Habitat Design & Installation Rates

Date Posted: 2010-03-15
Tags: rates, habitat design. consultation, installation, maintenance

Twigs & Leaves      A Florida Garden Center
Rates for 2010

New Years Hours

Date Posted: 2010-01-14
Tags: new hours

Our new years hours will be  Sunday - Friday 10am-3pm, Saturday 10am -5pm.  And always by appointment.

Winter Solstice Sale!!

Date Posted: 2009-12-14
Tags: fall bloomer, climbing aster, winter solstice, sale

Winter Solstice Sale!!
Join us for the shortest day of the year.  10-50% off entire nursery!
Monday December 21st from 9am-5pm


Paris Gardens in our community.

Date Posted: 2009-12-14
Tags: paris garden, green florida, native plants, edibles

Green Florida and Twigs & Leaves celebrate another successful Paris Garden installation.  more

Holidays at Twigs & Leaves

Date Posted: 2009-12-04
Tags: red cedar, sustainable, tropical sage, florida native, holidays

Have a sustainable holiday season, plant a tree, decorate your patios and enhance entry ways with some native color. 

Free Victory Garden Workshop Series

Date Posted: 2009-11-20
Tags: victory garden, planting, workshop series, sustainable yard

Reviving Past: Victory Gardens Become a Thing of the Present
Sustainable Yards Series
Free Victory Garden Workshop Begins Nov. 28, 9am – 5pm

Twigs & Leaves Nursery St. Petersburg


Weekend Happenings

Date Posted: 2009-11-05
Tags: habitat, florida native, ground cover, lawn, boyd hill, art arbor, lecture, sale

This weekend we will be speaking and have a table at Boyd Hill's Annual Art Arbor Family Festival.  There is a Nursery Sale and Garden Tour, find out how to replace your lawn...

Before & After Habitat Design - Park Street 2008

Date Posted: 2009-11-02
Tags: habitat design, heat tolerant, ground cover, microclimate, coastal, nitrogen fixer, installations, beneficial, soil

Sell your lawn mower, while creating a natural habitat and time for whats important to you.  Here are a few examples of our habitat designs and installations. 

Before & After Habitat Design - Mounds Place 2008

Date Posted: 2009-11-02
Tags: florida native, sand, sunshine mamosa, habitat design, installation, before, after, sustainable, grass lawn

Save money and your precious time worrying about your lawn, its wasteful and unsustainable.  Here is another example of our Habitat Designs & Installation.  Look what we did with nature in only two months!

New Hours!

Date Posted: 2009-10-22
Tags: sale

We are now open 7 days a week!  Starting Saturday we will be having a sale this weekend to celebrate our new expanded hours, with 10-50% off!

Our new hours are Monday - Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-3pm.


Huge Fall Sale!

Date Posted: 2009-10-21
Tags: florida native plants, nursery, bloomers, fall planting, carbon foot print, flora, downtown st. pete, saint petersburg, sale

From  10% – 50% off our whole inventory, just in time for our fall planting!

Don’t miss our fall bloomers -
Blazing Star, Vanilla Plant, Walters Viburnum,  Joe Wood, Beach Morning Glory, Railroad Vine, Tropical Sage, Blanket Flower,  Beautyberry, Yellow Top, Bahama & Privet Cassia, Wild Allamanda & more!  Plus trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. more

Twigs & Leaves teams up with Green Florida

Date Posted: 2009-07-13
Tags: Green Florida, Bartlett Park Community Garden, habitat construction, Paris gardens, community, food, vegetable gardens

Twigs & Leaves Florida Native Nursery and Garden Center is working together with Green-Florida to build native habitat and food gardens in our community.  Our work together started with Green-Florida/Bartlett Park Community Garden fundraising and has continued to inspire new directions.  Recently their work together on the Paris Gardens along with Bartlett Park community members, are leading the two entities and friends into new opportunities and projects that span our communities.

Green' yards get a break: Florida offers protection

Date Posted: 2009-07-05
Tags: get rid of grass, rip out lawn, drought tolerant, shrinking water supply, florida resident, legislation, picture-perfect lawns, environmentally unfriendly, Homeowner associations, green yards, Gov. Charlie Crist

When state Sen. Carey Baker proposed a law encouraging Florida homeowners to get rid of thirsty grass, he had Dorothy Bombera in mind. The Venice retiree has steadily ripped out her lawn, making room for daisies, perennial peanuts, palms and other drought-resistant plants.

