A Step-by-Step Guide to a Florida Native Yard

Ginny Stibolt and Marjorie Shropshire


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“Takes the mystery out of transforming the common urban landscape into a true Florida paradise filled with wildlife activity and native colors and textures. You can’t go wrong following this logical step-by-step process.”—Lisa Roberts, executive director, Florida Wildflower Foundation  
 
“Ideal guidance for those converting their traditional turf-dominated landscape into a more sustainable and wildlife-friendly one.”—Stephen P. Turnipseed, president, The Villages chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society    
 
More and more Florida residents are deciding to replace highly fertilized, over-watered, pesticide-dependent lawns with native plants. They want to reduce their carbon footprints; save time, water, and money; and attract birds and butterflies. But where to begin? This illustrated guide helps readers get started creating new outdoor spaces that are both sustainable and beautiful.
 
Taking the common 1/3-acre lot as an example, Ginny Stibolt and Marjorie Shropshire provide a sample layout for a basic native plant landscape. They use a grid system that allows gardeners to work on their yards in small sections instead of trying to revamp the entire landscape at once. And they break down the process into individual steps, making it manageable even for beginners.
 
The first step is assessing your property and choosing which plants to keep and which to remove. Next, the book discusses how to handle rainwater, introduce trees, install a butterfly garden, use native plants as screening, make an outdoor “room” for entertaining, build wild areas into the landscape, and plan a smart maintenance program that relies on certain plants to keep boundaries neat and incorporates natural weed control.
 
By following these methods, anyone can convert all or part of their yard into a more natural area without using pesticides or artificial fertilizers, which will save money and help support wildlife. Complete with detailed diagrams and lists of suggested plants for each step, this guide will help readers set up an environmentally friendly habitat and give them the time and peace of mind to enjoy it.  
 
Ginny Stibolt, a freelance writer, botanist, and experienced gardener, is the author of The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape and Sustainable Gardening for Florida and coauthor of Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida. Marjorie Shropshire, a visual artist whose work is deeply concerned with the conservation of Florida’s natural areas, is the editor of Palmetto, the magazine of the Florida Native Plant Society.  

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