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July 2020 The Gardens Gate Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Through The Eyes Of Linda Sullivan


A Key Gardening Rule


Out & About at The Gardens


20 Vegetables You Can Re-Grow From Scraps


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 PETS ARE NOT PERMITTED 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:

Michelle Peterson Heather Furnari Claire Clark Brenda Gustafson Jeff Chambers John Erickson Dale Johnson Laura Mehr Judy Nash-Wade Mary 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.


Dear Friends, The last few months have been a period of intense unease and distress, as the COVID-19 pandemic and its trail of disruption and heartache have touched all of our lives in some way. As I write this, our board continues to discuss details about reopening our Pavilion, incorporating procedures and policies that are part of our “new normal.� Along with the anxiety we are experiencing in the face of this pandemic, our country has entered another wave of extreme anxiety as we recognize levels of deep-rooted racism and inequality that need to end. At the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, we stand firmly against discrimination of any kind. We value equity and inclusion, and embrace the strengths that human diversity brings to our community. We believe that by treating each other with respect and compassion, our Botanical Gardens and our community will continue to flourish and thrive. There is a wonderful online resource I recently discovered – www.coursera.org. Coursera believes that learning is a source of human growth and enduring change. Coursera offers interesting courses that can help us understand the many relevant issues we face. In addition to dealing with pandemic disease like COVID, and understanding social issues like ones we currently face, Coursera offers a variety of courses about horticulture, plant biology, the environment, and more. Most courses can be audited for free. Take a look and see if there is something you might want to learn. In the meantime, it is my sincerest hope that you and all the members of our greater Port St. Lucie community take good care of yourselves and each other. Remember to safely celebrate the 4th of July, and recognize all that Independence Day means. Happy Gardening! Michelle


Click Here For The Current Calendar Listings


Open T hursday thr u S at u r d a y • 1 0 a m t o 1 p m



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We are currently booking Wedding Ceremonies and Events for 50 guests and under. These dates are being booked fast. Email Heather at events@pslbg.org 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. Thank You. 8




VOLUNTEERS Helping To Make Our Gardens Grow

WISH LIST Mint to Good Condition  Clay pots  Ceramic planters  Yard Art

Open T hur sday thr u S at u r d a y • 1 0 a m t o 1 p m 12

A Key Gardening Rule: Have Fun in Your Garden! Every garden should have something fun and positive associated with it, beyond the obvious enjoyment of growing food.

Whether it is a garden flag, gnome or other decoration, a pond or whirligig, it makes working in the garden so much more like play. And that’s what is should be, after all. Fun can also come in the form of trying something new, or what we often refer to as "the experiments." This is an admittedly loose definition for whatever we may want to do in the garden plantwise. Garden Geek? Yeah, you got that right. Quite probably, Uber Geek. We can live with that. So we have had fun with kohlrabi, Vietnamese fuzzy gourds, luffas, Jerusalem artichokes, and a slew of other veggies you don’t find in a typical garden. Have you ever seen a gherkin grow? Wasabi arugula? Don’t get me started. There will be more on these at another time. Have you ever tried to grow your own ginger, planted cranberries, or bought an avocado tree to grow up North? Entertainment at its greenest. Some good lessons were learned while we were having fun. Some, of course were learned the hard way. A word to the wise: If you are going to experiment with perennials, use pots. Trust me on this one. We have also enjoyed pushing the season here in our garden. This year it was by planting zucchini. Okay, I know what you are thinking. Zucchini, really? What fun is that?

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Try planting it 2 months later than you are supposed to. That’s a lot in a growing season that is only 4 months long. So what happened when we planted seeds at the end of July, when the end of May is the norm? Well, zucchini happened. Zucchini when all the other summer squash had quit for the year. Lots of beautiful young baby zucchini in mid-September. Zucchini when everyone else was tired of zucchini. Baby zucchini at the same time as the tomatoes! Okay, I’ll share our secret weapon. You see, it was a well– thought out experiment. We planted a zucchini that is called ‘Cashflow’. A hybrid deliberately bred to produce more fruit, and sooner. This plant actually produces female flowers before the males, and often the males are twins. Serious zucchini production. Now I won’t say it is the best-tasting zucchini. For that we grow Costata Romanesco, a wonderful Italian heirloom that does not produce a lot of fruit, but the flavor is unmatched. But for zucchini in September? Yep, we’ll consider this experiment a success. Gardening Jones is a Pennsylvania-based vegetable gardener. Read more at her blog.

