The Gardens Gate – May 2021

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The May 2021 Gardens Gate Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Through The Eyes Of Angelica Jaramillo - Geli Visions


Board Member and Volunteer Spotlights

Garden Center, Pavilion & Gift Shop Hours:

Photos from our Guests

Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am - 4pm Sunday 12pm - 4pm

Port St. Lucie Anglers Annual Kids Fishing Tournament




2410 SE Westmoreland Boulevard Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 Phone: 772.337.1959 • Fax: 772.237.5952 E-mail: Web:

Garden Center, Pavilion & Gift Shop Hours: Thursday - Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 4:00pm Gardens Hours: 8:00am- 5:30pm 7-days a week PETS ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE GARDENS SKATES, BOARDS & BICYCLES ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE WALKWAYS IN THE GARDENS 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:

Jeff Chambers Heather Furnari Mary Petrone Brenda Gustafson Mark A. Barnes Valerie Davis-Bailey John Erickson Laura Mehr Judy Nash-Wade Arthur Pearlstein Tim Sutton

Standing Committee Chairs... Election Committee:

Stephanie Alessandrini-Giarraffa Brenda Gustafson Laura Mehr Brenda Gustafson

Finance Committee: Gift Shop Committee: Horticulture Committee: Membership & Volunteer Committee: Mark A. Barnes Resource Development Committee: Heather Furnari Strategic Planning Committee: Arthur Pearlstein

Newsletter... Editor & Design:


Mark A. 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.

Dear Friends, I am never sure what to write for the Presidents message. I have to make sure I am politically correct and sometimes that can be a conflict with my Appalachian background, hillbilly if you will. We tend to be blunt and are probably the reason Human Resources was ever created. I consider the Gardens my other home and all the volunteers and members my extended family. Though the COVID crisis is far from over, we can all be a little more at ease with the vaccines being readily available. Unfortunately, we have all lost someone to this horrid disease or to another illness, so rather than me ramble on, I would like to share a poem with you…and no I did not write it. May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty. May hope forever wipe away your tears. And, above all, may silence make you strong. by Chief Dan George Thanks to everyone, especially the City of Port St. Lucie for making the Gardens a place of hope, beauty and peace.

Jeff Chambers,


Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens


What’s Going on at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in




Continued on Pg8


* Bromeliad Bonanza Special Pricing * New Selection of Succulents

daily DEALS




Open Thurs, Fri, Sat. 10AM-4PM Sunday 12PM-4PM

Grab a bargain everyday!

at our CLEARANCE Table $1, $2, & $3 Plants


Come & Join our Team!

Major Clean-up in the Bromeliad Garden. Thanks to the Trustees for all the help along with John Erickson. Cathy Russo (with hat) & Brenda Gustafson.




The Gardens The Gardens need donations of the following items in mint to good condition. • • • • • •


1-Gallon Plastic Pots Clay pots Ceramic Planters Yard Art Copy Paper Plants to Propagate

• • • •

Home Improvements Gift Cards Spray Nozzles TLC Garden Tools Volunteers New Members


Why did you choose to volunteer at PSLBG?

Who most influenced our love of. Gardening?

I moved to Port St Lucie in October 2005. I lived in Miami part time for 10 years and in 2015 I retired. After I retired, I wanted to be more involved in my Port St Lucie community, so

My dad and mom hailed from the state of North Carolina and my dad’s family owned a 22 acre farm in Warren County, North Carolina during the great depression. My dad was the youngest of 11 children. At thirteen he had to leave school to run the tractors and other equipment on the farm.

in the winter of 2017 I was fortunate to have been selected to be in the Master Gardener Class of St Lucie County What made you want to become a director? Part of my DNA must be coded with a volunteer gene. Just joking everyone. I am a Rotarian, and a Past President of Allapattha, Miami. I also served on the Community Relations Board of Miami-Dade for 10 years, and from 2000-20I5 I was the secretary of the Greater Miami Urban League and member of Business Improvement Board of Coconut Grove from 20062020. Each of these opportunities gave me so much more than I could ever give back. What do you find most rewarding about being on the board? Everyone who volunteers at the Gardens is helpful and willing to assist in improving the beauty that surrounds us in the gardens, and I have been fortunate during my tenure at the gardens to meet individuals that give so much. Thank you to everyone for what you do! You’ve made my volunteering enjoyable and memorable. What do you like to do at the Gardens?

