Yesterday, our sweet little friend Pepper passed over the rainbow bridge. A few weeks prior to that Brandon went over.
If you read the story of how BFF got started you will see that Pepper & Brandon, along with a group of other little furry buddies, was the inspiration for our work.
Our goal is to encourage people to live with domestic and wild animals in a peaceful and harmonious manner. Pepper & Brandon embodied both of those qualities. They were such sweet little buns.
Pepper knew her name and would come running to greet you anytime of the day or night when you called her. She loved the other bunnies, even when they didn’t always love her, and was a care taker and solid companion for Diva when she was ill and passed away. Pepper spent 20 minutes straight licking Diva’s head while she passed over the rainbow bridge.
Brandon was a shy, sweet little guy who never hurt anybody. His mate Butterscotch, watched over him fiercely and protected him from being killed by another bunny when they first came to live with us. He looked like a stuffed toy and when he was being treated for wounds sustained by that bully bunny, he would thank me profusely with kisses after each treatment. They didn’t think he would make it but he pulled through and lived for 4 more happy years with Butterball (Butterscotch).
Brandon was a master tunnel digger and shortly before he passed he dug a 12 foot tunnel under a mango tree that was truly a work of art and engineering.
Why do I tell you all of these things? Because I’m am continually inspired and moved by the interactions of animals in my life. When they pass over, it hurts like hell for all of us, but it is also such a gift that we were able to experience the emotions of love, kindness, and helping another creature.
If BFF was not able to adopt and care for animals in need of a forever home what would happen to these loving creatures? They would never get to experience the joy of finding a bonded mate, or two. They wouldn’t get to feel the cool wet grass on their feet and the warmth of the morning sun on their fur, or sampling herbs from the garden. They wouldn’t be able to make us smile and laugh with their extensive antics.
Adopting and rescuing has its ups and downs no doubt, but I will never stop doing it. The amount of joy and love that comes into your world by sharing it with animals, both domestic and wild, is tremendous and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
If you are able to give an animal a forever home at any point in your life, please do. It will enrich your life and fill you with love.
Today we installed a garden at the South Florida Wildlife Center. This fantastic center admits over 12,000 animals annually—about 255 different species of wildlife—and gives them their best chance for full recovery.
The work they do at the center is truly amazing and today was no different as we installed a habitat garden to provide food, shelter, and a place to raise young for wildlife and pollinators.
As soon as the plants were in the ground we had our first visitor a Gulf fritillary Butterfly Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus)
See the coverage here…
Thank you to all those volunteers who turned out to help, your time and energy is greatly appreciated by me, the center, and of course the pollinators. Congrats Eco Heros!
Brighter Future Foundation has a created a new program called Landscape Consultation. For a small fee two of our team members with extensive plant knowledge and experience, as well as design and aesthetic skills, will come to your location look around at the plants you already have growing and then suggest a design that will fit your budget as well as your layout.
The fee includes a PDF with the basic layout of the existing plants (relocated if necessary) as well as a list of additional plants that will create a lush, appealing garden that supplies food, shelter, and a place to raise young for pollinators and wildlife.
There are two options…
Option 1– Consultation and emailed PDF (2 week turnaround), you purchase and install the plants. Total cost for consultation= $250
Option 2– Consultation and emailed PDF (2 week turnaround), BFF purchases the plants and installs them with your assistance, teaching you the best practices for planting, watering, and maintenance. Total cost for consultation= $250, plus cost of plants, and additional labor if needed (estimate provided prior to service)
All fees help support the Brighter Future Foundation and its programming.
Consultations are only done on Saturday mornings between 8am-Noon.
Installations are only done on Sundays from 8-Noon.
To schedule an appointment please contact us here.
We look forward to making your space greener and beautiful!
*Please note the consultation is for one area no larger than 1,ooo square feet. Larger areas will incur additional costs.
*Please note we are not a Landscape Architect, if you are looking for hardscape features please contact a Landscape Architect.
Today’s featured artist is Larry Joe Miller, a painter, wood carver, and musician. Larry Joe taught the Kind Kamp kids about plant morphology and anatomy by painting those structures on canvas with acrylic paints.
The basic concept was prepared on each canvas for the students before the class and then step by step Larry Joe showed them how to fill in the art piece as Master Gardeners, Stephanie Montalvo & Adam Pitcher discussed the parts of the plant and their importance.
The students asked great questions about photosynthesis (the process of synthesizing foods from carbon dioxide and water), why leaves are important (they are essential in photosynthesis), and how they can plant more in their garden to help the planet.
There were some beautiful and very creative works of art completed by the students. Each child took their art home to remind them of what they learned and the experience they shared with Larry Joe and the rest of the Kind Kamp team.
Great job Larry Joe Miller! (Link connects you to a discount on classes)
Creating a yard filled with biodiversity is easy! You just need to add as many varieties of plants as possible. Choose at least 3 species of plants for your hedges, mix them up and create a work of art.
Keep in mind that it’s better for your environment to stick with as many plants native to your area as you can. We all love the showy exotics from across the globe but many of them are invasive to our landscape and kill off native pollinators, wildlife, and suppress the growth of native plants- which do support our native wildlife and pollinators.
BFF has come up with a simple plant by numbers format to make it even easier. If you attended one of our plant giveaways, where we gave you 18 free native trees, just follow this format exactly.
Tree numbers 1-17 are planted as a border hedge that you can trim and shape to your desired size around the house, fence or in your yard. Tree #18 is your showcase tree that will be allowed to grow to it’s full size in all it’s glory. Tree #18 will provide shade and cool your house and yard.
Plant tree #18 in the center of the yard at least 15-20 feet from your home. Let this beautiful tree grow healthy and strong by putting a little fence or reminder not to run it over with the mower. Scrap wire or wood stakes with a bright ribbon are very helpful.
Steps to follow for a healthy garden:
1) Water all of your plants everyday for 3 weeks, give it a nice soak so the roots chase the water deep into the ground, approximately 15-20 minutes. Deep roots are what we want for stability and strength. Shallow watering, creates shallow roots which can be damaged by the sun and animals.
Shallow water = shallow roots. Deep water = deep roots.
2) Then, water 3 times a week for the next two weeks, 2 times a week for the next two weeks after that, and then once a week for the rest of the year.
After year 1 your trees will have established themselves and can normally find water or deal with droughts. If it’s really dry water once a week to keep them healthy and happy.
Here are some of the names of the plants we give away -it does vary event to event so please check the paper you received with your plants.
You can allow any of these to grow full height to create lots of shade, average height is 15-20 feet. Or you can trim them into a dense, lush hedge that provides food, shelter and a place to raise young for wildlife and pollinators.
Enjoy your beautiful yard, filled with food, shelter, a place to raise young and lots of biodiversity!
Photo from Floridayards.org