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Floral Garden Club Meets in Floral Park

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on November 9, 2020

FFGC Floral City Garden Club reminds members and visitors that the Club will hold the first in-person meeting since March on Friday, November 13 at 11:30 am in the first Pavilion at the entrance to Floral City Park, about two miles south of the U.S. 41 traffic light.

Floral Garden Club Meets in Floral Park

Members and visitors are asked to wear a mask, seat themselves at a social distance, and bring their own snack, beverage, and bag lunch. Following lunch, the business meeting and program will commence at noon.

A past FFGC District V President, Mary Whisler, will be sharing her experiences with two youth programs sponsored by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.

For the last several years, Whisler has been the coordinator for FFGC’s environmental program; SEEK (Saving Earth’s Environment through Knowledge). This annual summer seminar is for high school youth. The other program Mary will be talking about is Camp Wekiva.
Camp Wekiva is a summer camp for elementary and middle school students in Central Florida to which the Floral City Garden Club has sponsored many students over the years.

We have just received our Horticulture Chair, Kathy Lingusky’s monthly Horticulture Hints and we pass them along to our readers. “It seems that autumn may have finally found us! Being able to open up the house is such a blessing. If we could only get the occasional rain!” says Kathy.

She continues to tell us about plants that have worked well for her, “There are two items in my front yard that I just have to show and recommend to all.
First is false rosemary (Conradina canescens var. Grandiflora). This beautiful plant is best described as a small shrub, and it does, indeed, look very much like rosemary. The shrub naturally grows in Florida pine sand scrubs and sandhills, and so my front yard is the ideal habitat.
The needle-like leaves of the regular Conradina have a dark-to-bright green color, but the ‘Grandiflora’ variety has a grayish-green, kind of sage- color.”
“The biggest benefit of this plant is the abundant flowering that takes place several times a year (hence the name, which means ‘abundant flower’). These beautiful pale lavender flowers cover the plant, and pollinators cover the flowers! I think they attract every known pollinator, including
hummingbirds,” Kathy proclaims. “The only downside to mine (and I have several) is that I planted them too close to the path. They have gotten bigger than I expected! I got mine from Green Isle Nursery, a Florida native nursery, and the place we get natives for our Garden Club’s
Annual Plant Sale; it is planned for March 2021.”
Kathy makes another plant recommendation, “The bat face cuphea (cuphea llavea). I purchased this beautiful flowering plant (I wish I could remember where) as a groundcover. The Monrovia website describes it as a shrub. I would describe my specimen as a low, sprawling shrub.
It’s about 18” tall, and 3 to 3 1/2’ wide. It seems to take pruning well. But the best thing about this unusual plant is the flowers: it bloomed several times during the summer (did best with regular watering), and like the false rosemary, was literally covered with small blossoms. It is also loved
by pollinators.”
“If you plant this one, give it plenty of room to grow, or plan on pruning.” As she said, “I don’t remember where I got it, but the Monrovia website has it for sale. If it is not available right now, this one would be worth the wait.”

Kathy asks us to remember that the Citrus County ban on fertilization of the landscape has begun. Fertilization is not allowed from November 1 through March 31. Although the county ban on lawns is on, there are still the ornamental grasses. “Most are in full bloom (seed) right now.

The ethereal clouds of pink mushy grass are always spectacular.”
She continues with a warning about that, “Now is the best time for big box stores to sell them because they’re in bloom. But now is not the best time to plant them. If you were to buy and plant now, all their energy is going into producing those beautiful seed heads. They have little energy left to produce new roots and try to live through the winter. I’ve found this out the hard way. If you do buy something now, over-winter in the pot in a sheltered location.

Cut back the seedheads in the spring, then plant. After winter, the plant will be geared up for growing. So it’s better to wait.”

With encouragement Kathy offers this advice, “There is still time to plant cool weather vegetable crops: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustard, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips. Bell peppers do well any time of the year. Annuals that grow well this time of year are calendula, pansies, petunias, Shasta daisies, and snapdragons.”
Kathy concludes, “ Gardening is so enjoyable this time of year! Make sure you enjoy it to the fullest. And Happy Thanksgiving to all. Happy gardening, too!”

The FFGC Floral City Garden Club is an affiliate of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs a state organization that is affiliated with the National Council of Garden Clubs. Florida has more garden Club members than any other state in the Union.
The public is invited to join the Floral City Garden Club members at this meeting and to visit our
web site at www.floralcitygardenclub.webbly.com