"To bring people and nature together though education and by making native plants accessible to our community."
Hours:Tues & Thurs 9:00 - 5:00PM
or by appointment and special events
97045 Miller Road
Yulee, FL 32034
We encourage everyone to give gardening a try. From beginners to seasoned gardeners, we’re ready to help make your space a refuge for wildlife. Our nursery focuses on native host and nectar plants, all of which are chosen to support biodiversity. Our selection of native plant species is perfect for creating a sustainable landscape that reflects the true beauty and character of Florida, in which, supports local wildlife.
We are available to guide you through the process of selecting the ideal plants for your landscape. Transform your landscape into a sustainable one with Amelia’s Native Wildflowers, LLC.
"Thank you for my swamp milkweed. Not many other milkweeds have survived in my yard. This one started blooming and has become an amazing nectar source for a Monarch Butterfly that frequently visits"
From: Amelia Island Resident
"Thank you for helping me select plants that help support my neighbors honey bees. We've already had several on the plants you chose!"
From: Fernandina Beach Resident
"My wild petunias are blooming, they are so cute! I've never seen them before, glad I got them!"
From: Jacksonville Resident
"Plant it and they will come! I got this plant [Penstemon laevigatus. Eastern Smooth Beardtongue] yesterday from @Amelias_Native_Wildflowers, went to water it this morning and found this fella enjoying the blooms. How kind of this bee to let me film it! I haven't seen a lot of activity in my new front yard yet as critters can take a while to find new plants. So I was surprised to see this plant already being enjoyed! Their appearance reminds me of a mix of stokes aster and tropical sage! Very excited about these new babies!"
From: Jacksonville Resident
Hi, I'm Lindsey. In 2020 I was working as a paraprofessional at the high school I dreamed to teach in. My degree is in Biology with a concentration in plant biology and conservation. I also minored in education and accounting. I have an initial educators license in Biology for secondary education and was working towards my teaching goals.
This was until my family had the opportunity to relocate to Florida. I knew from the beginning that the move would require me to be a full-time stay at home mom because my husband would have to travel more and without a family support system in Florida, it meant I had to delay teaching for a few years. The first thing I said to my husband with regards to the move was “imagine all the things I can grow!”. As a hobby gardener and landscaper during summer vacations, I was beyond excited to try my hand at all the exotic plants FL’s climate has to offer.
However, the conservationist in me was quickly alarmed when I saw the vast destruction of wildlife habitats. “Real Florida'' is one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world. Especially here in beautiful Nassau County where we are lucky enough to have gorgeous maritime hammocks full of live oaks covered in Spanish moss, estuarine tidal marshes, floodplain swamps, and mesic flatwoods. It’s no wonder people want to live here. And so the clearing of habitats for housing developments, shopping malls, and hospitals rapidly continues. Unfortunately, the developments are typically replanted with non-native plant species that often have no benefit to local wildlife. To make matters worse, it seems like every other house has their yards sprayed with a conglomerate of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. All in the name of the perfect lawn. We are building ecological deserts.
As a transplant, I recognize I am a part of the problem. I asked myself how can I restore what once was? How can I preserve the real Florida that I fell in love with? I completely immersed into studying and experimenting with how to garden in Florida, for wildlife and how to garden with native plants. After reading countless books, watching hours of presentations held by the UF/IFAS extension and the Florida Native Plant society, I was ready to create a wildlife habitat in my backyard. By 2022 my property became a certified wildlife habitat, Monarch waystation and was added to the Homegrown National Park movement. I joined the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and went through the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. Through the MGV program I became involved in Zoe’s Mission which is based on three principles; to create safe havens for pollinators throughout Nassau, to educate our neighbors and to teach the youth about the importance of pollinators. I also connected with Gracie's Kitchen and help manage their vegetable and pollinator gardens. Gardening for wildlife became more than a passion but a lifestyle instead.
