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Old 12-19-2019, 01:31 PM
spturnip spturnip is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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I highly recommend Green Isle Gardens to anyone who wants an attractive no-turf grass native plant landscape. The designs by Kirsten Sharp-Ortega are not only appropriate for our setting, but they also meet our Covenants and Deed Restrictions and are appovable by our ARC. Green Isle Gardens grows many of the native Florida plants which they use in the installations at their 8-acre nursery in Groveland. It is worth the drive to see the facility, talk with the owner, Marc Godts and other helpful staff (Nick and April) to and get familiar with the plants. GIG provided me with a design and delivered the plants (I like to garden and did most of the work myself). They are a full-service installer and will do all of the work if needed. I am very pleased with the plant selection, quality of the plants and have seen their excellent installation work on several other yards here in The Villages.

Ironically the majority of nurseries and installers use exotic ornamentals that are from other regions / parts of the world. University research show that plants native to a region support far more small wildlife (bees, butterflies, birds, etc) than exotics. Native plants are adapted to our planting zone and UF data demonstrates that they use 75% less water than traditional grass-dominated landscapes; After the plants were established, my irrigation water volume was cut by 80%. I no longer use fungicides or systemic insecticides. My use of inorganic fertilizer was also cut dramatically. The increase in the amount of life in the garden is amazing. There are flowers blooming most times of the year. Butterflies utilize the host plants to reproduce and nectar on the flowers. Native bees are coming back and the diversity of birds species has more than doubled. I now enjoy being out in the yard and am very pleased with the result.
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