Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Plant Talk

I have a theme going here, I guess. It's just that it's easier to get a handle on the outside of the new place than the inside (which is still fairly box-intensive at this point).

Plus, I went to the native plant show and I had my checkbook with me.

Backyard "before."

Some people see a patch of bare ground. I see a blank canvas for some serious landscaping fun over time. The handsome old tree may be a camphor tree, but I don't have a positive i.d. yet.

Here's the first addition, a beautyberry plant. This is a Florida native and will have tiny purple flowers along the stem, followed by spectacular magenta berries. Birds love it.

This spindly pair is a set of pawpaw trees. The pawpaw is also a Florida native. It's a host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly. They were BOGO and that means the squirrels and I will have fruit . . . someday! Also, some zebra swallowtails, if I'm lucky.

Meanwhile, it takes a lot of imagination to see them as 20' trees.

Last but not least, this is a firebush, another native. Its new growth is a pretty red color, and it has tubular red flowers that the butterflies love.

I also got a little carried away at the book sale. That's what a book sale is for, right?

Lots to learn, especially in the Florida native category. I've just been educated that while having plants of any kind is important, using native plants is even more important because it supports the whole ecosystem.

For example, flowering plants that a particular kind of butterfly loves are just fast food stations if you don't also have the kind of plants that that kind of butterfly's caterpillars can eat. To the butterfly, it makes the difference between passing through for a snack and moving in to raise a family and establish a butterfly dynasty.

I like the sound of that. Butterfly dynasty. Coming soon (someday) to my back yard.


  1. I ADORE the photos! So lovely and such potential for fun! I too did a lot of native planting in our garden in Toronto, I have to get going on that here is Spain, but the question is more problematic, as in much of the old world, where does the line get drawn on native. Introduced only 700 years ago???? Does that count?

  2. Yay! to those native plants in your landscape plans. So many folks here in Vancouver think that holly and ivy are native.
    Of course, I'm guilty of importing, too, since I have a beautyberry in my garden. Though, I did not know it was native to Florida. I love it so I think it stays.


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