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April 2020 The Gardens Gate Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Healing Power of Nature


10th Anniversary in Pictures


Horticulture Happenings


Out & About at The Gardens


2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd. Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 Phone: 772.337.1959 Fax: 772.237.5952 E-mail: info@pslbg.org Web: www.pslbg.org Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm Sunday Noon - 4pm Closed Monday, Tuesday & Some Holidays Suggested Donations: Adults $5 Students $2 Children 12 & Under Welcome Free for FPSLBG Members and Active Military with family (IDs required)

Mission Statement... Friends’ mission is to create and maintain a beautiful, serene sanctuary in the center of Port St. Lucie that is environmentally sound and naturally diverse and to provide educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for all who visit.

Officers & Directors... President: Vice President: Secretary: Treasurer: Directors:

Michelle Peterson Heather Furnari Claire Clark Brenda Gustafson Jeff Chambers John Erickson Dale Johnson Judy Nash-Wade Marty Petrone Tim Sutton

Standing Committee Chairs... Election Committee:

Stephanie Alessandrini-Giarraffa Brenda Gustafson Claire Clark Brenda Gustafson

Finance Committee: Gift Shop Committee: Horticulture Committee: Membership & Volunteer Committee: Judy Nash-Wade Resource Development Committee: Heather Furnari Strategic Planning Committee: Michelle Peterson

Newsletter... Editor & Design:

Mark Barnes

The Gardens is managed and operated by Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity organization, that was founded to help support the daily operations of The Gardens. Friends volunteers provide hands-on daily oversight of the facility, including staffing to handle the many visitors year round. Please consider becoming a member of Friends. Friends' is a 100% volunteer organization. In all cases, donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law.


As I write this in the comfort of my home, isolated from public contact as recommended, I wonder at how much life has changed due to the threat of COVID-19. Many enjoyable and celebratory activities and events have been cancelled or postponed. Our Pavilion will be closed as of March 23rd with the reopening date still in question. We are living in a time of unknowns and fears. Some have equated this to a time of world war, with the consequential occurrence of selfishness, hoarding, and panic. However, I have yet to experience any of that at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. In fact, just the opposite has happened. So many have stepped up, helped out, and extended themselves. Our Members and Volunteers have demonstrated the true sense of caring and thoughtfulness in every possible way. I want to extend my sincere thanks to one and all who shared the spirit of community during the past weeks.

I encourage everyone to take a moment during these trying times to de-stress and experience the healing power of nature. Please remember that the Gardens will remain open from dawn to dusk for your personal enjoyment and relaxation. So, I hope all of you reading this take time to enjoy the beauty of nature, whether appreciating your own home gardens and landscapes, or by taking a solitary walk through our Botanical Gardens. Stay safe and stay healthy, Michelle Peterson, President


Click Here For The Current Calendar Listings

Gardening Fun to While Away the Time If you’ve been following protocols for social distancing and self-isolation, you’re probably sick of television and senseless web surfing. Here some online gardening-related links to peruse and enjoy as you while away the time: Read about some great gardening books to order online or download as ebooks: www.hortmag.com/smart-gardening/the-gardening-books-to-read-next Thinking about planting a vegetable garden? We live in Florida, and can begin to grow veggies in any season. Check out the link below for info from the experts at UF/IFAS: gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/planting/vegetable-gardens-by-season.html

Need some inspiration for different types of vertical gardening? Visit this web page: www.waldenlabs.com/20-vertical-gardening-ideas/ Watch this recorded webinar about Planting a Wildlife Refuge at Home: mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/fb9a25c41d4b4530b02fc6ebf3eb62c01d

Then check out these associated links: Planting a Refuge for Wildlife Florida Native Plant Society Natives for Landscaping tool Right Bird Right House Tool Journey North iNaturalist Merlin Bird ID 4


“Nature itself is the best physician.” - Hippocrates The pungent power of pine and earth. Lush, verdant leaves of loden, lime, emerald and jade. Sudden, stunning splashes of color, energizing, invigorating. A sweet, refreshing breeze moving through the mottled, marbled landscape, calming, soothing. Splinters of sunlight sifting through a canopy that boosts and strengthens. Fine fingers of wind-carried spray from a nearby fountain. A tranquil stillness, never silent, spreading solace, respite, and rest. This is the healing power of nature. This is the secret spirit sown into the soil at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. As gardeners and garden-lovers, we already know what science has recently “discovered” – the important role nature and gardens play in our general health and well-being. A stroll through our Botanical Gardens may offer more than simple enjoyment. It’s been proven that human contact with nature can allay stress and improve mental, emotional and physical wellness. In fact, a trip to the Botanical Gardens may be just what the doctor ordered – literally! The concept of nature and wellness became a fad in the 1980’s. This “green health” movement spurred a number of Japanese research studies that tested the clinical therapeutic benefits of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing – a long walk through the woods. The results were amazing. Study after study revealed that a regular and prolonged amble through nature, 30 to 40 minutes long, was found to:  Reduce cortisol, the harmful stress hormone  Foster physiologic relaxation, helping to reduce depression and anxiety 6

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Boost overall energy and decrease insomnia Provide aromatherapy benefits since plants and flowers are the source of essential oils Deliver immunotherapy, key in the prevention of cancer and other diseases Increase exposure to sunlight and the absorption of Vitamin D, important in hormonal balance, decreasing depression, and curbing unnecessary hunger that leads to obesity.

