About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Friday, November 22, 2013

Natural Florida Landscaping - The Book

Several years ago I began working on creating (or should I say "enhancing") a natural area on our property that will provide food for all types of wildlife.

In my search for information on the types of plants that will attract a large variety of wildlife, I came across a book written by Dan Walton and Laurel Schiller entitled Natural Florida Landscaping. This duo have been growing native plants, and selling them in their Florida Native Plants Nursery in Sarasota for the last ten years.

It is a small book (about 102 pages) but is written in a simple and effective format that allowed me to easily determine which plants fit my location requirements. Many times when I finish reading a book such as this, I find myself overwhelmed with information and confused on where to start. That was not the case with this book. The most helpful part of this book were the tables of trees and plants well suited for north, central and south Florida. These tables included the average height, moisture and light requirements, as well as comments on what it provides for wildlife. I immediately began to create lists based on my location without getting confused or overwhelmed.

Other good information in this book includes advice on "rethinking" your current yard with tips on how to begin adding natives to what is already there. Small changes can attract wildlife, conserve water, reduce pesticide and fertilizer use. Plenty of helpful ideas are spread throughout this book. They include tips on planting to reduce your home's energy use, which plants provide shelter, food and homes for wildlife, creating water ponds, and adding edibles for human consumption, too.

The tables include lists of: canopy trees, small trees, large shrubs, small shrubs, ground covers, palms, vines, native grasses, wildflowers, pond plants, ferns, plants for full sun and deep shade, plants for poorly and well-drained sites, and salt-tolerant plants.

Bottom line: Someone who wants to attract wildlife, and reduce their landscape's maintenance and water requirements will benefit from the information contained in this book.

If you're interested, please check out the "wild" area in my garden that this book helped me create.