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Yards & gardens basics class offered tonight

By Staff | Jul 20, 2017

Everyone loves having a peaceful, well-manicured yard; one to look over while holding a cup of coffee thinking of what you’re going to do that day. But, there’s a lot of work involved when it comes to maintaining your plant life – and letting it beautifully blossom and bud.

To help residents along the path of what’s good to plant and what’s not, Florida Yards and Neighborhoods will host an introductory class today, July 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Rotary Park, 5505 Rose Garden Road, free and open to anyone who would like to join.

“The introductory class is to teach residents about the nine principles of the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program, and sustainable landscaping methods suitable for our Florida climate,” said Honey Phillips, senior recreation specialist of Rotary Park. “It’s a great class for new residents to the area, those thinking of re-landscaping their yard, and for those who just don’t know the importance of these nine principles.”

Those principles include planting the right plant in the right place; soil conditions and the type of soil to use; and water efficiency.

Master gardner and environmental biologist Kraig Hankins will be the special guest speaker and help teach students the difference between native and non-native plants.

“The class is open to everyone, and it’s amazing how many residents just don’t know the difference between native plants and non-native. I’ve even had Realtors claim the landscaping in some yards are native, when in fact, they’re not. This is a great class to come by and learn all about that,” Phillips said.

Students are encouraged to speak with the master gardener on their own yards and plant needs.

“Just in time for our annual native plant sale the following week, they can speak with Kraig about their own yard for a good idea on what to get that day,” Phillips said. “And even if you can’t make it to the class Friday, come to the annual plant sale the following weekend, where you can speak with master gardeners on site about what you need for your own yard then.”

Although not required for this course, RSVPs to the tonight’s introductory class are preferred so organizers can get an estimate of expected attendance. Call 239-549-4606.

Summer Plant Sale and Rain Barrel Workshop

The Florida Yards and Neighborhood will host a summer plant sale and rain barrel workshop next weekend, Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the plant sale and 9 a.m. to noon for the rain barrel workshop.

Two vendors will be on site that day offering a beautiful selection of native plants and edibles, but those with a green thumb are encouraged to come early, as plants are picked over – if there are any left – by the time the sale concludes that afternoon.

RSVPs are imperative for those planning to attend the rain barrel workshop. The cost to participate is $45, which includes a rain barrel to take home. Additional barrels can be purchased, as well. Call 239-549-4606 to RSVP.