A substantial study was conducted in Australia in 2016. The results demonstrated that 10% of people with hypertension could control their blood pressure by simply spending 30 minutes or more in a park each week. Since one in three Americans suffer from high blood pressure, the resulting national healthcare savings from a weekly walk through botanical gardens like ours would be quite impressive. Thanks to ongoing science-based research on the connection between nature and good health, doctors have learned that interaction with nature can be transformative for many patients. And they are responding. Health care practitioners in 34 states are now handing out nature prescriptions for both physical and mental health. But why wait for your primary care provider to hand you an Rx for a trip to the Gardens? Are you feeling anxious and stressed? Are you spending too much time indoors? Are life’s complexities getting you down? Is the current news cycle winding you up or making you panic? A walk through the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens may be exactly what you need. So, take that stroll through the Gardens. Relax, enjoy yourself, and personally experience the healing power of nature.

References: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/well/take-a-walk-in -the-woods-doctors-orders.html https://time.com/4405827/the-healing-power-of-nature/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-thedarkness/201204/the-power-nature-ecotherapy-andawakening https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/blog/archive/healthy-habits/ healing-powers-nature https://natureconnectionguide.com/us-doctors-areprescribing-nature-in-34-states/ 7


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VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT Garden Center Volunteers enjoyed lunch at the Dolphin Bar & Grill. Laura B and Sherry are the fantastic, talented, resourceful ‘Snowbird Duo’. They are the best saleswomen we’ve ever met. A happy visitor is always sure to go home with a new plant. This is Sherry’s 2nd year with us and Laura’s first. Under Laura Mehr’s guidance, they are creating a fun and unique Garden Center with quality plants. And, are bringing in specialty items and wonderful floral pots. They will returning from North Carolina and Michigan when the wind blows and the snow falls. Pictured: (L-R) Brenda Gustafson, Sherry Catalina, Laura Mehr, and Laura Brady.

Snowbirds are welcome to join us at the Garden. Inside and outside positions are also available.

Martin County Plain Air Painters enjoying painting in the Butterfly Gardens.


PSLBG Mascot Glenn with Ben Woodruff, Co-Chair of the Propagation Area. Glenn and Ben have a few things in common. Their hats are similar, they have a very nice chimp pose, and they both love Zebras.

to June Powers and Bob Piesey who donated a lovely Iron plant stand that will be placed in the Garden. We didn’t have to do a thing. They cleaned and painted it for us.

With all the down time we are all experiencing, this is an opportune time to start that Spring Cleaning that you’ve been putting off for so long! UGH! It’s no fun but we at the Garden Center have an ulterior motive! We are requesting donations of yard items. Your donations will be easily refurbished for decorating our Garden Center and also for sale to the public. So start that big clean-up and remember us at the Gardens. Especially looking for    

Unique, Useable and Unusual yard art. Clay and/or ceramic pots. One gallon propagation pots. Gently used tools

The Garden Center’s talented volunteers are experts at ‘Thinking out of the Box’ for a brand new look on your donation. All yard items must be in refurbishing condition.

Call Laura Mehr or Brenda Gustafson at 772-337-1959 and leave a message.

For Cleaning Indoors & Outdoors https://www.marthastewart.com/267295/springcleaning-checklist https://www.sylvane.com/blog/spring-cleaning-tipsand-checklist/ https://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/ spring_flower_garden/ https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/outdoor-springclean-checklist/ Continued on Pg14


Health Benefits Bloom, while digging in your Garden Before you head out to the backyard to begin turning over the soil and planting perfect rows of purple pansies, you might like to know that your gardening efforts are doing more than beautifying the neighborhood:

They are actually making you happier and healthier. If you are a seasoned gardener, you likely can attest to the peacefulness found in gardening. Now, a growing field called horticultural therapy is out to prove the power of nature is more than just urban myth. These therapists, who straddle the world of psychology, ecology and botany, use gardening as a tool to help people cope with issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical health conditions like heart disease and postsurgery recovery. "Horticultural therapy as a treatment for many psychological and physical disorders is a valid and increasingly popular intervention." Horticultural therapy has been used with people who are suffering from conditions including dementia and eating disorders. "Horticultural therapy stimulates thought, exercises the body and encourages an awareness of the external environment. Moreover, the clients who have benefited from this type of therapy report a renewed desire to live, decreased anxiety and improved self-worth." 14

Creating a Therapy Garden of your own: 

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Include vegetable- and fruit-producing plants — the ability to grow life-sustaining food strengthens feelings of self-sufficiency. Plant herbs that promote good health, and add fragrance to your surroundings. Choose plants that can be dried and reused in crafts such as sachets or wreaths. You'll double your enjoyment of the gardening experience. Place a small bench or chair in a shady spot of the garden, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Commit to spending a few minutes each day in your garden. Even in small doses, the fresh air, vitamin D and moderate exercise is good for you. Make gardens accessible to those with physical limitations by using raised beds.

