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Free Advice & Assistance:

• Mike Miller : Anna Maria : 941.778.1200 or 779-6097

If you are in or about to start any project to establish or improve your style of life on these islands, and you would like to talk to an experienced person about it just to get an idea of which way to proceed and how much it could cost, call me. Whether it is about landscaping, or a renovation, or even a new structure -- if you need an architect, a designer, or an engineer, just call me. I can point you in the right direction and/or find the right person you need. An hour or two will suffice, and there will be no charge.


Retail Native Nurseries - with a web site:

• Florida Native Plants : Sarasota : 730 Myakka Rd : 941.322.1915

Over 30 years in the business, this is now a full service retail-only native nursery run by professionals with complementary bacgrounds. Though located in the Florida Scrub, their plant stocks always include a significant number of Coastal Upland plants for the islands. Delivery is $40-$70 depending on quantity and distance.

• Wilcox Nursery : Largo : 12501 Indian Rocks Rd : 727.595.2073

This retail native nursery grew out of a 50 year old family nursery and groves business. Their list covers a broad range of plant associations with many Coastal Uplands plants and even includes some hard to find species. Delivery of $50+ orders is free within 5mi, $10 up to 10mi, and $25 in the rest of Pinellas county.

• SCCF Native Nursery : Sanibel : 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd : 239.472.1932

This retail nursery is part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and has an excellent stock of barrier island plants.

• All Native Garden Center : Fort Meyers : 300 Center Road : 239.939.9663

All Native is a full service nursery offering in addition to a broad selection of coastal natives, consultations, design, and installation services.

Retail Native Nurseries - no web site:

• Sweet Bay Nursery : Parrish : 10824 Erie Rd : 941.776.0501 This is a wholesale nursery with a variety of inland and coastal plants that will sell to retail customers who call for an appointment. Delivery ($50-75) of some orders and installation services are available as well. Tom Heitzman, the owner, is frequently an officer of the Native Plant Society and the Audubon Society.


Wholesale Native Nurseries:

• Association of Florida Native Nurseries

A comprehensive listing of most of the native plant nurseries in Florida maintained by their professional association.

FEATURES: Dropdown menus enable searches for retail or wholesale nurseries by plant common name or scientific name and also by their location. But caution is in order: do not travel any great distance to buy a plant listed as available at one of the nurseries without first calling to verify that it is indeed in stock and ready to be sold. Their stocks can change suddenly with damaging weather or unanticipated large orders. Nurseries have precious little labor to spare for the perpetual updating of stock lists. And there are probably some nurseries who only rarely cull from their lists plants that they long ago used to grow or were equally long ago sure they soon would grow!

• Sweet Bay Nursery : Parrish : 10824 Erie Road : 941.776.0501 This is a wholesale nursery with a variety of inland and coastal plants that will also broker plants not in stock and offers installation services as well. Tom Heitzman, the owner, is frequently an officer of the Native Plant Society and the Audobon Society.

• Green Seasons : Parrish : 12340 State Rd 62 : 941.776.1605 Roger Triplett specializes in a large variety of coastal plants, especially Sea oats and shore grasses, and is currently expanding the selection of Wildflowers.


Native Landscape Consulting / Design:

• Mike Miller : Anna Maria : 941.778.1200

Consultation to assess landscape problems and native solutions is a free volunteer service for the sake of encouraging a serious consideration of landscaping with natives.

• Tom Heitzman : Parrish : 941.776-0501

Consultation, plant selection, site plans, installation contracting and supervision, are available at hourly rates customized to the project.

• John Sibley : Fort Meyers : 239.939.9663

All consulting services are available at hourly rates for any project preferably within a 50-mile radius of Parrish, available for a $50/hr charge (minimum) and $35/hr after the first hour. Residential landscape design is available from $350 and above per project. The front and back landscapes are considered to be separate projects. Installation also available.


Native Landscape Maintenance:

• Joan Bowling : Shady Lady Horticultural Services : 941.704.9025

Whether it is a one time one day cleanup or a contract for maintenance at regular intervals, Joan, who has decades of experience in the native plant industry offers pruning, fertilizing, mulching, and the all important service of hand weeding at low rates hourly, by the job, or on a continuing basis at regular intervals.


