Florida Wildflowers, Glades, Spring daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 5"x7"
Growing up in New England, I knew the names of most of the local plants and trees. Somehow over the years, or maybe it's easier as a child, they were absorbed without working at it at all. After years in Florida, though I still don't know the names of many of our most common plants.
In our little bit of a garden, it's been hit or miss. Some things do terrific until the heat and moisture of a South Florida summer does them in, and this year the cold winter caused quite a bit of damage to some species. I'd like to learn more about what grows well here, and what's native.
Determined to do better, I just picked up Schmelz and Stacell's book "A Guide to Native Wildflowers of Southwest Florida." The book organizes the flowers by color, and looks to be a great primer. I'm going to keep it in the car, where it will be handy to look up new plants as I come across them. Sorry, but I couldn't find where to purchase online or locally, mine was picked up at a Friends of the Fakahatchee event.
Although the Everglades area only has two seasons, the wet and the dry, the book broke them down into early and late wet season and and early and late dry season. This made so much sense since anyone attuned to nature in our area sees the blooms of spring!
The Southwest Florida Water District produces a booklet called "Waterwise" that I found helpful, too. This booklet is designed to help landscape design be compatible with our environment. It's filled with great photos of the plants to use, and contains a list of not recommended invasives, too. You can download a copy for yourself here or pick it up at many local nurseries.