Starting in 2012 I've been writing on my new blog

After spending 8 years in Florida and writing 2 Florida gardening books, it was time to move beyond the old transplanted gardener moniker.

Since there will always be new arrivals to Florida who will wonder how the heck to garden here, I'm leaving this site up so they can learn from my adventures and avoid some newbie pitfalls, and a frank and honest, "How I learned to garden in Florida." 

Ginny Stibolt, a naturalist with a master's degree in botany, moved from Maryland to Green Cove Springs in northern Florida.  These are her adventures in gardening.  Follow along and learn with Ginny as she tackles a wide range of gardening and environmental topics from butterfly gardening, edible gardening, and  ecosystem gardening, to rain barrels and rain gardens. 

Now she's written three Florida garden books, " Sustainable Gardening for Florida" published in 2009; "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida" with Melissa Contreras who gardens in Miami published in 2013; and " The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape" in 2015. All are published by University Press of Florida.


Visit Ginny's Sustainable Gardening for Florida page on Facebook.  
Read Ginny's gardening articles
Ginny is is a contributing editor for the online plant encyclopedia:, a blogger on the Florida Native Plant Society's blog & Native Plant & Wildlife Gardens Blog
Have a gardening question or an idea for a future column? Contact Ginny
Hear Ginny talk about some of your favorite topics—click on the links below to the Times Union's podcasts:


Ginny's Garden Log

The main purpose of this log was to expand on the gardening adventures that Ginny writes about in her Adventures of a Transplanted Gardener columns.

Sustainable Gardening for Florida by Ginny Stibolt

 When you purchase a copy of my book, 50% of the the royalties are sent directly to The Nature Conservancy; Florida Chapter.  This may not amount to millions of dollars, but it is symbolic of how small actions can really make a big difference.  

Buy a copy today

Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida: With food costs on the rise, people are turning to their own backyards for affordable and delicious produce. In this book, expert botanist, Ginny Stibolt and Master Gardener, Melissa Contreras provide simple and accessible advice for successful vegetable gardening in Florida.

Order your own copy

The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape by Ginny Stibolt

"The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape" answers the question, "And then what?" after people decide to add more native plants and habitat areas in their yards. Ginny guides you through the planning process so that you are happy, the birds are happy, and your HOA is happy.

Order your own copy


 << The Everglades, River of Grass should be required reading for anyone with any interest in Florida's history or environment.

Order your
copy today


River of Grass cover

 Gil Nelson's Best Native Plants book provides details of 200 readily available native plants including their best growing conditions, projected sizes, and good companion plants.  You'll be surprised how much you'll rely on this book as you make your landscape more sustainable. 
Order your own copy  

Posts to Ginny's Garden Log

Postings from 8/1/11 to 5/27/12: Topics on this page include: Memorial Day, timberdoodle, cover photo, tortoise, armadillo, Blog Action Day, horsemint, gardenfest, squash flowers, slow big daddiesequinox, butterflyweed, fall crops, squash vines, lawn alternative, garden calendar, poisons, cucumber volunteers.

Postings from 1/19/11 to 8/27/11: topics on this page include: leaffooted bugs, day lily4th of July, summer harvest, hyacinth beans, dinner, asters, rain barrel debate, beautiful edibles, fnps conference, winged elm, trench composting, more on crop timing, unseasonable, Australian pines, weird roots.

Postings from 9/22/10 to 1/17/11: topics on this page include: lawn reform, frost on broccoliHappy New Year!, solstice, woodcock, honored, Torreya field trip, green gifts, cool season salad, win book, Scott, empty rain barrels, JCA teensmangroves, H2O Blog Action Day, Florida friendlyprovenance, feedback.

Postings from 7/2/10 to 9/20/10: topics on this page include: wildflower symposiumgarden event roundup, butterfly farm, tree topping, grasses 2, invasives, elm roots, last event, urbfarm & vegetables, Florida's nativesCSA story, win book, hibiscus, grafted tomatoes, grass science, book status, lawn reform newsletter, cucumbers.

