Garden for Wildlife

As Garden for Wildlife Month draws to a close, we’re demonstrating our unshakable belief in the restorative power of native plants by underwriting a project to convert the “hellstrip” behind our nursery along the service road into wildlife-friendly garden. The design was a collaborative effort between Anita Camacho of Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation and Delia Smith of Green Field Works.

What is a hellstrip? A hellstrip is an often forgotten and neglected narrow ground space between the sidewalk and street curb or small strips of land along narrow service roads. Planting tough native plants that love Florida sandy soil that can tolerate drought is a great way to beautify these public spaces for our region’s native wildlife species. These plantings also help against erosion, cool ground temperatures, absorb and filter rainwaters and, on the day of installation, brought smiles to passesrby!

We’ll be monitoring the planting throughout the next few years as part of a larger citizen science project to see how many different wildlife species the garden attracts. We’ll also use this real-world experience to help our customers select the right plants for their own native gardens.

We hope that our project will become a showcase that galvanizes a wider effort to convert those all-too-often barren spaces between the street and sidewalk into wildlife corridors and pollinator habitat. So, why not stop by, take a look, and use what you see as an inspiration for your own curbside garden?

Together, we can expand our pollinator corridors and #NurtureNative by planting one hellstrip at a time.