Wildflowers do much more than give La Florida, the “land of flowers,” its unique sense of place.
Because they’ve adapted to Florida’s conditions and pests, they typically require less water, fertilizer and pesticides than other flowers. They also support myriad native wildlife, from bees to hummingbirds.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation is proud to partner with Bok Tower Gardens to bring the 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium to the scenic Lake Wales attraction on Sept. 19 and 20. The event includes field trips, workshops, walks in the Gardens, and presentations by experts on wildflowers, native plants, butterflies and bees. There is also a landscaping track for those who want to learn about using natives at home. Cost to attend the event is $35 for FWF and Bok Tower Gardens members, and $45 for non-members, which includes a $5 donation to the Gardens.
Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, will speak at the symposium banquet, to be held Friday, Sept. 19, at the Gardens. Cost for dinner is $35 for FWF and Bok Tower Gardens members, or $45 for non-members.
The Gardens also will host a Wildflower Day on Sept. 20, which includes public events such as films, book signings and a presentation by Tallamy.
Click here to see the full schedule and to register.
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A recently released Florida Department of Transportation study conservatively estimates that roadside vegetation along the state highway system performs nearly a half-billion dollars worth of ecosystem services.
The study found that value would increase to $1 billion if sustainable vegetation management practices such as reduced mowing were adopted. The value would triple to $1.5 billion if wildflower areas were incorporated into roadside landscapes.
Ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, runoff prevention, and support of crop pollinators and other insects, as well as contributions to air quality, invasive species resistance and roadside aesthetics.more...
In urban landscapes, when the right Florida native wildflower or plant is used in the right place, it usually needs little help to thrive once established. But as a society, we've moved far away from utilizing our valuable natives when selecting plants for the landscapes that are closest to our doorstep. Instead, exotic and hybridized trees, plants and groundcovers have gained favor, many of which often require much more water, fertilizer, pesticides to grow in La Florida.
During National Wildflower Week (May 5-9), you can show your support for native, natural Florida by pledging to use La Florida's original vegetation in your landscape. You need not have an all-native yard to take the pledge. Even if you're starting with your first Florida native plant, you can participate!more...