Florida Friendly Plant of the Week - Shell Ginger

June 09, 2016 - 10:38

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Shell Ginger, an Alpinia species, is making a hit right now with its drooping clusters of shell like, fragrant flowers. Variegated leaves are quite common on this plants, but it can also be found in a non-variegated version. It likes partial sun to shady areas. This plant does well in zones 8-11, but it is prone to freezes in central and north Florida. If it freezes back, it is less likely to flower, so in our area, the flowers are a gift only after a warm winter. Shell ginger can grow 6-12 feet tall and get to be 3-5 feet wide.

Recycling Raindrops

June 09, 2016 - 10:29

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Photography by Ryan Griffis

Once upon a time, I could tell you that the rainy season will start at 4:00 PM on June 11th, and continue with a shower every day at 4:00 PM, until September 13th. For reasons which could be discussed and debated at length, we no longer have that kind of predictability. So, I’m not going to give any anecdotal predictions about this year’s rainy season. I am fairly confident it will indeed come this summer, but don’t quote me on that!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

June 04, 2016 - 21:29

Maintained by members, Auro Community Garden is a sustainable garden using organic growing methods.

Photography by Sue Quigley

Growing your own food is undeniably the best way to get fresh, nutritious food economically, ethically and eco-friendly. But although we would all love to be able to pick vegetables straight from our garden for dinner every evening, for many it is just not possible. To be successful in growing your own food, you need enough land and nutrient-rich soil to grow that food. You have to be able bodied, have time to devote tending the garden and a budget to acquire seeds and supplies for starting a garden.

Planting the top of a Pineapple

May 31, 2016 - 12:04

Photography by Rocco Maglio

Have you ever wondered what you should do with the top of the pineapple that you purchased at the store? You can plant it in the ground, water it and it may grow into a pineapple plant that gives you another pineapple.

Pineapples grow well in Hernando county. The editor of the Brooksville Star began JC (John Cabell) Burwell planted pineapples in his backyard. There is a beautiful photo from 1899 of his daughter Sally standing in the pineapple garden at their house on Olive Street in downtown Brooksville.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Oakleaf Hydrangea

May 13, 2016 - 15:53

Lilly Browning serves as the Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator.

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, is a fantastic native shrub to have in your yard. The flowers are white or pink, and are quite lovely. Don’t expect the ball of puffy blooms you will see on the non-native French Hydrangea, but they are prolific and stunning in their own right. Even when not in bloom, this native shrub has very large and distinct leaves, shaped like oak leaves. So, this shrub holds interest even when not flowering. It prefers dry to partially wet soil, but can do well in occasionally wet soil.

Trees Come Down at Chinsegut, Despite Couple's Efforts to Save Them

May 07, 2016 - 15:42
Oak logs piled up in parking area of Chinsegut Wildlife and Conservation Area

The loud droning of trucks, heavy equipment, chainsaws, and wood chippers were heard yesterday morning, May 6th at the Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area as dozens of healthy native laurel oak trees were logged from the property surrounding the conservation center. The cutting of the oaks surrounding the center began on Monday May 2, leaving many areas exposed to the impending summer heat including the historic Bishop home sight, conservation center building and parking area.

Take a Hike: Perry Oldenburg Wildlife and Environmental Area

March 30, 2016 - 16:26

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Resurrection Fern. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Take a Hike: Perry Oldenburg Wildlife and Environmental Area

Hernando Audubon Society offers free field trips to different areas here in Hernando County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation has some amazing properties that are open to the public for the whole family to enjoy and explore.

Hernando County’s Treasure Hunt

February 25, 2016 - 13:29

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Geocaching, adventure at Weekiwachee Preserve

Do you like hiking, treasure hunting and spending time outdoors with family and friends? Well this is something you can add to your weekend adventure list.

A few weeks back on a hike in the Weekiwachee Preserve, my husband and I found this a green container hidden within a tree trunk. This was very interesting and we had no idea what it was. So upon further investigation, we found out that it was actually a global positioning (GPS) device for geocaching.