When I moved to Melbourne Beach in 2015 the property was landscaped with mostly turf grass and tropicals with a few large sea grape trees out back. Hurricane Irma took care of the of the sea grapes and while my yard was still pretty, it was however just a typical Florida yard full of what I was to learn, were not even Florida native plants. Also, it just felt like something was missing and I finally realized it was all the lack of wildlife I had been used to enjoying in previous homes. Indeed, where were all the butterflies, birds and other critters?
Then one year I had opportunity to attend my first Florida Natives Tour. I left that tour with a completely changed perception of Florida landscaping and the inspiration to begin by planting for butterflies. This got more involved the more I learned, which eventually led me to natives. I also wanted a biodiverse yard so to make more room for wildlife attracting plants, I hired Go Native Landscaping to begin getting rid of the front yard. Besides Nichole Perna, I had purchased numerous plants from Maple Street Natives and from Beth Glover at her Floridana Nursery, Finally a couple years ago I met Tim, Anna, and Debbie that have Native Butterfly Plants.
I have learned so much from all of these wonderful people and resources. I am now able to furnish plants and trees to support the complete life cycle of many butterflies and other pollinators. The backyard tends to be a bit wild but I have seen several species of snakes, two different kinds of rabbits, possums, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels and birds. My ultimate goal is to have as many different native plants as my yard can hold.
I also would like to acknowledge my good friend and gardener, Seajay Milner. Without her creativity and hard work I would not be as far into my goal as I am.