Native Plant gardening

Jennifer Ceska, Heather Alley, Jim Affolter, and Jenny Cruse-Sanders, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The Connect to Protect for Biodiversity philosophy and the educational and horticultural methodology launched in Georgia in 2014 from Athens and has spread like a Monarchs on the wing across the entire state since. Georgia gardeners have tremendous opportunity to help support wildlife by layering native plants into their display. We share designs, techniques for getting natives on the ground, species recommendations, and sources for native plants, all with an eye on conservation ethics. Displays can be small like potted plants on a patio or cheerful mailbox gardens. They can also be larger like grand formal displays, loser cottage style compositions, and even pocket prairies along roadsides, driveways, and rights-of-way. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been researching species and techniques specific to Georgia for eight years. We also pull best practices and resources from over 320 professionals in both the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and the Georgia Native Plant Initiative working to close the gap between the demand for native plants by consumers and the availability of native plants from the Green Industry, particularly plants of Georgia provenance. Plant species that have looks and personality, ecological relevance, because we all can Connect to Protect.

Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Jennifer Possley, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

For over a decade, Fairchild's Connect to Protect Network (CTPN) has inspired South Florida residents to plant native pine rockland plants in order to help connect the few remaining isolated fragments of pine rockland—a globally critically imperiled (G1S1) plant community. CTPN members include more than 700 individuals and approximately 100 schools. Each year, we donate hundreds of “Pine Rockland Starter Kits” to homes and schools. CTPN is growing rapidly; more than half of our members joined in the past two years. We have found that it is wonderfully easy to get South Floridians excited about free native plants, however, it can be difficult to keep members engaged and is even more challenging to tap into the network and obtain meaningful citizen science data. This presentation reviews some of CTPN’s more recent changes and near-future plans, which include the use of iNaturalist and the incorporation of more media to help more homeowners garden with native pine rockland plants.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019