In this Issue:
  • Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
  • Butterfly Gardening
  • Observing Springtime Cycles in a Warming World
  • Native vs. Invasive Plants
  • Florida Master Naturalist Courses Provide Unique Perspective into Natural World
  • Yaupon Hollies Are a Great Fit and Tasty Too!
  • Fall Color with Muhly Grass
  • UF Monitoring the Buzzing in Your Ear
  • Giving Young Wildlife a Chance
  • A Cherry for the Southern Garden
  • Birds

    Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

    Photo by Sydney Park Brown UF/IFAS Holly has been considered sacred in some cultures because it remained green and strong with brightly colored red berries no matter how harsh the winter, even when most other plants would wilt and die. According to Druid lore, hanging the plant in homes would bring good luck and protection. …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/12/14/deck-the-halls-with-boughs-of-holly/

    Butterfly Gardening

    Have you been thinking about creating a butterfly garden but don’t know where to start? Afraid it’s too much upkeep or has to look wild and untamed? Spend a Saturday morning with the UF/IFAS Master Gardeners of Bay County to see how to design, install, and maintain a colorful low maintenance butterfly garden. Next Saturday, …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/26/butterfly-gardening/

    Observing Springtime Cycles in a Warming World

    It’s mid-February, and regardless of the groundhog’s prediction, spring seems to have arrived in northwest Florida. In my neighborhood, all the azaleas have bloomed. While beautiful, it’s something that usually doesn’t happen around here until well into March! According to NOAA and NASA climate data, 2016 was the hottest year globally on record, followed by …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/02/23/observing-springtime-cycles-in-a-warming-world/

    Native vs. Invasive Plants

      According to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, there are more than 4,200 plant species naturally occurring in the state.  Nearly 3,000 are considered native.  The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) defines native plants as “those species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/03/22/native-vs-invasive-plants/

    Florida Master Naturalist Courses Provide Unique Perspective into Natural World

    Do you love the outdoors? Wish you knew more about the plants and animals native to our area? The Florida Master Naturalist Program is a course offered by Extension agents throughout the state, including the northwestern counties. Three different modules—Freshwater Wetlands, Coastal, and Uplands—are offered. They include 40 hours of instruction time on ecosystems, plant …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/02/03/florida-master-naturalist-courses-provide-unique-perspective-into-natural-world/

    Yaupon Hollies Are a Great Fit and Tasty Too!

    Yaupon hollies (Ilex vomitoria) are evergreen, provide great fall/winter color, and can adapt to numerous landscape situations.  They are also very durable and can survive extreme drought. Characteristics Yaupon hollies are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are produced on separate plants and berries are only produced on female plants.  Flowers are creamy white, but …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2015/11/18/yaupon-hollies-are-a-great-fit-and-tasty-too/

    Fall Color with Muhly Grass

    As September rolls into October and we finally experience cooler temperatures, I always look forward to seeing one of my favorite native grasses in full bloom. Muhlenbergia capillaris, or Muhly grass, is an extremely versatile plant in the home landscape. It is both flood and drought tolerant and easy to maintain. A true local, it …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2015/09/23/fall-color-with-muhly-grass/

    UF Monitoring the Buzzing in Your Ear

      University of Florida researchers maintain a constant vigilance on the potential for mosquito-borne illness concerns.  UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach tracks rainfall, groundwater levels, mosquito abundance, wild bird populations and virus transmission to animals including horses and sentinel chickens.  When mosquito infection rates reach the levels that can infect humans, alerts …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2015/08/13/uf-monitoring-the-buzzing-in-your-ear/

    Giving Young Wildlife a Chance

    A few weeks ago, the neighbor boys came running over to show my children the baby birds they found in their front yard. We expected they would lead us to a tree and point out fledglings in a nest, but instead the young mourning doves were lying on the ground in a pile of pine straw. Their nest …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2015/06/29/giving-young-wildlife-a-chance/

    A Cherry for the Southern Garden

    Although we are not able to grow edible cherry trees in more southern climates, there are a few ornamental relatives of the cherry that are worth adding to the landscape.  The Bush cherry, Prunus jacquemontii, is an attractive deciduous shrub that is a highlight with pink blooms in late winter.  Flowers provide an early nectar …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2015/03/10/a-cherry-for-the-southern-garden/

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