Hope & Larry

Designed By: Sharon Dolan and Homeowners

Installed By: Sharon, Brent and Drew Dolan and Homeowners.

Started: Initial installation 2003

Percentage of Native Plants: 90%

Amount of Sun and Shade: Mixed sun/shade.

Unique Features and Animals: We have landscaped heavily for butterflies and pollinators. Returning this 1/4 acre to a native maritime hammock was the guide for tree and plant selection. We have a very large gumbo limbo on the east side of the house that has withstood so many storms. We wanted to provide a safe haven for birds, mammals and pollinators in what was initially an almost entirely formal landscape, St. Augustine grass, poison and fertilizer-rich neighborhood. Many birds and small mammals visit: possums, and squirrels are among the frequent visitors. Barred owls, Cooper’s Hawk, and Red-Shoulder Hawk are our predator bird visitors. In addition, cardinals, jays, woodpeckers, Ibisis, sparrows, wrens, and an occasional hummingbird wander through. The yard is rich in butterflies: Swallowtails, monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Cloudless Sulphurs, Cabbage White, Skippers, and Atala butterflies. Dragonflies and native bees also visit. We have multiple varieties of small lizards, and a family of Indigo snakes who have lived with us peacefully for 20+ years.

Landscape Description: Our yard was a 30th-anniversary gift to ourselves 20 years ago. We have created a beautiful maritime hammock sanctuary that serves not only insects, animals, birds and plants but also served our neighborhood. Although in the early years people were a little concerned about what we were doing, today our home is a frequent stop on neighborhood walks to see the butterflies wafting through the flowers or the birds visiting. Although we live in a very traditional beachside neighborhood, we have our own woodland oasis that provides sanctuary to many. Our wonderful native plants are happily reproducing so we can share freely with our neighbors and create more green spaces for animal and plant sanctuaries.

Challenges: The front yard was almost completely sodded in St. Augustine grass with no native trees or shrubs on site. We removed the St. Augustine grass and replanted with natives and mulched heavily.

Certifications: National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat Landscape, Indian Harbour Beach Garden Club Yard of the Month.