Monday, March 4, 2013

Is native gardening a fairy tale?

Grassleaf Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia graminifolia)
are beautiful Florida natives suitable for any fairy tale garden…

Once upon a time, a gardener decided that she wanted more butterflies and more birds in her yard. She read books and oodles of online material and then she attended classes, conferences, workshops, and garden fests. After all this education, she found that she really could make a big difference by installing native plants that attract butterflies and birds with their berries and delicious leaves that caterpillars would eat. As a bonus her landscape would be easy to care for since native plants have lived in the wild for eons with no care at all.

After a great quest* far and wide across her realm, she found a local native plant nursery that had the native plants she wanted. She paid the small bounty for the plants and brought them home and everyone (and every bird and butterfly) lived happily ever after. 


Continue reading to find out what happens next...

The other day, my husband cut the lawn for the first time since early November.
I was sorry to see the toadflax (Linaria canadensis) go, but that's what happens in a freedom lawn--whatever is growing gets mown. I did rescue some St. John's wort seedlings, though.  More on that later.
I hope you've allowed your lawn to host natives along with the turf--it's so much more sustainable.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt


  1. I love your posts about your "freedom yard"! I feel that it gives me "permission" to not have the perfect St. Augustine grass lawn as I've gone to organic fertilizer and no pesticides this year! I had toadflax in my yard (didn't know what it was) and picked a bunch to put in a vase on my kitchen table....very lovely!
    I'm happy to have found your website....after your talk to the Sierra Club in Jacksonville last night. Excellent presentation! thank you.

    1. Thanks Deb. I enjoy doing the presentations--each one is different and the Sierra Club members are so well educated, they ask just the right questions.