During my early life daddy always grew vegetables in a small garden outside our brownstone in Brooklyn. Not only did we have trees, we also had fresh vegetables. The NYC school system had a vegetable gardening program in which my sister and I were enrolled during the growing seasons. What is your favorite. Tree or plant? My favorite tree is the Cherry Blossom. Genus Prunus.

Hailing from Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens always had a spectacular display of cherry blossoms. My memories from childhood of visits to that garden are imprinted on my brain. What do you like to do outside of gardening? Proud mother of two adult daughters, one niece and one nephew, one granddaughter, three grand nephews. Family has always been paramount in my life. Therefore, I’m a big fan of spending time with my family. I’m a big fan of spending time with family. My working life has taken several deviations. In 1971 I began working as a teacher in intermediate school in Brooklyn and this school became famous for the principal jumping off the roof!

Initially, I began volunteering in Horticulture and Maintenance. Master Gardening classes whetted my appetite to learn more and be more knowledgeable about plants.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

After being a volunteer for a year at the Gardens, I was fortunate enough to begin volunteering in the Pavilion at the welcome desk. Working up front helped me to I learn about the history of the Gardens.

For me this means that we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, etc., it is expected that we return this benefit to others.


Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, much will be required.”

with the gardens. I have met so many great volunteers who are very pleasant and willing to help me while sharing a genuine concern for the care and growth of the BG. Of course, it’s very rewarding seeing visitors enjoying their day at the garden and asking questions as well as sharing their knowledge of certain plants. Being a part of putting forward efforts to make the Garden a place people want to visit is very rewarding, too. It’s such a wonderful feeling receiving compliments from people saying the Garden is such an inspiring place to visit and how it keeps looking nicer and better each time they come.

Anne Nourse Why did you choose to volunteer at the PSL Botanical Gardens? When I first visited Port St. Lucie about five years ago I discovered there was a Botanical Garden so I just had to visit it. Coming from the North, I was captivated by all the new types of plants I saw growing and knew I wanted to learn about each area and become a part of it. Walking through the gardens and seeing all of its beauty was very uplifting. As I spoke to the volunteers in the main building and heard about the wonderful programs offered, I decided that when I became a permanent resident which was three years ago, I would join the Friends of the PSLBG and help it become a place for all to come and enjoy. Do you have any goals for your time here as a volunteer?

What do you like to do when you’re at the Gardens? I enjoy the variety of experiences I’ve been able to have while being in and associating with the Garden. There are so many opportunities to contribute to the growth of the Garden. Being involved in creating a new Rose Garden has really been a highlight of the past year for me. Along with my club members we have received so many compliments about the beautiful roses and neatness of the area. The care and time we give to the roses is showing and visitors are appreciating our efforts. What’s your favorite tree or plant, and why? It’s really hard to say as I seem to find all of vegetation interesting. The variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and fragrances of plants is all so beautiful. How mankind has used herbals throughout the ages especially fascinates me. However, if you’d like to give me flowers I do enjoy roses, peonies, delphiniums, carnations and more mixed with natives and herbs.