Large Native Tree Sources:

These are wholesale providers. But some also sell retail. They do not specialize in natives, but they have them or will obtain and install them on order. Call and ask.

• Mike Armstrong Nursery : Bradenton : Call 941.776.0410

• Turner Tree Nursery : Bradenton : Wholesale only: Call 941.745.2101

• Calusa Creek Tree Farm : Stuart : Wholesale only: Call 772.219.3377.

• Blue Sky Landscaping : Sarasota : 9981 Fruitville Rd : 941.342.4347

This nursery has a good record of delivering and installing Cabbage palms of any height, with or without boots.

• Tree Pooling : Michael MIller : Anna Maria/Longboat Key : Call 778.1200.

Any time I can find 5-10 persons who want just one or two large native trees each, I will arrange a pool to facilitate the trucking-in and installation.


Tree And Mangrove Services:

• About Pruning Trees Properly: Competition in this industry has provided us with many efficient trimming and removal services, but it has also left little time or incentive to master the proper techniques. You are strongly advised, therefore, to read all of the information on proper pruning practices on the USF website of Horticulturist Dr. Ed Gilman before hiring a service. Then print the relevant information and give it to the service as specifications for your job. Finally, monitor the work diligently to make sure they are following your specifications. You will find his pruning pages along with a wealth of other information about buying, installing, and caring for trees at:

• Tree Service: Your Kind of Tree Service : Bradenton : Call 941.758.9931
Licensed, insured, prompt, clean, fast, careful, and nice! -- everything you want a tree service to be.

• Mangrove Trimming: Tom Mayers : Longboat Key : Call 941.383.6598
Click the headline link to reach Tom's website. He is a Longboat Key native and has been a professional mangrove trimmer for 30 years. There you will find extensive discussion of every aspect of mangrove trimming as well as the requisite certified trimmer himself. There are also links in the LAWS section of this website to a copy of the statute itself and one to the FDEP's Permit Application Form.


Irrigation Systems - professionally installed:

• Island Lawn Sprinklers : Holmes Beach : 941.778.2581

Jeff Singer is fast and exceptionally dependable. When you need him, he'll be there.

Irrigation Systems - install it yourself:

• DIG System ( ) : Online at : or at Home Depot

DIG is one of several excellent mini/micro drip/spray systems that are easy to assemble without a drop of glue. Attach one of the battery timers to a Y-hose-bib next to your hose, insert one end of an up to 200ft 1/2in Black Poly tube in the clock end and clamp the other end with a figure eight stop. Buy the adjustable heads on 5in plastic stakes (with the connector for the other end attached). Put the head and the connector on the ends of a piece of 1/4in brown vinyl tubing, punch a hole in the 1/2in Poly with the small manual hand punch, insert the connector, and stick the water head end in the ground next to the plant. (put 2 heads on shrubs, and 3 on trees around the perimeter of the root ball, moving them outward as the roots and plant grow.) If you need a lot of the heads, check out the wholesale irrigation supply stores. Similar heads by ANETELCO at TWC Distributors at 1016 12th Av E in Palmetto, FL cost substantially less than at Home Depot.


Sand / Shell Surface Toppings (see article about 250 Sand-shell mix):

Nothing ties a landscape to its island location like wide paths of sand and shell. Groundcovers and grasses can then be allowed to grow naturally way beyond their intended boundaries before trimming is necessary, greatly reducing maintenance. Weeds can be safely and easily eradicated with RoundUp (generic: Glyphosate). The best surface for such paths and driveways is a 3-4 in. topping of 250 Sand (a sand and shell mixture), because it compacts like shell but can be walked on with bare feet. You can further mimic the look of an island shore location by dressing the sides of the paths with random sweeps of 1/2 in. Washed Shell. If you order a full truckload of material, they can load 1/4 - 1/3 with shell and the rest with 250 Sand and drop them in separate piles.

• Dirt Works LLC : Sarasota-Bradenton : 941.650-7269

A full truckload is about 18.5 cu yds of 250 Sand (part sand, part shell). They will deliver it to you for the price of the material plus the pre-set delivery charge to your area. This currently bottom-lines around $26 - $28 per cubic yard depending on your distance from the mine. Because delivery is often half the cost of a load, ordering in full loads is the cheapest way to buy it.

