I don’t spray. I don’t use chemicals.”
But she does maintain the yard with professional
help. The large yard is very heavily
vegetated but looks intentional, a little soft
around the edges but not completely wild.
Meadowbeauty sends someone out seasonally,
2-3 times a year, to trim trees and hand
trim shrubs to keep them at desired heights.
Her new “regular guy,” who is familiar with
native plants, comes twice a month, spending
4-6 hours each time to keep pathways
cleared, trim and move limbs, and do some
weeding. Buffie herself handles most weeding
now, a chore that was almost overwhelming
in the early days, but declined as
more trees and shrubs shade the ground.
In a large yard with no turf but hundreds
of plants, what is Buffie’s personal maintenance
routine? A half-hour stroll through the
yard two mornings a week, weeding as she
goes and changing water in the birdbaths,
followed by a one-hour session on Sundays.
“I spend a lot more time watching than
working,” she said, and then pointed out another
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The large backyard is open and sunny, supporting a tremendous assemblage of wildflowers and
bunchgrasses that admittedly can get somewhat messy looking. But this area is an important nectaring
resource for butterflies and the hummingbirds that come every winter. The flowers and grasses also
produce a lot of seed for birds.
WWW.PLANTREALFLORIDA.ORG GUIDE FOR REAL FLORIDA GARDENERS FALL 2018 | 23