Orlando Scrub Yard

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OrlandoNative

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on: September 10, 2006, 04:33:41 PM
I am a new homeowner in Orlando near UCF and wanted to do some native plants in my yard.

It is a decent size yard and already has some live oak, what looks like inopina oak, and pine growing.  There is patchy St. Augustine grass with white sand.  All that is up on the property now is a chain link fence.  I was thinking of making a bit of a privacy hedge out of myrtle oak or crookedwood on the outside leaving the ground with the bare white sand and ground cover, and using bottlebrush or wire grass as a border.  I wanted to leave some "lawn" in the center for entertaining people.  There is no sprinkler system installed and I thought this would also benefit using drier scrub plants.

How difficult would it be to establish these plants?  It seems many scrub species are endangered...Are these plants I can buy at a nursery?

I am new and if you want pictures I will send them to you or let me know if there is a way to post them on this website.

Thanks,
Dan

tarziesgirl

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Reply #1 on: January 12, 2007, 09:20:24 PM
Dan, I don't know if you've already completed your landscaping, but here is a link to some Central Florida nursery resources:

http://www.afnn.org/search_afnn_company.asp?a=search&type=retailer&parram=area

I think most of them have websites that you can browse. 

Bottlebrush (at least the one I am familiar with, red spiky flowers) is not a native.  I'm not sure about the wire grass.  The 'crookedwood' or rusty lyonia is a beautiful plant.  The bark is attractive as are the leaves and it gets really pretty little bell shaped flowers.  Sand cord grass is a really attractive option for a border.  A local development has it growing along the roadside and I admire it everytime I pass.  They also cut it back to nearly ground level every year and it comes back. 

Ultimately, I think you should check out some books like A Gardener's Guide to Florida's Native Plants by Rufino Osorio, Native Florida Plants Low Maintenance Landscaping and Gardening by Robert G. Haehle and Joan Brookswell, Florida's Best Native Landscape Plants 200 Readily Available Species for Homeowners and Professionals by Gil Nelson, Florida Plants for Wildlife A Selection Guide to Native Trees and Shrubs by Craig N. Huegel, and Landscaping for Florida's Wildlife Re-creating Native Ecosystems in Your Yard by Joe Schaefer and George Tanner.  I own all of these books because I felt they were a worthwhile resource to have on hand, but you can most likely check them all out from your local library because I did before I bought them.  You should also find a nearby native nursery and visit to see what looks nice to you and talk with someone there about what they would reccommend.  They will know what will survive in the conditions you describe in your yard.  You may also get lucky at the big box garden centers because I know I found  a handful of natives in their vast selection, just be sure to check the botanical name to be sure they are natives!

« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 12:25:31 AM by tarziesgirl »

OrlandoNative

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Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 06:53:35 PM
Well, I haven't finished yet.  I was focusing mainly on the interior of the house but now I've done some planting.

When I moved in the yard had several small oaks along the back fence line.  There were also two Crookedwood trees (I wasn't sure what these were until recently when the flowers bloomed).  I tried transplanting a small one that seemed to be growing off a runner from one of them without success.  I also already had Beauty Berry, Ferns, Maple, and Blackberries along the back fence as well.  I have planted some Pinta, Milkweed, Salvia, and a few others I got from my mom's yard as she used to be a member of FNPS.

The previously owner put in a bunch of small Canfer trees.  I hate to tear them up but they are so close to the house I think they are going to be a pain eventually.  And they don't seem to be doing great now anyway (my yard is very dry as I already mentioned).

I wanted to start planting some trees but have some questions first.  Which are the most drought tolerant and which are the most hurricane tolerant?  If anyone has feedback on these two points I'm mainly considering oaks or pines.  There is a small stand of pines on the property behind me.  And I was thinking of possibly planting 3 more in my backyard and another oak in the front.  A friend who is an envirnmental consultant said my yard is remnant sandhill scrub.  I've seen some Sandhill cranes at and on my way to work.  Maybe they'll come visit sometime.

tarziesgirl

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Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 12:22:52 AM
Well, I'm not sure about the most hurricane resistant trees.  I know that the old oak trees around my town seemed to be unphased by the hurricanes.  I don't think that pines faired so well, but I'd still plant them as long as they wouldn't hit the house if they came crashing down.  I just planted one I got in October in the back yard, closer to the neighbors house, so I guess if it came down it would hit theirs and not mine!  Okay, don't want to think about that as I would still probably wind up paying for the damage. 

What size oaks were you looking at planting?  I have a couple of live oaks I started from seed that are about 2 feet tall.  I don't really have a place for them as they will be huge one day.  I haven't watered the oaks in the little pots they are in in at least a year or two.  So, I'd say they're pretty drought tolerant.  I think you should just plant what you like best.  I've been trying to consider what is going to give as much back to the local wildlife and look the best out of the native plant selections available.