Last week, legislation was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist amid mounting anxiety about Florida's shrinking supply of water, residential yards — especially those featuring St. Augustine grass — are getting a lot of the blame. Water authorities calculate that, on average, about half of the approximately 150 gallons used every day by a typical Florida resident goes to keeping the yard green.

"That has been a problem," said Baker, a Republican from Eustis. "Homeowner associations have demanded picture-perfect lawns that frequently are environmentally unfriendly."

Full story - www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-fla-lawn-law-070609,0,7690676.story  

Paris Gardens leading to Bartlett Park's rebirth

Date Posted: 2009-06-23
Tags: Paris gardens, Green Florida, Bartlett Park, community, native plants, CONA, vegetable gardens, grow food, attracting wildlife, habitat construction, sunshine mimosa, tropical sage, less watering, no fertilizer

"It's a new beginning. It's a new birth," said Joseph, 42, who no longer lives in the house. "It's a celebration because, even though she's gone, look at all these people."

They call it a "Paris Garden," and hope it will symbolize rebirth in the crime-plagued Bartlett Park neighborhood as much as it memorializes the loss of an innocent life. Already, three have been planted — one at Paris' grandmother's home on 13th Street S, the other just steps away at 783 Preston Ave. S, where Paris' godmother lives.

"We think our neighborhoods should be providing for us," said Andrea Hildebran, executive director of Green Florida, a nonprofit group that created the project and the Bartlett Park Community Garden on Newton Road. "They should provide a safe environment, and having front yard gardens is something that we think will give people pride in their environment, and give people a way to take back their streets, to feel more safe."

They used native plants and flowers you may not find at your big box store, specimens like beach sunflowers, coral honeysuckle, pineland lantana, Spanish stopper, sunshine mimosa and tropical sage. Native plants "create ecology" by attracting wildlife and adding nutrients to the soil, said Michael Manlowe of Twigs and Leaves garden center, 1013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S, who is donating labor and materials for the project. Native plants also require less watering and no fertilizer, he said.


Native Plants

Date Posted: 2009-06-09
Tags: store, shopping cart, prices, florida native plants

Here you will find Florida Native plants available at our nursery, descriptions, pictures, prices and planting instructions.

Native Plant Tour & Discussion

Date Posted: 2009-06-08
Tags: native plants, plant walk, twigs & leaves, green community, alternative lawn, native lawns, florida native, drought tolerant, ground cover, habitat construction,

Every Saturday morning, Twigs & Leaves will hold a Florida native plant tour and discussion on alternatives to your lawns.  Starting at 10am we will talk about planting natives in full sun, drought tolerant plants and native groundcover.

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An Intro to Twigs & Leaves

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2131 Central Ave
St. Petersburg FL

Daily Hours

10AM - 5PM
12PM - 5PM Sundays
Closed Wednesdays

Contact us


Returning to a native state

Natives like sandcord grass, silver palmettos and pineland lantana now fill a St. Petersburg yard where nonnative grasses and plants once lived. And died. Facing west, the sun scorched them.

Michael Manlowe majored in environmental studies at University of California at Santa Barbara, taking ecology and botany classes. Now he co-owns Twigs & Leaves, Tampa Bay's premiere native plant nursery.

"I take a planetary perspective," he said. "It's like being an earthling."

Planting with natives "lessens your footprint on the planet." Converts can drop the lawn service and create habitat for creatures like butterflies.

"We're putting the flora back in Florida. That's our goal," Manlowe adds.

Full story  from the St. Petersburg Times.

A Shift in the Landscape

A Shift in the Landscape
from the Tampa Bay Times

As water restrictions continue, more residents remove grass in favor of native plants that can weather dryness.

Right now, several Tampa Bay localities limit watering yards to once a week - a directive handed down by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the agency responsible for monitoring the area's water supply.

Floridians use an average of 150 gallons of water per person per day. That includes showers, dish washers, washing machines, drinking water and, yes, watering the lawn. What you might not realize is that more than half the daily amount goes to watering landscape.

