How Florida-Friendly Landscaping Works

We are big fans of Florida-friendly landscaping.
That why we support each of its 9 principles and
incorporate them into our landscape designs and practices.

1. Right Plant, Right Place. There are over 330 annuals, ferns, ground covers, grasses, palms, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines that all thrive along the Treasure Coast. 

2. Water Efficiently.  Our article on “smart irrigation” shows how technology can monitor weather, soil moisture, evaporation rates and plant water use then automatically adjust sprinkler schedules to actually save both water and money.

3. Fertilize Appropriately.  Nitrogen in fertilizer is health food for plant-life, but too much can hurt plants, birds and animals—and pollute our aquifers. Watch this video and use only a licensed applicator.

4. Mulch.  Great for giving your landscape that “finished” appearance, mulch is also good for the soil. It reduces the spread of weeds and it moderates soil temperatures. Caution! Don’t use cypress mulch. Lumbering has decimated our cypress trees!

5. Attract Wildlife. Birds and critters love plants with seeds, fruit, flowers, and berries, and they love a cool splash in a rain garden or bird bath. Learn how to attract butterflies with wildflowers.

6. Manage Yard Pests. Think ahead! Choose pest-resistant varieties or practice integrated pest management. Learn how. Identify those pests with the IFAS/UFL tool.

7. Recycle Yard Waste. Our crews always remove major yard waste, but on request will leave some onsite for a client’s compost pile/bin. Compost is a sustainable way to create organic fertilizer for use in plant beds and gardens. Read Trash Talk from UF/IFAS.

8. Reduce Stormwater Runoff. Water that is clean and chemical free can be strategically diverted to run through berms and swales to give it time to soak into the ground. Permeable walkways, patios and driveways also reduce stormwater runoff.

9. Protect the Waterfront. If your home is on a lake, next to a spring, or overlooking a beach, a ten-foot “low-maintenance zone” that is not mowed, fertilized, or sprayed with pesticides protects native water plants and may attract interesting animal life. 

Image from UF/IFAS

Remembering James Henry

James Henry

James Henry began his career with Jenkins Landscape Company in 1990 as a truck driver. James excelled and moved up through the company to become one of our best landscape installation foremen and finally a Supervisor and right hand to Harold Jenkins. But this last weekend, James Henry lost his month-long fight against Covid-19.

Not only did he run new installations, James was our staff photographer, ran our security system, monitored our 15-acre nursery, and—most of all—was part of the family.

James knew everyone and everything that was going on around. If you needed help on a job, you called James because he could and would get it done.

The name James Henry is synonymous with Jenkins Landscape. Everyone knew him; everyone liked him. Over the 31 years working at Jenkins he had become part of the Jenkins family. James was part of the pit crew for Harold Jenkins when he ran a dragster at Morosso and used to call Susan Jenkins “Mom” back in his younger days. Since James started when Steven and Erin Jenkins were 3 and 6, he was there to help shape them to become successful.

James had this uncanny ability to know whether something was bothering you just by looking at you. He knew when he needed to step in if you were in over your head. He was an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. If the alarm was going off at the shop, James was first to show up to make sure there wasn’t a break-in and that everything was safe and sound. 

He definitely had his stubborn ways but that was the part of James that made it work. He never shied away from a hard conversation. But most of all, he had a smile for everyone, always. We will forever have an empty chair in our shop where he sat in the mornings to chew the fat, talk about life and plan for the day.

James will be missed every day and held in our hearts dearly. We lost a good man with a big smile and an even bigger heart. He leaves behind a loving wife, Kim, and two amazing sons, James Henry (Jr.) and Garrett.

James Henry. A beautiful soul is never forgotten.

James Henry and Harold Jenkins
James (left) was always ready to give a thumbs up.
James is pictured in the white shirt (4th from left) in this annual Christmas photo.
James Henry pictured here on the right in white shirt.

Florida’s Plant Invasion

Invasion of the Plants

The battle protect and preserve our State’s native flora

native trees at sunset

Since before Florida joined the Union in 1845, plants have played a major role in the lives of its citizens and wildlife.
Plants clean our air and water and house our birds and wildlife.
But invaders powerful enough to cause economic and environmental damage to Florida’s natural areas are a constant threat.

South Florida’s plants rise from marshes, grasslands, forests, and ponds. They border our bays, beaches and mangrove swamps. In these areas, a continuous war rages between the native plants and the invaders. There are three major players…

NATIVES
The Good Guys

A plant that occurs naturally in the place that it grows. If it was here when Columbus discovered America, it’s a native plant. There are over 2,800 native plants in Florida.
Examples: Bald Cypress (right), Coontie, Firebush, Gumbo-Limbo, Live Oaks, Resurrection Fern (lower left), Saw Palmetto, Sea Grape, Phlox, Blanket-Flower (lower right)

NATURALIZED
The Party Crashers

A non-native tree, shrub, vine or other species that grows in nature on its own. They are often escape artists from human-planted gardens or agriculture, seeded by birds, or imported as an exotic. They generally do not interfere with native plants or disrupt the natural ecosystem.
Examples: Avocado Tree, Mangos (right), Queen Palm, Bush Allamanda (lower left), Bamboo, Periwinkle (lower right).

INVASIVE
The Bad Guys

Non-native species out-compete natives and take over creating what is called a “monoculture”. Florida has banned Kudzu, Skunkvine, Melaleuca trees and others that crowd out native plants important to wildlife, threaten our native cypress, disturb water flow, alter soil conditions, or interrupt the flow of storm run-off.
Examples: Melaleuca (upper right), Brazilian Pepper, Camphor, Old World Climbing Fern, Carrotwood (lower left), Water Hyacinth (lower right), Air Potato, Scarlet Acacia. See the Florida List

For more information and a complete list of invasive plants in Florida, please visit Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council or the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (requires admin access).

According to IFAS Extension experts, of the more than 20,000 plants introduced to Florida from elsewhere
— 7% are invasive and 5% are prohibited. 

Our certified arborists and horticultural professionals can inspect your property for invasive plant species and offer advise on safe removal and spread prevention. Call (772) 546-2861 to request an on-site visit.

You can help protect Florida’s natural areas from non-native invasive plants by spreading awareness of the problem. Please consider sharing this newsletter with a friend or follow us on Facebook.