Postings from 4/01/10 to 6/28/10: topics on this page include: rain lily rescue, TAPPgreen awards, calla lilies, workshops, blueberries & roses, dill & caterpillarshurricane-scaping, garden professors, company gardens, vertical gardens?carrot soup, marigolds & nematodesclimate-friendly gardenerplant hunter, backyard habitats, orchid controversy, bugs, Earth Day, greens, tree-mendous, spring.  

Postings from 11/02/09 to 3/29/2010: topics on this page include:  USA Today!, turnips & news, FL natives, queen palms, composting, HGTVappearances, frigid, resolution garden, Christmas, citrus greening, Green Gators, Thanksgiving, wildflowers, groundwater, lawn film.

Postings from 5/21/09 to 10/19/09: topics on this page include: goldenrods, sago sex, lawn contest, Vero Beach, meet me at the library, lawn reform, compost, Florida-friendly law, trees & shrubs, community gardens, water, library book, bug-sprayersave water & seeds

Postings from 7/22/09 to 4/02/09: topics on this page include: tuberose, public gardens, torch me! plantsIndependence Day!, fledgling birdsrain gardening book review, too much rain, seeds, more fruit, fruit sharing, peace liliesrecipe gardens, bugs, book!, potatoes, common names, Seasonal, Earth Day, sustainable gardens.

Postings from 1/28/09 to 3/31/09: topics on this page include: 3 more rain barrels, swallow-tailed kites, pruning guidewhite house vegetable garden, St. Patrick's Day, a Day of Gardening, changeover in vegetablesnew water regs, sustainable farm, Citizen scientists? Florida blueberries, spring events, green government, money garden, Valentinestinkhorns, Brrr!habitat.

Postings from 11/5/08 to 1/27/09: topics include: turnips, longleaf pines, turf wars, Happy New Year!, answers, end of year, Christmas, wreath, winter butterfly gardens, mycorrhizae, basil harvest, magnolia Christmas tree, large rain garden, nematodes, eat the view, arboretum's opening, predator, diversity.

Postings from 9/2/08 to 11/3/08: topics include: compost, red bays, arboretum, brown lawnenvironmental gardening, grow your own foodFarmer-in-Chiefbird-friendly, fence opening, peppers, rainscaping, sustainability, edible flowers, fall gardens, viceroy, N & C footprints.

Postings from 5/3/08 to 8/25/08: topics include expanded rain garden, Fay, rain gauge, Garden Rant, butterfly haven, rain garden, mystery, US Sugar, errors, summer solstice, grow more food, back meadow, coral honeysuckle, swallowtails, microclimates, Mothers' Day5 wrens.  

Postings from 1/6/08 - 4/27/08: topics include zucchinis, blue-eyed grass, grasshoppers, bolting lettucebird-friendly, irrigation, great sunflower, pot bound, spring, woodpeckers, carrots, mothyellow mulch, warm day, JAX arboretum, NOAA's predictionsedges

Postings from 9/16/07 to 1/1/08: topics include new year salad, end of year, poinsettias, say no to poisons, Lucia Robson, palmettos, purselane, podcast links, beggarticks, peppers, hornworms.

Postings from 1/12/07 to 8/15/07: topics include jewels, podcast links, onions, first draft, wildflowers, SW trip, compost, myths web page, spring, herbs, podcasts, wedelia, yellow jackets

Postings from 8/12/06 to 1/10/07: topics include 2007 plans, Poem, Tropical Home, Mantis, Fall roundup, Purple meadowsGardenfest, Gil Nelson, Good & Evil, North, Sunflowers

Postings from 12/21/05 to 7/11/06: topics include Meadow Management, Tomatoes, Pond, Monocots, Garden Detective, Reducing lawn, Backyard Habitat, Water Hyacinths, Lawn dispute.

