GARDENING

CONSERVATION

The role of the Conservation Committee is to encourage our membership and the general public so that they will be informed advocates of conservation issues opportunities so that everyone will have clean air and pure water. Our goal is to improve and protect the environment and to conserve our historic and scenic sites in our City Beautiful. We educate our members in the three R’s…recycle, reuse, and restore. Recycle rain water by using a rain barrel that can be purchased at most home improvement centers or your local garden center. The collected water can be used to hand water both outdoor and indoor plants. One half inch of rain will fill a 55 gallon barrel!

rain barrel

Other energy saving tips:

  • Limit lawn area to reduce the need for water and fertilizer
  • Take short showers
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water
  • Install a pro grammable thermostat in your home
  • Stop junk mail!
  • Purchase Energy Star Label
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.

We encourage the Right Plant, Right Place method when planting our gardens.

  • Right Plant, Right Place
  • Water Efficiently
  • Fertilize Appropriately
  • Mulch
  • Attract Wildlife
  • Manage Yard Pests Responsibly
  • Recycle
  • Reduce Stormwater Runoff

We advocate the use of native plant material that is appropriate for our Sub-Tropical climate and encourage the avoidance and removal of invasive plants, in order to create and preserve diversity. For further information contact your native plant society for a complete list.

In keeping with our goal to provide our membership and the community information as to how to live a Green Life the Coral Gables GC has created a Green Committee partnering with the City of Coral Gables and various other organizations that appear at the annual Farmers’ Market to provide information that will encourage everyone to become environmentally conscious.

We encourage our members to buy fresh local organic produce. Organic fruits and vegetables are delicious and good for you! They are grown without fertilizers or pesticides, using compost to enrich the soil and beneficial insets that kill plant destroying pests. The clean 15 with the lowest amount of pesticides includes: onions, avocados, corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwifruits, cabbages, eggplants, papayas, watermelons, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. The “dirty dozen” with the most pesticides includes; peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, grapes, carrots, and pears.

HORTICULTURE

Common Ringlet Butterfly (Aphantopus Hyperantus) on Marjoram Flower

Planting fresh herbs will attract butterflies and bees to your garden because they cannot tolerate toxins and will be a good indicator of a healthy garden. As you begin to attract butterflies, all you need to provide them with are sunlight and enough water in a shallow pond and some protection where they can lay their eggs. A few herbs that attract butterflies are: Catnip, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lavender, Parsley, Sage, and Verbena.

By creating a fragrant herb garden to share with the butterflies is an excellent way to enjoy nature and enhance your cooking!!

Common Ringlet Butterfly on Marjoram (Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae)

If you would like more information about attracting and gardening for butterflies go to The Lepidopterists’ Society.