December 3, 2020
by Kathy Busick
It is definitely worth a trip or two through the Children’s and Fragrance Gardens to see all the wonderful things that are happening every day.
After a summer of very few volunteers, I am thrilled to report that our numbers have increased to between 15 and 20 very dedicated helping hands every Monday and Thursday morning. Lee County is once again vetting new volunteers, many of our snowbirds have returned, and we’re getting extra help from FGCU student volunteers.
It is amazing how much can be accomplished in just a few hours when you have so much help and it is getting cooler. You will notice as you walk through the Gardens that many of the beds have been weeded, pruned, edged and mulched. A few have even decreased in size to make maintenance even easier. Bigger isn’t always better.
There is an area behind the wedding gazebo that is now our newly established All Native Plants. We have Native plants through out the gardens, but it is our focus to have an area that highlights many of Florida’s Native plants. Currently there are 5 Wilson’s viburnum (small white flowers), 3 Golden Creepers, 1 Simpson’s Stopper and a woody teabush. It is a work in progress and will have more additions and labels in the future.
The sheds in the back of the Fragrance Garden are always in need of some TLC and repair. Two of the shed doors have been rebuilt and freshly painted, One of our goals for that area is to paint colorful flowers and butterflies on each of the doors.
Many of the Fruit Trees in the Children’s Garden are blooming and producing fruit like the Black Sapote, the Barbados Cherry, Rose Apple, Malay Apple and Gin Berry. And if you look at the bananas you will see blossoms and newly formed baby bananas.
The pollination and butterfly areas in both the Children and Fragrance Garden are in fine shape to attract butterflies like the monarch and also bees.
If you have any questions about what is happening and why feel free to stop any of the volunteers in the blue or teal colored shirts. If they don’t know the answers, they can direct you to some one who can.
We really appreciate park patrons who walk through the gardens who take a moment to thank us for our hard work.