effective on Kudzu. This fungus works so quickly that plants sprayed in the morning with Myrothecium show signs of decline by the afternoon with killing potential of nearly 100% and no injury to other trees and plants tested so far. They are still testing it for safety and formulating sprays that have good shelf life and efficacy. There is even hope that it will be useful controlling weedy purslane and spurge in vegetable production. Wouldn't it be nice if it works on Air Potatoes and Skunk Vine too? This has to be a more sustainable way to control weeds and pests, return the environment to a sustainable state and replace some reliance on synthetic and salt based herbicides. It likely could be certified as organic. Homeowner formulas would be nice but it is too soon to know if the use is too narrow for marketability or other use complications make private use unavailable.  

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Thank You, Florida Commissioner Bronson

October 18, 2009 by Rick

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson and Farm Bureau President John Hoblick presented Riverview Flower Farm with the CARES Award. We are one of twelve Tampa Bay growers recognized for their superior natural resource stewardship during the first-ever Tampa Bay CARES dinner that was held during the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting on Oct. 1. http://www.thisfarmcares.org/press/2009_0922

Our story is best told in a presentation produced by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Commissioner Charles Bronson had previously awarded us with the Environmental Leadership Award for which we are very grateful. Read More

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Plant Auction at the County Fair for Scholarships

October 15, 2009 by Rick

Quality plants at wholesale prices for a good cause. We are donating Butterfly Garden plants for this fun event.

Plant Auction

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Discover Florida Wildflowers

October 13, 2009 by Rick

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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education | Turf Substitute
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The Gardens of Montrose

October 11, 2009 by Rick

Montrose is a Sponsored Project Garden of The Garden Conservancy. This garden exudes design, color and imagination. You can purchase unusual plants they feature on their open garden days. Near Chapel Hill, N C.

Getting there....

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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Container Gardening | Design | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
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Good & Natural Bacteria - Growth Products

October 8, 2009 by Rick

Grwoth Prod group

At The Landscape Show in Orlando last week I met up with the providers of the good bacterial and natural plant growth products that help us grow Florida Friendly Plants in a sustainable way that is good for the environment and works well with the locally produced compost we use for potting media. These Bacteria subtilis organisms continue to grow in and around your plant roots in your home landscape and protect the roots from fungus and disease.

I met with Claire Renenberg, the founder and the microbiologist  behind Companion and other natural products we use. Here is a link to an article on Riverview Flower Farm and the Good Bacteria we rely on.

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education
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Natives for Your Neighborhood

October 5, 2009 by Rick

A very informative site is being developed to help you determine what might grow in your environment. Natives for Your Neighborhood (beta)

Gardeners looking to integrate wild species into their landscape for the benefits of attracting butterflies and birds to the garden will find this tool helpful. The images are clear and the information insightful.

Corkystem passionflower This is the native passion vine that is well behaved. Be careful where you plant the pretty Passiflora incarnata. It suckers and sprouts up far from where you plant it and become a dominant invasive plant in your gardens and your neighbors.  

The site helps you figure out what your preexisting habitat was before it became subdivision on deep sand fill dirt. Be aware that the natural soil is gone from the subdivision as drainage and water shedding was improved and retention has been altered and moved to a central site when the bulldozers and dump trucks created the streets and home sites. This means that what was growing on the site previously will not perform the same way if you try it again. Always consider Right Plant - Right Place weather you design your garden with natives or other Florida Friendly Plants that attract wildlife and are more attractive to gardeners. Look around similar neighborhoods for plants doing well in settings similar to your own. You won't have to look far. Take a digital camera with you and capture local plants you would like in your yard. Discuss the plants with other gardeners, neighbor, friends, or your local County Extension agents whose job it is to help you get it right.

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Butterfly Garden | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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