Find Your Inner Dirt • xeriscape and wildlife gardens

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Frequently Asked

 Table of Contents

  1. Why Xeriscape ?

  2. Why Native Plants?

  3. What are Florida Native Plants. ?

  4. What is xeriscape ?

  5. What are the differences between xeriscape and Native Plants?

  6. What are invasive plants and why don't I want them?

  7. Who is Jill Ziebell?

  8. How do I contact Find Your Inner Dirt Xeriscape ?

Why  Xeriscape?

Saving water has multiple benefits.  This saves you money, as well as protecting Florida's limited resources.  Xeriscaping is a natural, beautiful and colorful alternative to the standard sod and red mulch approach to landscaping. Properly designed and installed Xeriscape environments don't require a lot of water, or maintenance while providing you with a lush beautiful landscape.

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Why Native Plants?

Native plants are best suited to the environment and the creatures that live here.  Many non-native plants do not provide the food, shelter, and protection that a native plant does.  Plants that are native are acclimated to the water resources, sun exposure, and winds that Florida's weather provides.  Furthermore Native plants attract more insects which means more food for birds, lizards, snakes, and other insects.

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What are Florida Native Plants?

Native plants are considered to be those that occurred naturally, pre-European contact in the 1500's.  Our landscape has changed much over the last 500 years, unfortunately some of the changes have disturbed the natural balance of habitats and ecosystems.  Reintroduction, propagation, and protection of these species can help maintain and improve already threatened areas.

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What is xeriscape ?

Xeriscape is a form of gardening that uses "drought tolerant" plants for the landscape. "Drought tolerant" means that the plant will need little to no water, other than from natural sources.  Another method of xeriscaping  is rain gardening, which uses various methods to retain rainwater/ stormwater runoff, for use in the garden.  Many people think of xeriscaping as dry desolate "moon gardening", but it doesn't have to be.  Many lush green plants require low water resources and provide a high yield of flowers and foliage.  Also keep in mind that harvesting rainwater can provide you with a low water landscape.

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What is the difference between xeriscape and Florida Native Plants?

Xeriscape conserves water primarily through the use of drought tolerant plants (although other methods are used.) Native plants however occur in many different environments and ecosystems and their water requirements will vary accordingly. 

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What are invasive plants and why don't I want them?

Invasive plants are plants that move into an area and take over.  Invasive plants crowd out other native or naturalized plants,  and sometimes overtake entire ecosystems, further endangering protected wildlife species, diminishing biodiversity, and increasing (in some cases) the risks of wildfire or flooding.  As a person concerned about the environment it is important to keep these plants out of your yard so that we may protect our fragile micro habitats and prevent further damage to our ecosystem.

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Who is Jill Ziebell ?

Jill's life/ work experiences have taken her around the world.  She began adulthood as a Recreation Specialist withe the Armed Forces, residing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany from 1983-1989, and studying European ways as well as the language.  She returned to the USA, and chose Steamboat Springs Colorado, for her home.  While enduring the constant drought conditions, and developing her business, she also represented Colorado on the "Women's Economic Development Council" advising Governor Roy Romer.  

After moving to Florida Jill became a Florida Master Gardener.  She took her training further with the Florida Master Naturalist program.  She is now able to bring her knowledge of Florida ecosystems into her designs. She is also the founding president of the local "Sea Oats" chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, where she now serves as a board member.

Jill is also an artist ,not only with plants, but also with other mediums.  Her multi media art has been chosen for several art shows.  She is also a member of the St Augustine Art Association.  Her "very varied" background gives her a unique perspective on the landscapes she creates for multiple uses considering the needs of the community and the need for individuality.

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How do I contact Find Your Inner Dirt Xeriscape?

You may contact Jill by phone at 904-471-7239 or by fax at 904-471-3277.
Find Your Inner Dirt is located in St. Augustine, Florida.

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compiled by: Jackie Robinson
all photos by: Jill Ziebell
Copyright © 1999  [Find Your Inner Dirt]. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 08, 2010 .
Revised: June 2012.  max




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