Know, Sow, Grow Flagler County - University Of Florida

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Know, Sow, GrowFlagler CountyUF/IFAS Extension Flagler CountyThe University of Florida is an Equal Employment InstitutionThe Children’s Garden:Where Fun is SecondNatureMimi VreelandHorticulture Agent,UF/IFAS Extension Flagler CountyWhat makes a children’s garden unique?Since the majority of today’s suburban gardens are developed and installed by adultsfor adults, what is left for children’s play istypically an empty, open lawn. Open areashave their purpose, because they encourageactive play which helps to build motor skills,muscle and bone development, as well asphysical agility and stamina. But physicaldevelopment is only one facet of a child’s ongoing growth and development.Photo credit: UF/IFASExtensionA children’s gardenis unique when itencourages not onlytheir physical development, but alsosocial, emotional,creative, and intellectual aspects oftheir growth as well.Designing for ExplorationDeveloping an intimate space with narrow,winding pathways and tiny garden roomsallows children to slow down and notice thesubtle differences between each microenvironment. More manicured areas of thechildren’s garden can be located closer to thehome where children of all ages can learnhow to plant, prune, harvest, and care forplants. Farther from the house, wilder, morenaturalized areas allow for unstructured, imaginative play.Starting SmallKeep the garden’s size small-scale and accessible. Choose plants where children can access all of the plant parts for easy handlingand observation, such as the stems, leaves,flowers, and fruits. Plan for the future by selecting younger plants that a child can nurture and take care of throughout theirVolume 2, Issue 4 Winter 2021childhood. A memorable garden is onewhere a child has an opportunity to see howtheir garden changes over time.Inside this issue:Using All of the SensesExpand a child’s sensory experience in thegarden by using edibles, ornamental plants,and creative materials that offer a range ofcolors, textures, fragrances, sounds, andtastes. There are many different kinds ofshrubs, grasses, herbs, edibles, annuals, andperennials to choose from that provide a variety of sensory experiences. es-of-gardens/sensory-gardens.html.Carver CommunityNurturing Imagination and CreativityUse of natural elements in the garden environment can provide settings for children’simaginative play. Tree stump paths andwalls, vine trellises, painted rocks, pinecones, twig baskets, grasses and branchesthat can be used for weaving, and weepingtrees and shrubs that create tiny, secret outdoors rooms are all examples of elementsthat provide sources of unstructured play andexperiential learning.2Garden2Message in a Flower3Arbor Day4Plant A Tree4Word Search5Winter Planting Guide56Providing Safety and ComfortWhen choosing a site for a children’s garden,an important consideration is safety. Itshould be an area that is easily visible, physically separated from vehicular traffic, andfree of potential dangers such as sharp edges,choking hazards, poisonous plants, andstanding water. Creating a balance in the garden between safety and adventure helps children feel at home in the outdoor world, whilestill allowing them to build confidence andself-reliance.Connecting With NatureA meaningful children’sgarden is one wherechildren expand theirunderstanding of nature and the deep connection they have totheir surrounding environment.Photo credit: UF/IFASExtension1

Know, Sow, Grow Flagler County(The Children’s Garden, continued from page 1)Gardens that provide diverse, accessible, shady, and intimatespaces enable children to slow down, pause, watch, and gradually develop a long-lasting relationship with the worldaround them. For more information visit: Community GardenConnie Balliet, Master Gardener VolunteerAs part of the UF/IFAS community outreach program, certified Flagler CountyMaster Gardener volunteers, led by UF/IFAS Extension Flagler County’s Residential Horticulture Agent Mimi Vreelandand Master Gardener Volunteer DavidTibbetts, are providing ongoing horticulture consultation and educational workshops to the garden stewards at the CarverCommunity Gardens located at 201 E.Drain St in Bunnell.Photo credit: ConnieBallietLori Powell, Master Gardener VolunteerIncluding the nine FFL Principles inyour landscape design will save youheadaches, money, and time and protectthe environment.Right Plant, Right Place. Selectplants according to their needs for