Now that summer is here it's time to have fun and learn about new things! Enjoy your summer adventures! Try out some Origami! Learn about Gardens! Discover new Insects! Check out the Stars! 14


Richard Hunter - Acrylic, Oil & Pine Cones

44 and Fabulous, and while they were here at The Gardens he proposed. She said YES!


Heather & Tim social distancing with the Gopher Tortoise

Plants being propagated for sale in our Propagation Gardens Center. Not for sale yet...But Soon!

Thank you to Pam and Russ Marten for the beautiful Hibiscus tree Donations.

Our resident gator at The Gardens.

A wedding ceremony in the Butterfly Gardens. Social Distancing ceremonies are popular in The Gardens. Continued on Pg20




Photo by TAB Vision Photography Collaboration with MOTS Media (MartineontheScene)


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K Re-Opening Soon



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

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


Volunteer Orientation ** Dates Will Be Announced Soon ** Learn about volunteering at the Gardens, meet other volunteers and offer Suggestions. Prospective and current volunteers welcome!






20 Vegetables You Can Re-Grow From Scraps Sure, you’ve heard that buying organic food over the genetically modified or pesticide exposed versions is ideal for your health, but it can get costly. Due to the limited supply of organic foods as well as the additional labor and maintenance required to produce them, you may be paying 20-100% more for an organic banana! Fortunately, here are 20 vegetables and herbs you can grow indoors using parts of the produce you would throw away anyways, and this can save you a pretty penny the next time you go grocery shopping. Romaine Lettuce Similar to celery, keep the base of your romaine lettuce in a bowl with a ½ inch of warm water. Leave it to sit in direct sunlight, and in a week or two, your lettuce stem will produce fresh, new lettuce leaves for all your great salads. Transplant your lettuce to soil to continue growing. They should be full grown in three to four weeks. This process works for Bok Choy as well. Garlic Sprouts Are those tentacles?! Nope, those long green things growing out your garlic are green shoots. You can put them in a little water, under a lot of sunlight and grow a bunch of garlic sprouts. They are milder in taste than garlic cloves and are great in salads, pasta and as a garnish. Carrots Place chopped off carrot tops in a container filled with a bit of water. Pretty soon, they will begin to sprout delicious greens from the top that are a nice addition to meals. Using a deeper contain and more water, use toothpicks to keep carrots halfway in the water and wait for them to root. Once they root, you can plant them in your garden for a continuous supply! Turnip Like carrots, cut off turnip tops and leave them in a shallow container with water until they begin growing roots. This can take a couple of weeks. Once they’ve sprouted, plant them outside the same way you would your carrots! Sweet potato Unlike most vegetables, sweet potatoes aren’t started by seed but by slips (or shoots). Clean and cut a sweet potato in half, then place it half in/half out of a jar full of water using toothpicks. Over a few days, your sweet potato will begin to sprout slips at which point you remove them and place them in water to grow roots. You should have rooted slips with the week. Next, plant them in loose, well-drained soil and water every day in the first week, and then every other day (or as needed) the following weeks. Ginger With ginger you already have, look for pieces that already have little things growing out of them. With that piece, cut off the parts that look like they’re about to start what’s called a “rhizome” because they’re the key to growing new ginger plants. Growing this food takes minimal effort but does require the right conditions. Warm, slightly humid places like kitchens are perfect. Plant the piece of ginger about 3-5 inches in the soil with its rhizome pointing upwards. Water it regularly. It’s a labor of love and can take up to ten months before you get a sufficient amount of ginger, but its health benefits are more than worth it. Pineapple This will definitely take a few years but if you’ve got the time and right climate, why not try? Take a pineapple and cut the flowery “crown” off about an inch below the leaves. Trim around the bottom until Continued on Pg26