Web Sites and blogs to help you along the way to Horticulture Fun and Stress Free Relaxation. http://www.digginfladirt.com/ http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn-and-garden/floridagardening-calendar/ https://centralfloridagardener.blogspot.com/ https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/

planting/vegetable-gardens-by-season.html https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep450

Thank you Mike Becker for the excellent hands-on workshop on pruning and taking care of roses. Mike is a local rose expert, enthusiastic grower and exhibitor of roses who enjoys sharing his knowledge of over 42 years. We look forward to working and learning with Mike in the coming years.



Get a Baker’s Dozen of Good Dirt You love to travel. You love to visit new places. You love to explore new gardens. And you love being with your gardening pals, dishing and laughing, and digging in the dirt. But travel is restricted, everyone’s practicing social distancing, and you only feel safe in comfort of your home. Never fear! The solution to your troubles is here! Enjoy these twelve virtual garden tours you can take while you dream of your next botanical excursion: 1. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England – www.rbgkew.org.uk/places/kew/index.html 2. Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, in Upper Normandy – www.giverny.org/gardens/ 3. Hampton Court Palace in Southeast England, once owned by King Henry VIII – www.hamptoncourt.org.uk/gardens/tour.asp 4. Oxford University’s garden – www.chem.ox.ac.uk/OxfordTour/botanicgardens/default.html 5. The United States Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC – www.usbg.gov/take-virtual-tour 6. The Missouri Botanical Garden – www.mobot.org/visit/virtualtour.asp 7. University of Washington Medicinal Herb Garden – www.nnlm.gov/pnr/uwmhg/ 8. Nature Coast Botanical Gardens – www.naturecoastgardens.com/virtual-garden-tour.html 9. University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center at Fort Pierce -irrecenvhort.ifas.ufl.edu/virtualgarden/ 10. Michigan State University’s children’s garden – 4hgarden.msu.edu/kidstour/tour.html 11. The Kid’s Corner at Smith College – www.smith.edu/gardens/kidscorner/index.htm 12. The Prather House, a Quapaw Quarter Home shade garden in Little Rock, Arkansas – www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkS6Ib8x1Eo 13. A New Zealand private country garden -- www.mooseyscountrygarden.com/

When you’re done, you can begin to plan a tour of America’s Southern Gardens for travel in 2021: https://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/souths-best-garden-tours


Bowling for The Gardens

Monday evening Drum Circle with Kevin Beatkeeper

Bowling for The Gardens

John Erickson giving orchid talk at MG meeting


Butterflies at The Gardens

Beautifying the gardens

Addie from Bronson, FL visiting Lucie

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Continued on Pg24






Power to the Pollinators Love pollinators? First take a look at this breathtaking TED video: https://youtu.be/MQiszdkOwuU

Then buzz on in to these sites: American Bird Conservancy: https://abcbirds.org/ Association of Zoos and Aquariums: https://www.aza.org/pollinator-conservation Audubon Adventures: http://netapp.audubon.org/AudubonAdventures/ native_bees_essay.htm Florida Wildflower Foundation: https://flawildflowers.org/attracting-bees/ Hummingbirds at Home: http://www.hummingbirdsathome.org/ International Butterfly Breeders Association: https:// www.internationalbutterflybreeders.org/ National Butterfly Center: https://www.nationalbutterflycenter.org/ North American Butterfly Association: https://www.naba.org/ Pollinator Partnership: https://pollinator.org/ Project Noah: https:// www.projectnoah.org/ missions/14030198 Sunset Magazine: https://sunset.com/ garden/flowers-plants/plants-pollination The Hummingbird Monitoring Network: https://www.hummonnet.org/ index.html#slideShow US Fish & Wildlife: https://www.fws.gov/ pollinators/ US Forest Service: https:// www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/ index.shtml US National Park Service: https:// www.nps.gov/subjects/pollinators/ index.htm USDA: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/ portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/ pollinate/ Xerces Society: https://www.nps.gov/ subjects/pollinators/index.htm 26


We have availability in the Gift Shop, Welcome Center, Propagation, Garden Maintenance, Event Planning

for a selection of fine gifts and those one of a kind items.

VOLUNTEER AS LITTLE AS 3 HOURS A WEEK., MEET SOME GREAT PEOPLE, AND HELP YOUR COMMUNITY. Stop by or call Judy Nash-Wade or Angie Reese at 772-337-1959.

Volunteer Orientation Tentative Date Sunday, April 22 • 3:00pm - 4:30pm Learn about volunteering at the Gardens, meet other volunteers and offer Suggestions. Prospective and current volunteers welcome!




Profile for Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Gate - April 2020  

The Gardens Gate chronicles the events, volunteers and visitors to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Featuri...

The Gardens Gate - April 2020  

The Gardens Gate chronicles the events, volunteers and visitors to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Featuri...

Profile for pslbg