Florida-friendly plants grown right here in Winter Haven.

Florida is a weird and wild and wonderful place. It’s both old and new: Florida wasn’t settled until humans invented air conditioning and bug spray, but you can still see things today from prehistoric times on the beach, at the springs or in the swamp.

Florida is a land of constant change: old groves give way to new homes, rundown rail lines turn into trails, forgotten homesteads are swallowed by the jungle. But the animals, from possum and panther, to gator and gopher tortoise are the same as they ever were.

Down here in Florida, we do things different. There’s a calculated laziness to how we get things done. We don’t run our lives based on a subway schedule, nor do we live on island time, but rather by how many accidents there are on I-4 between here and where we’re trying to get.

Each generation of Floridians must ask themselves: what does Florida mean to me? What do I get here that I can’t get anywhere else? What would I do to keep it like this?

Native plants live at the heart of the effort to keep Florida wild and wonderful. Florida is a subtropical paradise teeming with life. From the manatee and mangrove to the monarch and milkweed, our local critters need native plants.

Plant native plants. Every little bit helps to keep Florida weird, wild, and wonderful.