Edison, Ford estates receives wildflower grant
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers was recently selected as a recipient for a Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation.
It received $1,000 and was one of 11 sites awarded funds. The grant money will go toward expenses for designing and installing a new, Florida native wildflower garden that will surround the site’s apiary.
Goldenaster, yellowtops and tropical sage are among the wildflowers that will be planted to provide nectar and pollen for the honey bees and other pollinators. Garden talks, children’s programming and interpretive signs will provide opportunities for visitors to learn about the benefits of native plants.
“We are excited to add the native wildflowers to our gardens and look forward to teaching children and adults about the importance of planting natives,” Horticulture Director Debbie Hughes said. “We can show people how to plant wildflowers in their own yards to help pollinators and other wildlife.”
The first step in creating the wildflower garden is removing the grass and invasive weeds that exist in the location. Plastic has been spread on the ground to solarize the soil, which will kill the existing weed seedbank. Once the ground has been solarized, the plastic will be removed and then the new plants will be installed. The wildflowers will reseed in the garden and gradually completely fill in the space.
The Viva Florida grants provide funds to parks, nature centers and public places where native wildflowers and other natives will be showcased. The foundation works to protect and expand native habitats through education and conservation. It educates the public about the role native wildflowers serve in providing wildlife habitat, supporting pollinator, and decreasing air and water pollution.