light,moisture, and soil pH. Ensure that theplants you select will survive in yourhardiness zone. Take into consideration the plant’s maturesize. Use native plants in your landscape.Water Efficiently. Group plants together according to theirwater irrigation needs. Ensure the rain sensor shut-off deviceon your irrigation system is functioning properly. Plantingbeds and turf areas should be on separate irrigation zones.Irrigate only when plants or grass need it. Use a rain gauge.Water early in the day to prevent water loss from evaporationduring the hotter times of the day.The garden stewards, lovingly coined asthe “Bed Heads,” are a growing number ofSouth Bunnell residents, Flagler Free Clinic employees, stafffrom the nearby Housing Authority, and local religious organizations.Fertilize Appropriately. Only use slow-release fertilizers.Do not fertilize if a heavy rain is expected, and don’t overirrigate after applying. Follow the directions on the fertilizerpackage.PJ Conniff, a dedicated board member of Hammock DunesCares, the philanthropic arm of Hammock Dunes Club that isproviding ongoing collaboration with Flagler Habitat for Humanity’s Director, Lindsay Elliott, helped the Carver Community Garden spring to life.Mulch. Mulch helps to retain moisture, adds nutrients to theSoil, and prevents weeds. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulcharound plants and trees, keeping it away from stems,Trunks, and building foundations. Choose recycled mulch oralternatives like melaleuca, leaves, pine needles, or bark.“We are so proud to partner with the residents of the SouthBunnell community to continue creating an opportunity forhealth and wellness in the neighborhood,” says Habitat Director Lindsay Elliott. “The Carver Community Garden will allowopen access to fresh fruits and vegetables they themselves aregrowing. Our Carver Community Garden is a space where ourcommunity has come together to build, to grow, and toshare.”Attract Wildlife. Plant vines, shrubs, and trees to createcover, nesting areas, and food. Add bird baths, bat houses,and bird feeders to your landscape. Plant flowers that attractbutterflies and bees.With the cooler January temperatures, Florida fall / wintercrops are at their peak. Vegetables currently ready to eat outof the Carver Community Gardens are: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, mustard greens, Russian kale, radishes, and loose leaflettuce.Recycle. Leave grass clippings on the lawn to recycle nitrogen. Use fallen leaves and pine needles as mulch under treesand plants. Create and maintain a compost pile.If you would like to learn more about growing your own vegetables year-round in Florida, UF/IFAS has an abundance ofinformation available on-line including the Florida VegetableGardening Guide located at ENH1211 Gardening in Raised Beds addition, planting dates and other vegetable gardeninginformation is also available as a free mobile app called'Florida Fresh.' Download the app at Landscape Pests. Scout your yard regularly. Useinsecticidal soaps and horticultural oils rather than harshchemicals.Reduce Stormwater Runoff. Keeping rain and sprinklerwater on your yard and out of the storm drains reduces pollution of our bays, rivers, and lakes. Ensure gutter downspouts are directed to flow onto planting beds and turf andnot onto hard surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks. Usea rain barrel to collect rain water for irrigation.Protect the Waterfront. Create a 10-20 foot buffer zone tothe shoreline where no pesticides or fertilizers are applied.Plant a buffer zone of low-maintenance plants between yourlawn and shoreline to absorb nutrients and to provide wildlifehabitat.For more information visit:, and 2, Issue 4 Winter 20212

Know, Sow, Grow Flagler CountyMessage in the FlowerConnie Balliet, Master Gardener VolunteerIn Victorian times, appropriate conversations were guided by social etiquetteand censorship creating a society thatused symbolic meaning of objects to express what otherwise could not be spoken. Those with an interest in botany,naturally looked to flowers and herbsused in horticulture and gardening toexpress secret meanings.January’s birth flowers are Carnation (D. caryophyllus) andSnowdrop (Leucojum spp.) Dianthus is a cool-season beddingplant, a species of flower that includes "pinks" and carnations.Carnations are taller and popular in thefloral industry for bouquets but tend to beless hardy than other dianthus in Florida.The flowers are given in admiration andlove. Leonardo da Vinci displayed theconnection of pink carnations with a symbol of mother’s love with his 1475 paint- Dianthus, Photo credit:ing "The Madonna with the Carnation." UF/IFAS Volusia CountyExtensionSimilar to roses, the different colors ofcarnations have different meanings: a pink carnation means‘affection,’ while a red carnation means ‘I love you.’ Stripedcarnations mean ‘regret that a love is not shared,’ while whitecarnations mean ‘pure love,’ and yellow means ‘rejection ordisappointment.’In 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montague,wife of the Turkish Ambassador, wrotehome to England about “a mysteriouslanguage of love and gallantry.” In a letter to a friend, she described the use ofobjects to communicate, calling it a“Turkish love letter.” She wrote of thisSnowdrop is a genus of floweringLady Mary Wortleylanguage: “There is no colour, no flower,Montague, 1716 byplants from the Amaryllis family.Charles Jervas current- no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble, or featherThey naturalize and reproduce whenly on display at thethat has not a verse belonging to it: andleft uninterrupted and thrive best unNational Gallery ofyou may quarrel, reproach, or send letder the shade of trees and shrubs. TheIreland in Dublinters of passion, friendship, or civility, orfragrant flowers attract pollinatorseven of news, without ever inking your fingers.” Later in theand bloom in mid-winter to earlyearly 19th century, Floriography, the formalized Language ofSnowdrop, Photo credit: spring. Snowdrops grow best inFlowers, was developed and a method of silent communicaChicago Botanic Garden USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9 dependtion was on the species and cultivated varieties. They symbolize ‘hope and rebirth.’Today the meaning of flowers is used to mark the beginning oflife and death and happy occasions such as weddings andFebruary’s birth flowers are Violet andbirthdays. Birth Flowers and their meaning have been asPrimrose. Florida violets are native, perensigned to every month of the year. Let’s look at December,nial wildflowers found in open woods andJanuary and February.clearings throughout Florida. They havelovely purple, yellow, or white flowers andDecember’s birth flowers are the Narcissusgrow low to the ground. There are countless(Narcissus spp.) and Holly (Ilex spp.). Thespecies of native violets including the comNarcissus is symbolic of good wishes,mon blue violet (Viola sororia), Walter'sViolet, Photo credit:hope, honesty, truth, wealth, and forviolet (Viola walteri), Bog white violetMary Ellen (Mel)giveness. Narcissus flowers are known for(Viola lanceolata), and Sand violet (ViolaHarte, Bugwood.orgtheir trumpet-like center. In Florida, naraffinis).cissus have winter interest due to its unusual form, nice persistent fruits, andThe violet’s purple-hued bloom is a symbolshowy winter trunk, or winter flower.of ‘modesty, faithfulness, and virtue.’ In theNarcissus,Narcissus flowers are given as a symbol of Photo Credit: UF/IFASVictorian age, a gift of violets was a declaraforgiveness, or in appreciation and is oftion to always be true, a reminder of loyalty,ten linked to a Greek term for intoxicatedthoughtfulness and dependability. The oldersweetness, self-esteem, and vanity.English name for violet is "heart tease."Hollies are reliable, low-maintenance plantsfor Florida landscapes. Diverse sizes, forms,and textures exist, ranging from large treesto dwarf shrubs.Holly, Photo credit:UF/IFASHollies are valued for their colorful berries,which provide food for birds and brightenthe fall and winter seasons. Several holliesare native to Florida. Holly is a convenientbirth plant for December since it is so popular around the holidays. It symbolizes protection and defense.Volume 2, Issue 4 Winter 2021Seabeach Primrose,Photo credit: JosiahRaymer, UF/IFASSeabeach evening primrose (Oenothera humifusa) is found in beach dunes throughoutcoastal counties in Florida. The pale-yellowperennial symbolizes ‘passionate younglove, modesty, distinction, and virtue.’For more information visit: Hollies at a Glance:, Dianthus: amentals/dianthus.html, and (continued on next page)3

Know, Sow, Grow Flagler County(The Message in the Flower, continued from page ts-ofco/1292418057585125/, Snowdrop Flowers(Galanthus): Types, How to Grow and Care:, Florida Violets: amentals/florida-violets.html, and Seabeach Evening Primrose,Oenothera humifus: a TreeLori Powell, Master Gardener VolunteerPlant a tree in celebration of Arbor Day. When planting a treekeep