Of gardeners' interest


Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Gainesville Garden Club: The board of directors for the Gainesville Garden Club meets Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the Gainesville Garden Center.

Coffee will be served by hostess circles Jasmine and Mimosa at 9:15.

Circles meet Jan. 24.

Arbor Day program: The Four Seasons Garden Club will celebrate Florida's Arbor Day on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Thomas Center Gardens, 302 NE 6th Ave.

An oak tree will be planted under the supervision of city arborist Meg Niederhofer, who evaluates the health of existing trees in the gardens and recommends replacements when needed. The Four Seasons Garden Club was recognized with an Arbor Day Proclamation Monday night at the City Commission meeting when the City of Gainesville recognized the club for its efforts to beautify Gainesville.

After the Arbor Day Celebration, the club members and all guests will adjourn to the Long Gallery for a program on Champion Trees in Florida with Dave Conser of the Florida Department of Forestry.

Visitors are welcome to both the tree-planting ceremony and the lecture at the Thomas Center. Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion.

High Springs' Arbor Day: A Florida Arbor Day and Martin Luther King Celebration will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Catherine Taylor Park, 210 SE Douglas St., in High Springs.

High Springs Farmers Market vendors will be on site with fresh produce, plants and trees for sale. A second High Springs Community Garden project site is located across the street from the park and will be available for preview. The City of High Springs Tree Board will sponsor a Tree Identification Walk, Plant-a-Seed workshop for kids, slash pine seedling giveaway, and provide Master Gardener, arborist and forestry experts. Nominations for "Scenic Lane of the Year" may also be submitted at the event.

The event will also feature food and family entertainment. Non-food vendor spaces are still available for this event. For more information, please call (386) 454-3950.

Camellias: The Gainesville Camellia Society meets Sunday at 2 p.m. in Summer House, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Charles Nichols will present a program on grafting.

Visitors are welcome.

Herbs: Upcoming events at Maggie's Herb Farm include:

Saturday - Making salves, lotions, and ointments, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; includes a European lunch. Bring one 6-ounce glass jar and three one-ounce glass jars. $40 fee, instructor Marge Powell.

Jan. 26 - Building hypertufa planters, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wear your old clothes and learn to make containers that plants thrive in. You will leave with several completed works, directions, molds and coloring material. All supplies included; snacks and drinks provided. $95, must be preregistered one week prior, limit 10 people, instructor Melanie Palmrose.

Feb. 2 - Cooking with herbs; 10 a.m. to noon. A demonstration on preparing simple herb oils, vinegars, spice mixes, pesto, herbal bread and butters. General instruction on cooking with herbs. Recipes included. Come and pick your own fresh salad and herbs from the garden. $30, instructor James Steele.

Feb. 3 - Cooking with herbal vinegars, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We will make a delicious lunch using herbal vinegars and all make two bottles of vinegar with recipes to take home. Bring two 8-ounce glass bottles. $45, instructor Marge Powell.

Feb. 9 - Soap making, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes European lunch. You will make two different soaps and learn to use lye to generate effects with natural ingredients and herbs. Bring at least one 4-ounce plastic container for your soap. The container is non reusable once it has been used for soap. $40, instructor Marge Powell.

March 1 - Cooking with herbs, herbal feast, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This hands-on workshop prepares a lunch using fresh herbs you pick from the garden at the farm and herb-infused wines. You will get a tray of herb plants and detailed recipes using your plants. $50, instructor Marge Powell.

May 10 - Annual Spring Farm Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors will be on hand with herb and butterfly plants, homemade herb foods, herbal crafts, handmade soaps, dried herbs, birdhouses, medicinal herbalists and local pottery.

Preregistration required for all classes two weeks prior. Call (904) 829-0722

Maggie's Herb Farm is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 11400 CR 13 North, along the St. Johns River between CR 214 and CR 208, west of St. Augustine.

Free trees: Tree seedlings will be given away by the Bradford County Forester at the Bradford Farmers Market Jan. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon. Florida celebrates Arbor Day in January (the 18th this year) because it's the best time of year to plant trees here.

Meet Bradford Forester Nicole Howard under the big yellow umbrella and pick up free trees (while they last) and free information on how to plant and care for them.

The market is on the grounds of the Bradford Health Department on U.S. 301, next to Bill Adams Chevrolet. Visit www.BradfordFarmersMarket.com or call the Howard at (904) 964-2461 for more information.

Trees for books: Florida Book Store and Volume II, the off-campus college bookstore serving the students of University of Florida, is at 70 percent of its goal to be able to plant 100,000 trees. Together with other college bookstores across the country, they are partnering with The Arbor Day Foundation to donate a portion of each transaction that includes a used textbook.

The "Buy a Book, Build a Forest" campaign will continue through February.

Air potato roundup: The City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Nature Operations Division, is seeking volunteers to participate in the ninth annual Great Air Potato Roundup Jan. 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.

The event is being held during Invasive Plant Awareness Week and is sponsored by G.E.A.R. (Gainesville's Ecosystems At Risk) and the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FEPPC). Last year, nearly 1,200 volunteers collected more than nine tons of air potatoes and other invasive plants from 30 natural areas and neighborhoods.

Following the roundup a celebration festival will be held at Morningside Nature Center with food, live entertainment, guest speakers and a drawing for great prizes. Awards will be given for the largest and the most unusual potato.

To volunteer, call 334-3326 or register online at www.natureoperations.org.

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