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The September 2020 Gardens Gate Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

Gardens Through The Eyes Of Sean Minch


Interesting Dandelion Facts


Pavilion & Gift Shop Hours: Friday & Saturday 10am - 1pm Sunday 12pm - 3pm

Out & About at The Gardens


Board Member Spotlight


2410 SE Westmoreland Boulevard Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 Phone: 772.337.1959 Fax: 772.237.5952 Core Volunteers: 772.302.4393 E-mail: Web:

Pavilion & Gift Shop Hours: Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 1:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 3:00pm 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, In August the Board of Directors held our first “live and in person” meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Of course, everyone was masked and socially distanced. Nonetheless, it was nice to see, kind of, so many familiar faces. Our Board Meeting was quite productive, and we approved many exciting new things, a few that we’ll be letting you know about later in September, and one that’s happening right away. I’m happy to announce the official re-opening of our Pavilion, Gift Shop and offices on August 28th. Read through this newsletter to learn more, since our days and hours of operation will be reduced, and there will be certain requirements to enter, such as temperature reading and masks. Still, it’s a wonderful foot forward. The next is a new, special membership category in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Gardens. This membership requires the Board’s resolution at the September meeting before it comes official. But stay tuned! I’m sure you’ll be excited to know more about it. Another is an exciting new garden room called the Ancient Garden. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? The plans have been approved by the Board, and it is pending review and approval by the City of Port St. Lucie. We believe the City will be as excited about it as we are, and we are looking forward to creating this new garden space. We’ll let you know the location and much more about this new installation once we receive the official go-ahead. Of course, as we end the year, we look forward to a new year stretching in front of us. We are all focused and engaged on the Garden’s mission: 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. We need the strength and direction of a dedicated Board of Directors to accomplish our mission. If you would like to help us with this important undertaking, we hope you’ll decide to include your name for consideration when we announce Board elections in just a few short weeks.

In closing, I would remiss if I didn’t extend my sincerest appreciation to the Garden’s Board of Directors and our faithful cadre of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to continue to maintain the Gardens in spite of so many recent challenges. Thank you. Stay well and stay safe,



Click Here For The Current Calendar Listings


H o u r s : T h u r s d a y t h r u S at u r d a y 9 : 3 0 a m 12:30pm -and- Sunday 12pm - 3pm

When you shop at




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We are currently booking Wedding Ceremonies and Events for 62 guests and under inside our Pavilion and up to 100 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.




VOLUNTEERS Helping To Make Our Gardens Grow

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


Here are some interesting facts about the dandelion flower: 

The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.

The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.

Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring.

Up until the 1800s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.

The average American recognizes thousands of logos for commercial products, yet recognizes fewer than five plants that grow in his/her area. Dandelions are most likely one of those familiar plants.

The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.

Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.

Seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin! Continued on Pg14


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A not so fun fact: Every year Americans spend millions on lawn pesticides to have uniform lawns of non-native grasses, and we use 30% of the country’s water supply to keep them green.


Member KC donating several dozen airplants that she mounted in seashells.

Members Ken and Tina donated about 2 dozen coconut palms to the garden center today


Generous donation of pots from Herm Jaworski




All board members started off as volunteers. So, why did you choose to volunteer at the PSL Botanical Gardens? I have always been interested in gardening. After I retired from the art show circuit, I wanted to join the PSLBG team, but had a couple of health issues that prevented me from joining. Finally, by 2016 those issues were behind me, and I met Brenda Gustafson at a Master Gardeners event in Ft Pierce. Her enthusiasm and love of the gardens was so apparent, and I immediately knew it was the place for me. What made you want to become a director? What are your goals? I was asked to join the board by Michelle Peterson this past spring. I found her fun-loving and expansive vision of the garden to be inspiring. As a director, Landscape Chair, Art Show committee member and with my passion for art, I would like to see more art in the gardens, both formal and informal, temporary, and permanent, and to encompass all art forms. And I would like to continue with our expansion in our propagation area. This summer we added a muchneeded shade area for our shade plants that includes orchids, bromeliads and other shade plants. Last winter, our snowbird crew (Sherry Catalina, Laura Brady and Goldie Steele) added so much artistic expression and fun to the garden center that I would like to make a concerted effort to recruit more snowbirds to our gardens. While only here for a short time, they make a year-round impact. What do you find most rewarding about being on the board? The opportunity to be involved in new and innovative projects – such as the Ancient Garden that is in the works, the artistic Dragon Bench by Gene Kovacs for the Bamboo Garden that is on its way, the Fairy Forrest Door/Window project, and our future Specialty Gardens, throughout our beautiful gardens. What do you like to do when you are at the Gardens? I love to propagate – I find it the most rewarding thing – to watch plants pop up that have been started from seed or from seedlings that we have taken from different plants in the gardens. To watch the progress from seed to seedling in the shade house, to up potting for the misting table, and finally for sale, is a continuous year-round journey. I also find designing the floral


