by Wynna Dunmyer, Sunflower Nature Associate
What if you could step outside and name all the plants and animals in your backyard?
Would you feel more connected with the world?
What if you knew how to create a habitat of native plant species that attracted a myriad of animals and insects that suited them perfectly?
Could you call yourself a Hero of Natives for Every Yard (HONEY)?
The Roots & Shoots Shooting Stars, a club for kids 5-12 years that focuses its service on helping people, plants and animals while having tons of fun, recently met two HONEYs at their lair, the magnificent Meadow Beauty Nursery in Lake Worth. Carl and Donna, HONEYs, have owned and operated Meadow Beauty Nursery for 21 years and instead of growing and selling bug-infested ficus and water-hogging impatiens they grow native, to within 100 miles, species perfectly suited to our environment.
The Shooting Stars were fortunate to tour the nursery, pepper Carl with questions, taste, touch, smell and repot mimosa. What? Yes, we tasted the tips of a native vine called smilax, it reminded our taste buds of asparagus. We watched several species of butterflies sipping nectar and depositing eggs. We counted fat, red-bodied Atala caterpillars that were munching on new growth coontie. Do you know the difference between male and female coonie plants? The Shooting Stars do! We concluded our visit by learning to how to repot mimosa, those lovely little plants with leaves that gracefully fold together when touched. It was a full sensory experience and we all left more connected to and protective of our natural, native habitat.
Carl and Donna at Meadow Beauty Nursery can help you attract butterflies and birds, reduce the amount of water and chemicals you need and greatly improve the design in your outdoor habitat. Visit the nursery or contact them directly through their website: MeadowBeautyNursery.com
How will you feel when a painted bunting visits your native habitat for the first time? Heroic?
© Wynna Dunmyer and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2014