Postings from 7/10/05 to 12/8/05 :topics include Fall/Winter, Mulch, Basil/Pesto, Stinkhorns, Hornworms, WrensCatbriars, Scarlet Snake, Sagos, Containers.

Postings from 3/19/05 to 6/28/05: topics include Magnolias, Prickly Pears, Turtles, Botanicals, Ferns, Rain Gardens, & Rain Barrels

The Meadow page: a tour of Ginny's meadows: the flora & fauna.  Plus information on more natural meadow management.

Gardening articles by Ginny Stibolt by category:
(Published online here, on, the Florida Native Plant Society, or Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens

Sustainable gardening practices

Ginny uses the term "sustainable" as a wide-ranging topic, where gardeners can save time, money, and the environment. She's discussed sustainable lawn-care, strategies for dealing with plants in containers, either temporarily or permanently, and dealing with the climate, both microclimates within the landscape and overall climatic conditions. She also wrote " Sustainable Gardening for Florida," which was published by University Press of Florida in 2009. The book covers this topic in much more detail.

Sustainable lawncare practices:
Reducing the Lawn in Your Landscape
Further lawn reduction: more edible garden space
Sunshine Mimosa, a lawn Alternative for Florida
The Lawn Less Mown
Edging projects: risks & rewards
Cutting Edges
Removing lawn and other adventures
St. Augustine Grass: Native or Not...
Let Your Lawn Go Natural, guideline for Maryland Lawns

Gardening for the climate:
Fr... Frr... Frigid Florida: What's a Gardener to do?
Planning for Microclimates
Spring garden detective work
Signs of Spring in Northeastern Florida, Finally!
Fall gardening
Summertime, summertime...

Dealing with plants in containers:
Troublesome Spot? Convert to Containers
Pot Bound!
Give Peace (Lilies) a Chance

Ginny removed the lawn from around these trees and shrubs. Photo by Ginny Stibolt
Ginny removed the lawn from around these trees and shrubs. Lawn abutting trees is bad for the trees and the turf, so do what you can to create groupings of trees with no lawn around them. As a bonus, it's also easier to mow.

Native plant gardening:
Adventures in creating a native garden
Native Plants: the next step
What??! Native Plants Not Pretty?
Plan ahead!
Mother Nature's mysteries
When native plants die...
The never-ending story of a native landscape 
Chicago's Lurie Garden: A very public native space
NYC's High Line Park: A community restoration
Florida natives for your landscape
Instant landscaping?

Science for gardeners:
Plants have hormones, too
Water science and gardening
The Science behind southern grasses, including turf

Getting rid of invasives
Invasive vs. aggressive Part1
Terrible taro and other invasives
Australian Pines: One of Florida's Least Wanted
Removing Invasives in Mandarin: a team effort
Winter: a good time to remove invasive plants

Water: rainwater & otherwise

As we know, water is necessary for plants to grow. Ginny explains water science for gardeners. Plus with more droughts and water shortages; you can harvest some of the rain to use for plants and compost. They'll appreciate the lack of chlorine and other additives used in our drinking water. Ginny shows how to build your own rain barrel systems, build rain gardens to capture the extra storm water, and how to handle drainage issues with French drains and dry wells.

We All Live in a Watershed!
Climb up my rain barrels
Rain Barrels Revisited
Three More Rain Barrels
Rain Lilies for my rain gardens
Expanded Rain Garden

Finding ways to collect rain water on your property reduces pollution of our waterways. Photo by Ginny Stibolt
Finding ways to collect rain water on your property reduces pollution of our waterways.

Rain Gardening in the South: a Book Review
Ooh la la! French drains
A New Bed: and Standing Stormwater

Composting and mulching

Composting is that magical gardeners' process that turns waste into black gold, which is so good for the soil in gardens and around newly planted trees and shrubs. Ginny shares her various composting strategies. 