Being interested in the native plants of Florida, I initially volunteered in that area with the ultimate goal of redesigning it to show visitors how natives could be used in their home landscaping. With other volunteers, I did a lot of weeding and learned the names of common natives. We had many overgrown areas cleared and created a path where visitors could walk through the area. Simultaneously, I worked in the Propagation Area to learn how to reproduce plants grown in the BG and from donations so visitors could purchase plants to take home to grow. I have also been a member of the Veteran Victory Cores Program and still participate in various educational Children’s Programs and Special Botanical Garden Events. Presently, my efforts have been focused on leading the rejuvenation of the Rose Garden. As a member of the Rio Lindo Garden Club one of our projects is to maintain the Rose Garden. We would like people to know roses can grow in Florida. There are approximately 200 varieties that can survive drought, are very colorful, fragrant and have few problems. (See our website for more information at My personal goal for all of these various activities at the BG is to learn all that I can about the plants that surround me and share that information to educate the public on their care including their benefits while respecting and protecting the environment.

Outside of the Gardens, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering at PSLBG?

What’s your favorite quote or saying?

I can’t say it’s just one thing. Certainly, the refreshing and therapeutic atmosphere of the Garden’s plant varieties is important as is the people who are involved

I enjoy being with friends and family including my dog, knitting for charitable organizations, attempting to solve word puzzles, going to plays, concerts and museums, traveling and gardening, gardening, gardening at home. Tell us something about you that’s interesting, or that not many people know. Because I like to learn about different cultures, in the past I have been involved in hosting foreign exchange students through the American Field Service (AFS) as a volunteer coordinator, counselor and host family to a Japanese gal and Finnish guy. I still correspond with several Japanese families and have been faithfully sending Christmas presents for the past 30+ years. They are very big gift givers. And, I have worked with American and foreign scientists in a basic science research department at a university. Through this experience I was fortunate to travel to India to witness a Brahmin (Hindu) wedding ceremony of one of our graduate students along with seeing the Taj Mahal, riding a camel and elephant and drinking lots of cardamom tea.

“It is better to teach a man how to fish than give him a fish.”


New Patio Furniture on The Gardens Promenade

Wedding time in the Secret Garden

New Patio Furniture on The Gardens Promenade

Selfie Time with the Butterfly Garden Volunteers

Sun Grove Montessori Middle School Students receive Social Butterfly' certificates upon completion of a workshop on Butterflies


Veronica, right, showing off one of our unique items we have for sale in the garden. It was sold to this lovely woman.

A beautiful day tat the Garden o enjoy the Cactus Garden

Jeanne & Don propagating copper leaf. Jeanne is a long time Master Gardener and brings with her lots of experience.

Jazz Jam at The Gardens on select Wednesday’s - Join Us. Continued on Pg18


It’s that time again! We are starting up our BOOtanical Halloween Committee. If you would like to be a part of the funnest event in the gardens, please come to our first meeting on Thursday, May 6th at 5:30pm in the Gardens Pavillion.

Contact Beth Willard at: - Attn Beth or at 772-337-1959. Sunset Yoga in The Gardens, Monday’s with Instructor Dale Johnson

Sunset Yoga in The Gardens, Monday’s with Instructor Dale Johnson

Continued on Pg20

Help us touch the future, one child, one adult at a time! The Education Committee needs you. We meet every Wednesday in the Gardens Pavilion at 10am. We need help finding donors, applying for grants, evaluating activities, (and then having fun trying them out). Moms, Dads, Educators, non-Educators – 18

all volunteers are welcome!


