Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has launched a great new site, FloridaYards.org
Complete with Florida plant guide and an interactive flash Do-It-Yourself guide, the site is a nifty resource, and I recommend you go visit.
Other sections include a primer, Florida Friendly Landscaping 101, a must see, especially if you’re new to the state. I really like the Plant Guide in the Interactive Yard section. Click the native plants check box and find yourself a plant that’s sure to thrive in your particular climate.
DEP states, “Florida-friendly landscaping safeguard the environment and protect the State’s natural resources,” said DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “The Florida Yards website allows both citizens and professionals to access information on native plants, plan their own landscaping and explore additional resources to design a Florida-friendly yard.”
Water usage is always important in Florida, but current lack of rain really should get us thinking about how we can conserve. When you select plants, pick drought tolerant plants and minimize grassy areas of the yard in favor of ground covers and hearty shrubs. Not only do we save a bit of water, less grass means less work and maintenance.
The site provides basic information of Florida-friendly landscaping, including environmental benefits and guiding principles, and includes a database of native Florida plants. An interactive feature allows visitors to design a Florida-friendly yard using indigenous plants that are best suited for Florida’s environment. Also included is a professionals’ corner, complete with stories and resources for professional landscaping organizations.
Irrigation of lawns and landscaping in Florida represents the single largest use of water from municipal water supplies. This water use has impacted the state’s aquifer, which is the source of drinking water and water that supports Florida’s springs and other ecosystems. In addition, fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns can impact water quality in lakes, rivers and bays. By using native plants during landscaping, citizens can reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides used, conserve water, provide habitat for native wildlife and preserve water quality in Florida waterbodies.
For more information, visit the Florida-Friendly Landscaping website at www.FloridaYards.org