Monday, August 22, 2011

Wildflowers for South Florida

Wildflower areas offer an attractive, xeric and lower maintenance alternative to sod monocultures. Native wildflower plantings provide seasonal interest in a variety of colors while supporting butterflies and other pollinating insects. Applications can be purely wildflower seeded areas,a mixture of wildflowers and other herbaceous materials or planted along the edges of woody native plantings. Further experimentation is necessary to determine the best methods to plant and maintain these types of areas considering the type and location of the application. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting information about our wildflower tests at Studio Sprout and visits to other wildflower applications in Broward County. Keep tuned!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Indoor Plants for your Lungs!

Remember that slimy frog in high school floating in a jar of formaldehyde? Bad news – we’re floating in it too! Formaldehyde is the most commonly found toxin in indoor air. It’s used to treat many common products like garbage bags, paper towels, facial tissues, fabrics and floor coverings. Formaldehyde causes many adverse health problems such as eye, nose and throat irritation, and asthma. House plants can remove formaldehyde along with other toxins that emanate from office equipment and paints and including xylene, toluene, and ammonia.

There are a variety of plants that are expert formaldehyde removers to fit every taste:
Boston ferns, Florist’s mums, Dracaenas,Bamboo palms, Rubber plants, Weeping fig, Peace lily, Areca palms, and Corn plants

Interestingly enough, these plants can remove toxins without reaching a maximum toxic capacity which would result in the plant dying and then releasing toxins back into the air. Instead, they remove the fumes from the air and deliver the airborne toxins to microbes in the roots which use the broken down toxins as sustenance.

This short video shows how to install a "Wally" , see December 10 entry "Green Wall Sprouts up at Studio Sprout" so that you can improving your indoor air quality now! We planted a Boston fern in our wally and it's doing great!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Green wall sprouts up at Studio Sprout!

On a dare from a LEED EBOM (existing buildings operation and maintenance) colleague who said "Don't design Green Walls in South Florida - they will cause mold and air quality problems." - I thought I would try this little unit from Flora Grubb. I placed it over my desk and check periodically for any little fuzzies that may want to take up residence on my pristinely white wall. It is called a "wally" or a "woollypocket" The outside is a wool felt - which is all you need for an outdoor unit, for indoors they recommend the plastic lined model. I installed it over three weeks ago and so far so good. Watering is easy, it doesn't overflow or need much water - and - I get the benefits of growing my own fresh air, absorbing many unwanted chemical residues that are a result of office equipment. This is what it looked like pre-planting:

Try one and let me know your results -

This is their picture of Wally3 - three units stacked on top of each other:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Harvest at Studio Sprout!

Who says you can't grow anything in South Florida over the summer? We have watermelon all over here at Studio Sprout. It was incredably easy - seeds from a local hardware store (nothing special), minimal (who are we kidding - none is more like it) fertilizer and the seedlings thrived on rainwater. The vines, flowers and fruit are fun to watch as they take of in every direction , Try it! It's easy to get your own bountiful harvest! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Wall in Palm Beach County!

Hurrah! If you haven't seen it yet - head over to Worth Avenue to see the HUGE! Green wall installed on the western elevation of Saks. It is not only environmentally friendly but also beautiful, well thought out with textures and varieties of greens to truly make a work of art!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Help your local butterfly!

The University of Florida publication on Community ButterflyScaping is now published! This new and unique concept helps to envision large scale butterfly habitats. The techniques can be used by developers, community associations and large commercial campuses.
Contact us at for color pictures of butterfly plants for South Florida.