As A NEWbie MG - by Laura Mehr

information that is found about the various species of plants – not just the nuts and bolts but fun information that may not be readily Half way there! YAY! Week 6 as a Zooming known. Such as the fact that tannin is Newbie with the Master Gardeners. A bit of a commercially harvested from Silver Buttonwood disappointment as we were rained out of our visit to the certified Florida Friendly Landscaping trees, and that it is considered the best wood for smoking meats. yard of Maggie on Indian River Dr in Ft Pierce. More next week, including a trip to the beautiful Heathcote Gardens. Our leaders, Kate R. and Danielle S. pivoted effortlessly though, to bring us an excellent zooming morning about vegetable growing in Fl. WEEK 7 While we all watched the rain through our windows, we learned that ‘what and when’ go Week 7 brings us to turf grasses, and more turf together when veggie gardening in FL . And that grasses, and yet more turf grasses. Who knew for this type of gardening our zone is 9a W of I- there were so many different kinds, and that the 95 and 10b E of I-95. MG’s would get so many questions about them? But there we were Zooming with our own local It was a fast paced and interesting discussion expert, Christine Kelly-Begazo, the Indian River about the various ways we in FL can veggie County Agricultural agent about grass. The garden while our northern friends are watching different parts, and how to tell them apart, and their gardens freeze. We are planting and what kind of soil and sun conditions they need, harvesting in the fall and winter and solarizing or the pests they attract, the fertilizer they require – otherwise preparing our beds for our next it was quite an eye opening morning – and season crops in the summer. made me look closely at my own St Augustine sod, whether it was healthy or not, if it was A lot of information to take in, but I did come to getting enough water, and if the lawn care understand why I have been such a total failure service was cutting it properly and feeding it at veggie gardening. My lettuce would always according to IFAS guidelines. Check, check and bolt within a week of planting and my peppers check. And a lot of time was spent on turf grass and cucumbers just withered away. A bit of weeds, which Florida grows in abundance. shade here, I learned can go a long way toward Identifying the weed is the first step to solving both of those problems. I may try again, eradicating it before it takes over your entire but after 3 years of fails, I may sit this winter out. lawn. Apparently the ever popular ‘weed and We also covered fertilization of veggies, feed’ formulas do more harm than good to our watering, and composting for them. local lawns. Lunch, a walk and a quick trip to the grocery store and we were ready for our afternoon All the students were waiting anxiously for the session. The afternoon brought 10 reports return of our mid term papers, but Kate assured about plants from the group. We had missed us we would get them back next week. last weeks reports since the lecture had gone Apparently we’re a wordy bunch. longer than expected in the afternoon, so we made up for them this week. So much good Laura.



Florida Public Relations Association 2021 Image Awards

Florida Public Relations Association 2021 Image Awards

Florida Public Relations Association 2021 Image Awards

Florida Public Relations Association 2021 Image Awards

Ballantrae Women’s Club Tour The Gardens


Continued on Pg22

We are currently booking Wedding Ceremonies and Events for 100 guests and under inside our Pavilion, and up to 150 guests in our outside venues. These dates are being booked fast. Email Heather at NOW to reserve your date! As we are in changing times, we will be evolving along with them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 Protocol recommendations are in place and required for ALL events. A floor plan with social distancing and signed COVID-19 Addendum is required to book your event. Thank You.



Continued on Pg24




KIDS ANNUAL FISHING TOURNAMENT - A FAMILY AFFAIR At the Port St Lucie Botanical Garden Sponsored by the Port St Lucie Anglers Club


Visit Our Gift Shop for a selection of fine gifts & more, one of a kind items & works from local Artists.


“FISHING’S FUTURE” EVENT AT THE GARDENS Connecting youth and Family with Nature through fishing adventures that strengthen family relationships, build stewardship of the environment and provide positive outdoor angling education for families.


Can you give us as little as 3 hours per week of your time? The Friends of the Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens are looking for Volunteers to assist in various positions throughout the Garden. Become a part of a very active garden, meet fellow volunteers, have fun, and enjoy being part of a team.

Gift Shop

Thursday-Saturday - 3 hours • 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm* Sunday - 4 hours • 12pm-4pm

Garden Center

Thursday-Saturday - 3 hours • 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm* Sunday - 4 hours • 12pm-4pm Garden Rooms—Daylily Garden, Bromeliad Garden, Secret Garden—Name your hours. We need help with weeding, trimming, and maintaining the gardens. *We are particularly short of volunteers on afternoon shifts 1-4pm for both the Gift Shop & Garden Center.

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator - Joanne Hurd at or call The Gardens at 772-337-1959 and leave a message. CDC guidelines will be followed. Facial coverings will be required when social distancing is difficult to maintain.