Creating a beautiful Florida-Friendly Landscape doesn't mean you need a lot of land or even land at all! There are many ways that you enjoy plants in your home, business or school without a typical yard. Try these gardening alternatives.
Certified Wildlife Habitats for Small Spaces
A small balcony or doorstop can be the perfect place for a Certified Wildlife Habitat. A square or circular half barrel planter found at any hardware or nursery works well. Watch The City of Fort Lauderdale's Urban Forester, Gene Dempsey explain how to make a container habitat in your home. Or, check out NatureScape Broward's A Simple Habitat publication to learn how to meet the minimum requirements for a certified habitat within a container.
If you have a building with a flat roof, it may be a candidate for greening. A green roof is one that is covered with living plants. Green roofs have many benefits. They cool the air surrounding a building, and they improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the surrounding air. A green roof has a layered structure that provides an insulating effect. These factors can reduce the amount of energy used for air conditioning. Green roofs reduce stormwater runoff, and they extend and connect habitat for wildlife. They improve the view for neighbors in taller buildings and for passengers traveling by air. They can increase the value of a building by providing additional "developed" square footage to enjoy. They can protect the underlying roof and extend its overall life. Finally, green roofs give people lovely spaces to relax and enjoy Fort Lauderdale's beautiful views. If you are interested in a green roof, you should know that structural integrity is key. You may need an engineering assessment to determine if your roof is suited for greening. You will also need to plan for access, maintenance and hurricane preparation. Contact our Department of Sustainable Development for more information or visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency webpage on Green Roofs.
Urban Farming or Gardening
Fort Lauderdale has a burgeoning urban farming community. Our ordinances were updated to encourage vegetable gardening. These plots serve as important community resources, feeding the hungry minds, bodies and souls of our neighbors. Even if you have space of your own, working together allows you to learn and share and build your neighborhood's community feel. Learn how to get involved here.
You don't need much space, or even any space at all to get involved in orchid cultivation. These beautiful flowers do well in our climate and can be grown inside and out. Try one in a flowerpot, or hang one in a tree! The Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society can provide you with information on which varieties are right for our climate and how to plant and care for them.