Websites help with plant selection
Q: I'm looking for some helpful native foliage ideas for my yard. Any suggestions? A: It's difficult to make plant recommendations without knowing your site conditions: sun or shade, soil pH, landscape bed size, etc. I suggest you order a free copy of "The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design" at http://watermatters.org/. If you do not reside in one of the counties within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, you can still view and/or print this guide at the above website. The guide contains more than 100 pages of native and non-native adaptive plants. It was created by the University of Florida IFAS, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. You also can go to the Suncoast Native Plant Society's website for additional information at www.meetup.com/Suncoast-Native-Plant-Society. Other resources include: Native Florida Plant publications, including separate articles on annuals, bedding plants, ferns, ground covers, palms, shrubs, trees, cacti and wildflowers at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_native_plants; "50 Common Native Plants Important In Florida's Ethnobotanical History" by Ginger M. Allen, Michael D. Bond and Martin B. Main at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw152; and "Native Plants: An Overview" by Jeffrey G. Norcini at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep297.I hope these publications will be beneficial to you. I use http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu every day and would be lost without it! You also can stop by the Extension Service where the Wildlife Habitat Garden in our courtyard features only native plants. That may give you some great plant selection ideas, too.
Lynn Barber is the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods agent at Hillsborough Extension. Reach her at BarberL@hillsboroughcounty.org.