arrangement for the table in the Pavilion to be great fun and very fulfilling, especially with Gene’s help – for both of us to see artistically through each other’s eyes. Who was the most instrumental person who influenced your love of gardening? My father, although I did not realize it until decades later. He always had a vegetable garden going in our backyard – and I hated vegetables at the time! He particularly loved to grow rhubarb, which I particularly disliked! But watching those plants come up was a source of fascination to me, and I did love to water them for him, although the weeding was definitely not my favorite part. What’s your favorite tree or plant, and why? Wow, that’s a hard question – as I look around my garden, I can’t think of one that I like more than any other. Although, I think that the Laurel Oak in front of my house, which is 45 years old and bigger than the house, is the one I feel closest to. Sitting under that tree, whose name is Mr. Oakley, provides me with a peace and tranquility I don’t find anywhere else. It cools and protects, and seems to hug all who partake of its shade. Outside of the Gardens, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? Still involved in the arts, I find it impossible to not be creating something. My latest is a teapot totem that I made for my butterfly garden. I am currently planning a decorative fence for the pool deck. There is always another artistic creation on the horizon. Tell us a little bit about your family What is left of my family is small but mighty. I have a sister, Nancy, and brother in law, Robert, that live in Portland, Or in the summers and Sun City West, AZ in the winters. We visit each other as often as possible, text or email daily and share everything that only sisters can share. They say you don’t choose your family, but I definitely would have chosen her as my sister. She and her husband are family members of PSLBG. Tell us something about you that is interesting, or that not many people know. I was born and raised in LA, and knew from the time I was 8 that I was an artist, and that I was born on the wrong coast!

What is your favorite quote or saying? So many, but, ‘The purpose of art is to open the heart’ has resonated with me for decades.


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!



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The Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens proudly announce our 2nd Annual Art Show in The Gardens, which will be held at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens on Saturday, January 2, 2021 and Sunday, January 3, 2021 from 9am to 4pm each day (rain or shine). The Art Show will highlight local, regional and renowned artists in the mediums of Original - 2D, 3D, Jewelry & Fine Crafts. The show will also include Music, Dancing, Food Trucks and more. A variety of food, snack and beverage vendors will be on hand for your culinary pleasure as well as Art Raffles, Fairy Hair and local Non-Profit Agencies to complete the mix. Additionally, this year our event will include a Saturday evening “Party With The Artists” Silent Art Auction and Reception. An opportunity to meet and talk with the artists while enjoying a selection of hors d'oeuvres and entrées, adult beverages and good music. The Reception will be held Saturday, January 2, 2021 from 6pm to 9pm at The Gardens Pavilion and Promenade. Tickets will be available soon to the public for $50 per person –or- $75 per couple.

We invite Artists and Fine Crafters (all work must be original and not mass produced) to sign up to be an Artist or Fine Craft Vendor at our 2nd Annual Art Show in The Gardens. The Deadline for artist applications is November 15, 2020. We are accepting application for artists in the 2D, 3D, Jewelry & Fine Crafts categories. You can apply at **or** receive event updates on our event page at: Sponsorship Opportunities are available. For more information contact Mark Barnes at or visit our website at



Profile for Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Gate - September 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 - September 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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