Mulching builds soil, but not before it protects it from weed invasions, temperature changes, and loss of moisture.

An early fall compost pile
A requiem for a hickory tree
Composting for Your Garden
Wide Row Planting and Trench Composting in the Vegetable Garden
Follow the Yellow Mulch Road
6 reasons to use pine needle much in edible gardens

Ginny loves wood chips as mulch.  Photo by Ginny Stibolt Ginny loves wood chips as mulch. They are sustainable on so many levels: the tree guys working in her neighborhood can dump their load before they leave, the wood chips perform well as mulch and they are free.

Ecosystem gardening

Working with Mother Nature instead of against her, makes your landscape friendly to birds and pollinators. From reducing pesticides to using more native plants, everything you do makes a positive difference to wildlife. Ginny articles cover a wide range of projects she's tackled to make her landscape more of a working ecosystem. For further information, Doug Tallamy's book, " Bringing Nature Home", provides well-researched and easy-to-understand arguments for using more native plants in your yard, no matter how small.

From lawn to woods: a retrospective
Teeming with zebras
Attracting damsels and dragons
Snow squarestem: a bee and butterfly magnet
Maypop, a native bee and butterfly magnet
An inch by inch decoration feat
Black swallowtail larvae in my dill
A Poison is a Poison is a Poison!
Cheer for the Predators in Ecosystem Gardening
Managing a natural pond
The joys of a Florida pond
Yard critters
Creating Backyard Habitat
From Stump to Butterfly Haven
Invite Birds to your Yard
What's Been Eating My Bushy Seedbox

A great purple hairstreak butterfly. Photo by Ginny Stibolt A great purple hairstreak butterfly sips nectar from a snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea).

6 easy steps to support wildlife in 2014
Just Say No to Poisons
Of timberdoodles and ecotones
One Native Plant = Three Habitat Benefits
Shoreline Habitat in the Intracoastal Waterway
Ecosystem Gardening: Blog Action Day on Food
Managing a Natural Meadow
Can the Birds Count on You?
Pond Pleasures
Pee-yew! Those smelly stinkhorn fungi

Edible gardens

Vegetable gardening in Florida is vastly different than when Ginny grew edibles in Maryland or New England. Ginny grows enough food to have reduced the food expenditures for her and her husband by 15%! Her adventures in her north Florida edible gardens have also led to her writing "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida" with Melissa Contreras, who gardens in Miami. It was published in 2013 by University Press of Florida.

Kohlroabi: a versitile cole crop
Integrated pest management in the edible garden
Results: the nematode experiment
Nematodes, marigolds, and crop rotation
Zucchini, garlic and kites: summer is here!
A sweet onion harvest, Frostproof, and more...
Harvest-based tempura and more...
Garlic chives: a bountiful evergreen crop
Spaghetti squash recipes & planting
Lime basil
The Royal Herb: Sweet Basil
Florida Blueberries
Sweet Treat Carrots
Edible Flowers
The Skinny on Onions

Sweet Treat Carrots. Photo by Ginny Stibolt
Sweet Treat Carrots from Ginny's garden.

From compost to dinners...
Tomatoes and peppers from seed
Short day onions and more...
A Native Heb Amongst the Mediterraneans
Unseasonable Offerings from Bonnie Plants
The Tale of Two Parsleys
A Garden for Your Senses
Tomatoes are for Summer
Grow More Veggies in 2009: Kids Can Help
Gardeners know when to "fold"

Trees, shrubs, & vines

Woody plants play important roles in your landscape. Take care to choose the ones with the best chance of success and use the best practices for planting and ongoing care to increase the odds

A Review: The Trees of Florida
A Less than Ideal Potted Tree? Even Natives Can Have Problems.
The magic of mistletoes
Longleaf Pines
The St. John's-worts: Under-rated Landscape Plants
My Magnificent but Messy Magnolias
Palmettos in the Landscape
Red Bay Trees are Dying
Hey! My sago is not a palm
Trees and Shrubs: the "Bones" of Your Landscape
Vicious, vigorous, and vibrant vines
A shrub to be thankful for: the groundseltree or saltbush
An Appreciation of Scarlet Hibiscus

Florida's state tree. Photo by Ginny Stibolt  
Florida's state tree, the cabbage palm 
(Sabal palmetto).