While you will only pay for what is delivered, understand that the truck will only get the amount the mine lets them have on any given day, so it could be a little less than you ordered. Also when the material loaded is wet, it weighs and therefore costs a little more.

Additionaly, shell is occasionally in short supply. If a line of trucks builds up one morning, you could be charged $60/hr for wait time over an hour. If you tell the trucker they can bring it on any one of several days, they will be able to pick up when there is no line. Be flexible.

• Anderson Asphalt : Bradenton/Sarasota : 941.351.6586

Anderson Asphalt will also deliver Shell or 250 Sand in smaller capacity 8 - 10 cu yd trucks, currently at around $39/cubic yard.

• Mike Miller : Anna Maria : 941.778.1200 or 779-6097

Mike will design and install a complete replacement of turf and/or hardscaping with 250 sand-shell mix.


Fertilizer - wholesale and retail:

• FLORIKAN : 1579 Barber Rd : Sarasota : 941.377.8666

Product : Professional grower grade 50 lb bag 1 year time release 13-13-13 Nutricote fertilizer. Exit I-75 east on Fruitville Rd, first right on Coburn Rd, wind through to STOP sign, cross road and go straight into Eastern Industrial Park. At FLORIKAN sign turn left on Edger to FLORIKAN's pickup building and purchase in office. Or you can buy at reception in main office (by first sign) then take ticket to pickup building. Credit cards accepted.

Mulch - wholesale and retail:

• 1 Stop Landscape Supply : 2560 Whitfield Ave : Sarasota : 941.739.1020

Product : Recycled hardwood mulch at $14.50 per yard. Bulk delivery available for up to 30yd truckload (Cost based on distance, call for quote. Example: $77.50 to Anna Maria Island).

• Consolidated Resource & Recovery : 3025 Whitfield Ave : Sarasota : 941.756.0977

Product : Recycled yard and tree removal waste at $6.00 per yard. Pick up only.


Herbecides To Kill Weeds and Trees - wholesale and retail:

• Helena Chemical : Palmetto : 1408 20th Avenue East : 941.722.3253

Go north on US-41 into Palmetto to 17th St (Memphis Road), turn East to 20th Avenue East, turn right to 1408.

• Southern Agricultural Insecticides : Rubonia : 7400 Bayshore : 941.722.3285

[Wholesale Only] Go north on US-41, pass US 19/I-275 cut off, pass light at 7-11, turn left on Bayshore Rd.

Product : RoundUp or the generic product, Glyphosate: For eradicating unwanted turf and exotic weeds to start a landscape and for maintaining weed-free sand/shell surfaces. Available from these sources in various degrees of concentration in 2.5 gallon containers at prices dramatically lower than the bigbox retailers.

Product : Garlon: Mix a 2.5 gallon container of GARLON with 11.25 gallons of a LIGHT BASAL OIL. Paint a section around the trunk just above ground to kill a Brazillian peppertree, small Australian pine, Carrotwood, or other exotic pest tree. Or fell the tree and paint the stump within 30 minutes of cutting it to kill the root and prevent regrowth.

Product : Light Basal Oil: A carrier oil to dilute Garlon for use in eradicating exotic trees. Mix an 11.25 gallon container of BASAL OIL with 2.5 gallon container of GARLON.

• The near 14 gallons of herbicide you get from mixing these wholesale-size containers for around $250 is appropriate for landscapers and owners with a large property to clear. While you will hear reccommendations for diluting Garlon 1:1 with diesel fuel, it is definitely not a good idea to use materials containing diesel fuel on vegetation. For an economical option on smaller jobs, consider the following 2 products.

Product : Pathfinder II: 13% Remedy (Garlon) and 80% carrier oil ready-mixed in a smaller quantity 2.5 gallon container for around $98.

Product : Renovate: A similar but stronger product that is claimed to be safe for use in wetlands areas and near but not in water.


Plant ID Name Tags:

• PRECISION SIGNS : 100 Elmgrove Park : Rochester NY 14624 : 877.444.0856

Product : Silver on black Etched anodized aluminum Plant ID tags with or without black anodized aluminum stakes. Highest botanical-gardens quality finish and look with limitless font options, albeit at premium prices. Currently about $9 each with stakes.



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