you see little brownish bumps (these are the root buds). Before planting, dehydrate the pineapple crown to prevent rotting too soon. Now, with your prepped pineapple cutting, place it in a shallow container of warm water. When the cutting begins to root, replant it into a container with soil and be sure to water once a week. If possible, keep it in a bright, warm place with as much direct sunlight as possible. Rosemary Like other herbs, you can regrow rosemary from 5-6 inch cuttings. Place them in water and within a few weeks, there should be enough that have rooted and not rotted. In a 4″ pot filled with damp potting soil, make a 3″ hole with a pen or pencil and place the rosemary cutting gently into it. Because this herb is so delicate, only water it when the soil starts feeling dry. Keep it direct sunlight for 6-8 hours per day because it needs light to flourish. If the soil isn’t dry yet, giving them a quick mist is also okay. Potatoes When growing potatoes, you need ones with ‘eyes’ (or slips) growing on it. When you’ve got a potato with a lot of eyes, cut it into 2 inch squares with each piece having a couple of eyes. Leave them out in room temperature for a couple of days to let them dry out to help prevent rotting. In a deep pot, place the cubes 8″ deep with the eyes facing upwards and cover it with another 4″ of soil. As more roots begin to grow, continuously add more soil and keep modestly watered. In as little as 70 days, you should have quite a few potatoes! Tomatoes You can regrow new tomato plants that can reach up to 8” feet. Ease the tomato plant out of its pot, trim the low leaves, and place it in a hole, fill it with soil, and do not compress it much. Celery To grow this healthy snack at home, cut off the base of the celery and leave it in a bowl with a little bit of warm water. Keep the bowl in direct sunlight, and in a week, your celery base will start to grow leaves. Transplant the celery in soil and watch it grow! Cabbage Don’t throw away the bottom of your cabbage head just yet. Just like celery, leave it in a container with an inch or two of water in a well-lit area and wait. Over time, it will start to regrow with no planting required. Avocado You can successfully grow an avocado tree from just one avocado pit. Mint To grow mint, get a clipping and plant it 3″ deep in a 5-8″ pot of damp soil. Make sure your mint plant is in a slightly humid, sun-exposed room (the kitchen is ideal). Every few days, to allow for the plant to grow evenly, rotate the pot. Within a few weeks, your mint plant should begin to flourish and be ready to be plucked for delicious dishes and drinks. Lemon To grow a lemon tree at home, you will need an organic lemon with non-germinating seeds, nutrient-rich potting soil, a planting pot that’s 6″ wide and 6″ deep, a seedling pot that’s 24″ wide and 12″ deep, and a sunny growing location (possibly with a grow lamp). Mushrooms Mushrooms can be regrown from spores in the comfort of our home. Peppers You can grow a number of hot peppers from the seeds that are leftover. Just collect the seeds from your habaneros, jalapenos or any other peppers that you have on hand. Plant them in potting soil and keep in direct sunlight unless it is warm outside and then you can just plant them in your garden area. Peppers grow relatively fast and don’t require a lot of care. Once you get a new crop, just save some of the seeds for replanting again. 26

Scallion You can regrow scallion, (green onions,) in as little as five days. Simply leave at least an inch attached to the roots of your left over scallion, put them in a small glass of water, topping up the water if it evaporates. Your scallions will flourish. Basil Got some basil clippings lying around? If they have at least four-inch stems, gather them up and put them in a glass of water under direct sunlight. When the stems grow two inches long, you can put them in some soil in a pot and grow your very own basil plant. No more basil shopping for you! Onions Unlike the other foods on this list, onions have to go directly in the soil to grow. Take the bottom end of the onion and plant it in a pot or directly in the soil outside. If it’s potted, water it when needed. The more of a bottom you leave on the onion, the better. At three weeks, the onion will develop roots. By the fourth week. It will sprout leaves. As you can see, most of the procedures follow similar methods: a container of water and direct sunlight. Each process is fairly easy, saves you a lot of money and ensures that you are putting fresh, organic food in your body▪



Profile for Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Gate - July 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 - July 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

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