Florida's Palms
Florida's Marvelous Mangroves
Queen Palms Don't Rule in Florida

Herbaceous plants

Herbaceous plants may do the most to decorate your landscape. They may also be your worst weeds. Ginny works to sort through some of these important landscape plants and some science on how the southern grasses have become so efficient in the hot weather. 

Rayless sunflowers, fall seedlings, & more
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
White-topped Sedge
The (Almost) Ghost Orchids of Clay County
No Need to Beg for Beggarticks
The Calla Lilies are Blooming Again
Hidden Ginger Lilies and Other Intriguing Monocots
There's Gold in Our Meadows
The Science Behind Southern Grasses, Including Turf
I Covet my Neighbors' Ebony Spleenworts!
Sensational Sunflowers
Jewels of Summer

A gulf fritillary sips from a matching zinnia. Photo by Ginny Stibolt
A gulf fritillary sips from a matching zinnia.

Ferns in the landscape
Dotted Horsemint: An Appreciation
Pokeweed: A Bird-Friendly Native
Remarkable resurrection ferns

Gardening lists & misc.

People love lists. Ginny is no exception. She's made a number of gardening to-do lists over the years. There are also some articles here that didn't fit into the other categories, so they've been added to this list.

To-do lists:
A wish for a greener 2015
A Gardener's Resolutions for 2006
2007 to-do list
Fall roundup in the landscape
6 easy ways to save time & money in your landscape

A fieldtrip, a Florida native plant hero, & pasta salad
Green Gators: There's More to University of Florida Gators than Just Football
An Interview with Noted Nature Author, Gil Nelson
A Plant by Any Common Name
Homesick for a Real Mid-Atlantic Spring
A tour of an Urb Farm in Jacksonville
Wildflower Surprises
Public (Garden) Education
Gardenfests not Popular? I beg to differ
Field Trip to Torreya State park with Gil Nelson
Florida's roadside meadows program

There is alwys somethings to do in the garden. Photo by Ginny Stibolt
There is always something to do in Ginny's garden. This sphinx moth worm's list is much shorter than Ginny's, but they both keep chewing away.

Eco-activists: A few people can make a real difference
A look back to find lessons for the future
Disney Wilderness Preserve: A Nature Conservancy Property

Celebrating the holidays in the garden

Ginny's 5-minute podcasts recorded
for the Florida Times Union.

podcast A Poison is a Poison(10/24/11)
podcast Black Gold(9/15/11)
podcast Invasive Waterweeds(8/31/11)
podcast Organic Gardening Book(8/24/11)
podcast Garden Calendar(8/17/11)
podcast Rain Barrels(4/21/11)
podcast Edible Gardens(4/11/11)
podcast FNPS conference(4/1/11)
podcast Mistreated Trees(3/25/11)
podcast Inappropriate Plants(3/17/11)
podcast Water Science(1/27/11)
podcast Under-Appreciated Fungi (1/18/11)
podcast Ecosystem Gardening(1/13/11)
podcast Winter vegetables(12/30/10)
podcast Green gifts(12/14/10)
podcast GardenFests (10/5/10)
podcast Native Plants(9/29/10)
podcast Goldenrods(9/20/10)
podcast Topping Trees(9/10/10)
podcast Grass Science(9/2/10) 
podcast Lantanas(8/30/10)
podcast Grafted Tomatoes(8/20/10)
podcast Ways to grow vegetables(8/12/10)
podcast Florida's natives(8/5/10)
podcast Old Gardeners' Tales(7/29/10)
podcast Think About Personal Pollution(7/22/10)
podcast Rescuing Rain Lilies(7/15/10)
podcast Book status(7/8/10)
podcast Hurricane-scaping(7/1/10)
podcast Orchid Field Trip(9/14/09)
podcast Florida Friendly Law(8/8/09)
podcast Trees & Shrubs(8/31/09)
podcast Book Status(8/18/09)
podcast Longleaf Pines(3/16/09)
podcast Citizen Scientists?(3/2/09)
podcast Just-in-time Vegetable Gardening(2/16/09)
podcast Stinkhorn Follow-up(2/10/09)
podcast Animal, Vegetable, Miracle(12/29/08)
podcast End of Year Checklist(12/29/08)
podcast Winter Butterfly Habitat (12/15/08)
podcast Basil: The Royal Herb(12/8/08)
podcast Live Christmas tree(12/2/08)
podcast Compost Tea(11/3/08)
podcast Jacksonville Arboretum (10/27/08)
podcast Edible Flowers (10/20/08)
podcast Grow Your Food 10/13/08
podcast Plan for your Fall Garden 9/8/08
podcast Red-shouldered Hawk 8/25/08
podcast From Stump to Butterfly Haven 8/18/08
podcast Murphy's Law of Rain 8/12/08
podcast Win a Book! 8/04/08
podcast US Sugar Deal7/21/08
podcast Sustainable Gardening 7/14/08
podcast Stormwater 7/9/08
podcast Microclimates 6/30/08
podcast Errors in Landscaping 6/24/08
podcast Back Meadow 6/6/08
podcast Coral Honeysuckle 5/29/08
podcast The Lawn Less Mown 5/20/08
podcast Locavore 5/14/08
podcast 5 Baby Wrens 5/6/08
podcast Book Progress 3/31/08
podcast Bird-Friendly Yards 3/24/08
podcast Pot Bound Plants 3/20/08
podcast Great Sunflower Project 3/10/08
podcast Global Warming 1/17/08
podcast Don't Feed the Algae 1/17/08
podcast Cutting Edges 1/17/08
podcast NOAA's Weather Predictions 1/8/08
podcast Christmas Pickle 12/14/07
podcast Composting Leaves 12/14/07
podcast End of Year Gardening 12/14/07
podcast Poinsettias 12/5/07
podcast Pest Management 10/12/07
podcast Butterfly Gardens 10/12/07
podcast Butterflies & Moths 10/12/07
podcast Too Much Rain?? 10/12/07
podcast Container Gardening 9/15/07
podcast Horticultural Myths 8/15/07
podcast Wildflower Grants 8/15/07
podcast The Skinny on Onions 8/9/07
podcast Invasive Aliens 3/2/07
podcast Spanish Moss Tales 3/2/07
podcast Hurricane Readiness 2/14/07
podcast Tomatoes for Florida's Heat 2/14/07
podcast Myths and Traditions of Holiday Plants
 - Mistletoe
podcast Holiday Traditions - Week 2 12/14/06
podcast Holiday Traditions - Week 3 12/14/06
podcast Caring for Holiday Greens 11/27/06
podcast Fall Roundup 11/27/06
podcast Organic Gardening 9/20/06
podcast The Florida Native Plant Society 9/20/06
podcast Ragweed and Goldenrod 8/17/06
podcast Sunflowers 8/17/06
podcast Meadow Management. 7/5/06
podcast Ebony Spleenworts 7/5/06
podcast Stinkhorn Fungi 7/5/06
podcast Ginny's Yard is Certified 7/5/06
podcast Rain Barrels 6/5/06
podcast Rain Gardens 6/5/06
podcast More Diversity in Your Yard 6/5/06
podcast Less Lawn 6/5/06



Native Plants And Wildlife Gardens

lawn reform coalition badge




    Top of page 

    © Ginny Stibolt 2004-2015



    Website by