It’s really amazing to watch how quickly wildlife moves in once a landscape has been replanted purposefully. It’s true when they say, “Plant it and they will come”. My favorite phrase by Ms. Ginny Stibolt of Sustainable Gardening for Florida is "Native gardeners cheer when we see our plants being eaten", I know I certainly do. I believe once people start to see the how quickly their native gardens can draw in wildlife, they will cheer to.. But this hasn’t been easy because building wildlife habitats requires native plants. Native plants are the beginning of an intricate food web we've only just begun to understand. From the smallest microorganisms and fungi in the soil to the very top trophic levels, native plants are a key component in a healthy, balanced ecosystem. We have a large disconnect from nature in our society. Nature is not something we can control or only use on weekend camping trips. It's not something we should try to keep seperate from our homes and lives. We are nature. The sooner we remind ourselves of that, the better off the entire planet will be. As temperatures rise, storms intensify, soils and drinking water become contaminated, wildfires increase, ecosystem functions fail, mass animal die offs continue, mitigating these challenges feels overwhelming and like a lost cause. The current state of the world is depressing, to say the least. However I believe, if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. This applies to our landscape as well. Go home and love your land. End or limit the use of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers, but more importantly learn when, why and how to use them. Recycle yard waste and food waste. Collect Rainwater. Identify and remove invasive plant species. Create shelter for wildlife (it's easier than you think). Grow your own food. Reduce the monoculture lawn. Supply a water source for wildlife. Turn off outside lights or switch to motion activated. Let your yard sleep in, in the spring. Above all, plant native and plant with a purpose. Allow balance to return.
Unfortunately, the key ingredient to stewarding our properties responsibly can be hard to find. When I began my journey there wasn't a native plant nursery within two hours of my home. I would hunt small nurseries and big box stores religiously only to quickly learn hard lessons about genetics, ecotypes, systemic pesticides, mislabeling/misrepresentation etc. I decided to focus on growing my own native plants. I honed in on Florida Native Milkweed species because of the abundantly available, often mislabeled, pesticide infused, non-native tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) that has been linked to the spread of parasites and other risk factors contributing to the decline of Monarchs. However, the love of growing butterfly larvae host plants didn't end there. There are 160 butterfly species that breed in Florida and about 200 that migrate through the state. Monarchs get a lot of fame but the reality is, there are numerous other species that also need our support.
The majority of butterfly and moth species are specialist which means they depend on one or a few specific plants to raise their young. Sad to say, those specific plants are typically not commercially available or valued in the landscape industry. Moreover, as we see everyday, their habitats (where these specific plants naturally occur) have been turned into housing developments, are mowed down, replanted with exotics, out competed by invasives, paved over etc. Habitat destruction, urbanization, deforestation, invasive plant and insect species, intensive agriculture, pollution, climate change, and pesticides [including mosquito sprays ("One study by Dr. Karen Oberhauser and colleagues found that monarch caterpillars could be harmed or killed even 3 weeks after spraying. A more recent (2022) study by Qualls et al. found that honey bees were harmed 28 days after “barrier” treatments were applied" Source)] , are all drivers of insect decline. To make matters worse, each driver works together synergistically i.e. amplifying the effects of one another.
When it comes down to it, when you garden for butterflies, you garden for all wildlife. Caterpillars and other soft bodied herbivores are the primary food source for nesting birds and their offspring along with many other animals and insects. Without caterpillars the birds suffer, predatory insects that we value in the vegetable gardens suffer, our food crops suffer, amphibians suffer, small mammals suffer, reptiles suffer, 80% of all flowering plants whom depend on pollination for reproduction suffer, seed dispersal and regeneration suffers, and thus without caterpillars, it's easy to see the beginning of ecosystem collapse. Asides from adding the beauty of butterflies to your landscape, there are legitimate purposes to the recent rise of popularity in butterfly gardens.
After lots of trial and error, learning curves and other obstacles I became successful in growing a handful of Florida native plants from seed. Since native plants are the foundation to the health of our community and the sustainability of our future., I knew I wanted to share these incredible resources with Nassau County. This is how Amelia’s Native Wildflowers, LLC was born. I have expanded from only growing a few native plant species in my backyard to working with like-minded native growers to source a variety of native plants and opening a native plant agricultural stand in Yulee, FL. Our plants are available at our nursery stand and through delivery, and shipping. Please join me on my mission to bring people and nature together though education and by making native plants accessible to our community. Thank you for your support!
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