Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Native Plant Landscape Tour in Pinellas this weekend

For anyone who has seen native Florida plants and flowers in yards and wondered how the homeowners did it, the fourth annual Native Plant Landscape Tour has the answers. The two-day event, sponsored by the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, will take place Saturday in south Pinellas County and Sunday in north county.

People can see up close the colorful plant- and flower-filled native habitats showcased in six yards throughout Belleair, Largo, Seminole and Dunedin and seven in St. Petersburg. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

One of the homes on the tour belongs to Kris Logan and her husband, Robert Walker. Six years ago, Wilcox Nursery of Largo landscaped the back yard of their Belleair home with native plants.

"My favorites are the silvery-blue-gray buttonwoods and seaside goldenrods," Logan said. "We made our decision on an ecological basis because of watering restrictions.

"Some people think it's maintenance-free because it's wild-looking, but that's not true. We do save water year-round and have lots of butterflies and bumblebees."

In part, the tour's goal is to inspire Floridians to ditch lawn mowers. It is also about conserving water and giving Florida wildlife back its natural habitat. Most converted yards use little or no extra water, pesticides or fertilizers.

• • •

While some people transformed their yards all at once, changes can unfold gradually.

Mary Jackson of St. Petersburg has worked five years-plus to go native. Her favorite result has been the life brought into her yard.

"I have beetles and bees, and right now a hummingbird buffet," Jackson said. "From August through October, I have hummingbirds in the yard. I have lots of pollinators."

Jackson doesn't use sprays and says her yard is 98 percent native.

"I planted Florida native plants because we've wrecked so much of Florida with development, people don't know what used to be here," said Jackson. "Nonnative plants don't attract the bugs we need, the pollinators. Native plants also bring back migrating birds. I'm excited about people seeing the yard and being able to ask questions."

Logan says her husband, Walker, was ecologically minded in 1983 when he planted an oak in the side yard. The oak grew from an acorn Walker brought home from the huge oak at the Pinellas County Courthouse on Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater, where he worked.

• • •

Bud and Pat Rose of Largo say they have been environmentalists all of their lives. The Roses have lived on Allen's Creek for five years and moved from a passive solar, superinsulated green home they built 25 years ago in northern Illinois. They have a great respect for nature and show it with their organic lawn and gardens.

"Slowly over the course of five years, we have evolved our yard into an almost totally Florida native plant setting," Bud Rose said. "The result requires little maintenance, attracts wildlife and butterflies, and only positively affects the environment.

"Living on Allen's Creek gives us added responsibility to protect the manatees, dolphins, fish and water birds with which we share this setting. Unfortunately, concern for the environment is not a priority for most Americans."

Besides helping the environment, Logan says her Florida landscaping is beautiful. While she has grass in her front yard, there are also pines and sweetgum trees.

"The native plants in our back yard hold up throughout the seasons," Logan said. "I enjoy working in the back yard and have someone come in every few months (to maintain it).

"The back yard looks absolutely beautiful and our lawn people never walk back there. It's all Florida native, so they don't have to."

>> If you go

The fourth annual Native Plant Landscape Tour

What: Educational event sponsored by the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday: South Pinellas County tour
(seven residential yards in St. Petersburg).

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday: North Pinellas County tour
(six residential yards in Belleair, Largo, Seminole and Dunedin).

Cost: $5 a ticket each day.

To preregister: Visit and preregister via PayPal by Thursday or preregister at Cool Ponds, 2001 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin; Twigs & Leaves Nursery, 1013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S, St. Petersburg; or Wilcox Nursery, 12501 Indian Rocks Road, Largo.

Day-of-event registration: Registration begins 30 minutes before each tour, continuing until one hour after the tour starts, at these locations — South county: Twigs & Leaves Nursery or Wilcox Nursery. North county: Cool Ponds or Wilcox Nursery.

For more information: Call (727) 595-2073.

Native Plant Landscape Tour in Pinellas this weekend 09/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 8:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    Jerry Lewis, who teamed with Dean Martin in the '50s before starring in The Nutty Professor and later founding the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon has died at 91 at his home in Las Vegas, according to his publicist.

    More to come.

  2. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501
  3. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike

    Accidents

    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.

  4. No bond for suspect in Kissimmee officers' fatal shooting

    Crime

    KISSIMMEE — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge

    Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. [Kissimmee Police]
  5. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]