That's why when water gets low, the first thing officials do is clamp down on yard use.

Water restrictions, which have been in place for more than a year, are driving more and more residents to get rid of their lush, green lawns.

People like Victor Beaumont and his partner, Dean Richardson, said good-bye to the blanket of water-guzzling St. Augustine grass covering a small patch in front of their historic Kenwood bungalow this summer.

"They said it was hearty grass," said Beaumont, 61. "We thought, 'This is what people do here.'"

But the problems that came with it were many.

First, there were bugs. So they sprayed. Then the grass grew quickly and needed to be cut often. So they hired a gardener. Then the drought hit, and their green showpiece turned brown.

"It just got worse and worse," said Beaumont, a retiree from upstate New York. "We thought ... why not get rid of it and replace it with something more natural?"

The couple hired Twigs and Leaves, a St. Petersburg native plant landscape and nursery business. After ripping up the grass, they installed a black tarp and planted sunshine mimosa and seagrass.

Things like the orange tree and coconut are not native to the area. Neither is St. Augustine grass, which is native to coastal parts of Africa and the West Indies. It became a popular lawn covering in Florida during the late 1890s.

"It's water hungry," said Michael Manlowe, co-owner of Twigs and Leaves. "So people go and spend a few thousands dollars on their yard. And then water restrictions hit, and they're stuck."

True native plants, he notes, are things that grew here before European exploration.

Did you ever wonder where that whole idea of planting grass came from anyway, especially in a place that's dry half the year? It came from across the ocean.

A well-kept lawn was a European status symbol in the Middle Ages. English noblemen who didn't have to worry about growing food and raising animals on their land had lawns.

When Europeans began coming to America, they brought their grass with them. Several New England homes became odes to the English- garden way. With the large number of Northerners flocking to Florida, it's no wonder that the majority of yards feature the green blanket.

"People come down here and think that's what they should have," Beaumont said. "They think that's what a house is supposed to look like."

Manlowe and his business partner, Philippe Piquet, hope to show folks that native plants can be just as neat.

"When you say Florida natives, people think of a bunch of weeds," Manlowe said. "But ... I can make an English garden out of native plants."

- - -

Tampa Bay Water levels are at a record low, a result of two years of a shortage in rainfall, due partly to a cooling off of water in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It's a pattern that happens every four to seven years, said Granville Kinsman, manager of the hydrological data center for Swiftmud.

"It changes the weather pattern," Kinsman said. "But keeps moisture off us, which tends to dry us out."

So far, the worst drought on record occurred in 2001, Kinsman said. Since that time, the water supply has yet to rebound. In places like Charlotte County and Sarasota, water supplies are at dangerously low levels.

"We really don't know where it's going to go," he said. "We'll just have to watch it closely."

Increasing people's use of native plants would be a good way to deal with the worsening crisis, said Karina Veaudry, executive director for Florida's Native Plant Society.

"It's a simple remedy," she said.

- - -

The heightened watering restrictions could mean city and county code enforcement departments across the Tampa Bay area will have to change how they do their jobs.

"You can't enforce a brown lawn when you tell them they can't use water," said Jeff Kronschnabl, director of Clearwater's code enforcement.

Kinsman, with the water management agency, said restrictions could even get tighter.

"We could see it go from once a week to every other week," he said.

In Tampa's Westchase community, like many other deed-restricted communities, green lawn rules remain in spite of the drought.

That's because Westchase uses reclaimed water, said Ruben Collazo, the community's association president.

"We're very fortunate, but I would encourage my residents not to waste this precious resource and to be conservative," Collazo said.

There's no doubt, reclaimed water is better than potential drinking water for watering yards, but Veaudry says it's no substitute for simply cutting down on the need to water.

"There's a change in thinking that needs to occur about what we plant," she said. "It needs to be things that are friendly to the places we live."

Article from the Weekly Planet

St. Petersburg's midtown is leading the charge in the transformation to a green city.  Florida Native Nursery, Twigs & Leaves provides native habitat, changing Florida's future.  Full story -  http://www.twigsnleaves.com/ART/TnLweeklyplanet.pdf