Florida Yards and Neighborhoods hosts annual plant sale and rain barrel workshop Saturday
As the summer season continues in Southwest Florida, year-long residents may be looking to their gardens, patios and courtyards for some mid-summer updates and alterations. Those with a green thumb will get plenty of inspiration during the annual Florida Yards and Neighborhoods plant sale and rain barrel workshop, taking place 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, at Rotary Park, 5505 Rose Garden Road.
“We’ll have two local vendors supplying numerous plants that day – Deep South Native Nursery and Hickory Hammock Native Nursery,” said Honey Phillips, senior recreation specialist of Rotary Park. “One brings mostly native plants, which is pretty rare, because you can’t just find them anywhere. She brings plants, trees and shrubs, as well as butterfly plants, host plants and flowers for the butterfly species. The other vendor doesn’t just bring natives, but edible plants, as well. So, he brings delicious plants that you can eat or fruits that can be grown, including some rare specimens, such as purple possum passion fruit; dwarf ever-bearing mulberry; lemongrass, Goji berry, and rootbeer plants.”
Peruse the rows of perennials and other green-thumb favorites, and if you’re unsure of what would work for your garden or home oasis, feel free to talk with any of the volunteers on site during the sale.
“We will have expert master gardeners and biologists on site, so anyone wanting to know about a certain species, or what would work for their yard, what to plant, where to plant how large it’s going to grow, they can chat with our experts anytime,” Phillips said. “The Cape Coral Garden Club will also be here handing out information and chatting with visitors.”
Phillips encourages those interested in attending the plant sale to attend early, as most leafy lovelies are plucked by noon or 1 that afternoon.
“Definitely come early – we have lots of regulars, and they know to come early for the best selection,” she said.
There is no cost to attend the plant sale.
Rain Barrel workshop
Also hosted by the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods committee, a rain barrel workshop will be offered the same day as the plant sale, from 9 a.m. to noon. During the workshop, guests will learn the importance of having a rain barrel(s) in your garden, and how easy they are to maintain and utilize.
“We’ll teach people how to install their rain barrels, and they’ll get one that day, made during the class by volunteers,” Phillips said. “They’re repurposed food-grade barrels, so they’re safe for vegetable gardens.”
Also during the class, students will learn how to install the barrels, and how to make them more appealing in their gardens. “They can paint them and make them a piece of art. Mine are painted like Mexican pottery,” Phillips said. “Anyone that’s a gardener who wants to water during the dry season, this is the perfect class for them.”
Even if you already have a rain barrel in your yard, many have two or more.
“And for those attending the workshop Saturday who would like to go home with more than one barrel, that’s possible, too,” Phillips said. “These classes are important to host because it shows people the importance of having rain barrels, which helps prevent run-off; capturing that rain water that can run off and flush fertilizers into ditches and canals. So, you’re helping with water quality. With the classes we have, we’re trying to teach people to be aware of what they run off ends up in the canals.”
The cost to participate in Saturday’s rain barrel workshop is $45, which includes your take-home rain barrel, and RSVPs are necessary prior to the Saturday morning event. Call 239-549-4606 to RSVP.
Florida Yards and Neighborhood plans to offer additional classes, courses and workshops throughout the next several months, from beginner to expert.
“We offer more in-depth classes like the Landscape Design Class, which is a two-day class,” Phillips said. “We also have the Florida Yards and Neighborhood Tour, taking you to other yards to gather ideas for your own, and at the end, you can become certified with a Florida Yards and Neighborhood Yard.”
Enjoy ongoing gardening classes and free wildlife seminars at Rotary Park, and Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife will begin again in September with guest speakers.
For more information regarding Florida Yards and Neighborhood classes or other home gardening classes, call Rotary Park, 239-549-4606 or visit CapeParks.com.