January eNews for Broward Native Plants
View this email in your browser

Florida Native Plant Society

Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
Membership $35


Broward Chapter (Coontie) & Event Calendar
Chapter Email
Plant List (Inst. for Regional Conservation)
Above: Passiflora suberosa, Corkystem Passionflower seedlings
Practical Propagation with Art Constantino
Secret Woods Nature Center, 2701 Florida (W. State Rd.) 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312

An evening to explore practical methods of propagation that will help us grow native plants for ourselves and our community. Includes how to propagate both plants & seeds using by a method Art developed over 30 years ago.  Anyone can quickly learn to grow plants from cuttings or seeds.
Visit Art's web page for a little more information about him and discover some useful information about plants and rain barrels.

Photo: Green Winter Garden Center
Propagation Workshop with Scott Bryan
SATURDAY, February 14, 2:00 pm
Secret Woods Nature Center
, 2701 Florida (W. State Rd.) 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312

Pre-registration & $5 Fee Required, call 954-357-8884. This Secret Woods event requires pre-registration so that Scott can have sufficient materials for participants. Feel free to bring your favorite plant seeds and cuttings. If you attend Art Constantino's Wednesday evening presentation, you may also pre-register for Scott's Saturday workshop then.

Beyond Raggedy or Formal: Let's Go Native

Seeking a Better Vision for Native Landscaping

A friend and experienced native landscaper sometimes says, "Native landscaping is in it's infancy." Wonderful native gardens that win the admiration of neighbors are rare. Even our own dreams of a beautiful native garden are not easy to fulfill. How can we grow native landscaping design into something more mature and appealing, especially for the urban and suburban setting?

Some of us started from the idea of sustainability. Native gardening was nature. Nature achieves beauty without irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides, and supports the whole community of microbes, insects, butterflies, birds and wildlife. We plant nature's plants in our yard and all kinds of messy things happen. We were in the Juno Dunes park recently with Steve Woodmansee. He stopped at a place with a variety of trees and shrubs 10 feet high and higher. "Look around;" he said, "very little grows on the forest floor in the shade here." Real nature can be messy or even uninteresting up close. Large natural parks and lots nearby are, of course, wonderful places for urbanites to visit and important to wildlife. Small lots are harder to develop as attractive natural gardens. To many, an all-natural front yard is a weedy hodgepodge. For all its unseen value and importance, the native landscape earns a popular reputation as the raggedy garden.

To reach the public more broadly, native plant folks began advocating replacing exotic plants with native plants or at least replacing the invasive exotics in conventional gardens. This is along the lines of the Florida Friendly landscaping movement, and it has had success with the public and a lot of promotion. We know in Broward that 16 out of 20 voters favored Amendment 1, so there are a lot of people who would like to do the right thing and many are trying. We recognize Florida Friendly as a step in the right direction, but there are problems with replacing exotics with natives, both sustainably and aesthetically.

Many local native plants can't compete with their hybrid counterparts. Since humankind bred wolves to be dogs and grass to be corn we have made nature "better", more likable to most people. Hybrid flowers are bigger, brighter, in more colors, more profuse, have a longer bloom season, on and on. Replacing these big performers with a native can be a disappointment. Native nurseries know what a hard sell this is. Florida Friendly gardens are better for the environment, but not truly sustainable or what insects and wildlife need to survive. A conventional garden design with native replacements like a trimmed Simpson's Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans) hedge or a uniform Powderpuff (Mimosa strigillosa) lawn, somehow miss the mark. It is native landscaping in its infancy. We applaud those using natives in landscaping, but we also need new visions, creativity, something unapologetically native, individual, and beautiful.

What does native landscaping, grown to adulthood, look like? We do see examples, but they are rare. (Photo above: Lincoln Road Mall, South Miami Beach, architect Raymond Jungles.) The all-nature raggedy garden on a small lot is partly the result of too little human participation. Conventional gardening with native replacements is too heavy-handed and disrespectful of natural design and the assets of native plants. A more respectful partnership with nature both protects the environment and looks to the inherent beauty in nature and in native plants. This cooperation with nature is at the heart of what is missing in how we have developed civilization without considering our impact on the natural planet. Development can't continue conquering nature. This century demands a more nuanced relationship and balance with nature. A collaboration of landscape art and nature, with a commitment to do no harm, is the partnership that could define mature native landscape design.

Great native landscaping is not one style or design concept, it is each gardener as artist inventing something new rooted in admiration and respect for the natural world. A native garden around a very modern house with sharp angles and lots of glass will be different from a garden around a Keys cottage or within an urban mall. Native gardens that take inspiration from local plants and ecosystems (matched to the conditions of the site) are highly sustainable. Showing off the unique visual assets of local native plants with neither too little nor too much participation is prime design. Good natural design inventively integrates or contrasts the urban hardscape with native plants.

Many native plants are truly beautiful and interesting, as least as magnificent as human design. They change through the seasons and over the years. Partnering with nature to invent beautiful new gardens in more places will win the public. Sustainable native landscapes take nothing from the environment and provide new places for local flora and fauna to thrive. The public shares this goal. New visions for native landscaping would do well to be unapologetically native.

Getting there from here is not easy. Great urban gardens are not low maintenance. Understanding the cultivation of native species well enough to choose the right plants, developing landscapes based on local plant communities and ecosystems, maintaining them through their stages of change, and developing an eye for great landscape design all require experience. Cultivation information is hard to find or confusing. Great native landscapers and teachers are rare. Local and diverse species are not now easy to find in nurseries. This is the infancy we experience. But great native landscaping is possible and each new garden that achieves something wonderful inspires us. We learn from each other's efforts to create better examples of beautiful and unapologetically native gardens.
Speaker events are on 2nd Wednesdays at 7 pm at the Secret Woods.
Field Trips are usually on a following weekend but they vary,
so always check the Calendar and check again for last minute trip updates.
Visit for a wealth of information about local plants.
Copyright © 2015 Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp