As I watch my garden melt under the hot, Florida, Summer sun I am reminded of the importance of planting appropriate species in harmony with nature.
The closer we come to mimicking our natural environment, the easier it is to garden & the more our gardens improve our local ecosystem. By planting native species, we avoid the need for fertilizers & excessive watering. We also support our local wildlife, especially the local pollinators.
Our gardens are currently about 50% native. Flowering plants are more like 90% native. We learned the hard way that Florida has freezing temperatures & the typical tropical plants cannot survive without serious intervention. As we moved more & more towards natives, we automatically invited in more birds, butterflies, bees, & other beneficial wildlife (and the armadillo family as well, but sometimes things just happen).
Our medicinal & edible plants are all organic, but not all native. Many are suffering in the intense heat of this year's early Summer. Does this mean I'm giving up on them? Is my palate & medicine cabinet going to go all native? Probably not. I will continue to baby these plants with organic matter, shade & extra water, hoping they survive the heat. Some plants will be grown in a more forgiving season next year. Plus, we are adding some native medicinals that have been ethically wildcrafted.
The closer I connect with plant spirits, the more I am in awe of the complex relationships between plants, insects, animals & humans. We truly are all connected.
Wild & Bright Blessings,