After a lecture on citrus diseases, we went back outside for our second tour of the day at the Discovery Garden, built and maintained by the master gardeners of neighboring St. Lucie County. In 2008, they received the state’s Award of Excellence out of more than 70 demonstration garden entries. The St. Lucie Garden is a beautiful visual display of horticultural information, maintained and refreshed by volunteers who mean business:
Behind this sign, we found the master gardener nursery, where 154 varieties of plants are being grown for the Spring Sale, held annually in May:
From there we entered the actual demo area:
On the other side of the arbor/trellis, passionflower vines were starting to bloom:
The garden is circular, with walkways fanning out from the center to its endpoints. No matter where you stand, you have a 360degree view of everything inside the fence:
and outside, too:
Along one of the walkways were several groupings of Torch Red Ember Gaillardias, free-flowering plants with large, interestingly formed blooms:
In this part of Florida, Gaillardias bloom throughout the year as do the Peach Allamandas we saw growing next to them:
“Yellow Tropical” is my absolute favorite Canna because it’s shorter than the typical red cultivars I’ve shown you before. I love the little salmon colored speckles on them, too! Definitely something I’ll be adding to the Ranchero soon, along with this next bromeliad:
I was so glad to see many of these Aechmea Little Harvs being cultivated for the plant sale! This great tropical epiphyte was first hybridized in 1978 and is hardier than you’d imagine–they do well in shade but unlike many bromeliads whose leaves “burn” in full sun, these merely blush pretty red like you see in the picture. They’ll also tolerate temps into the 40s and are slightly fragrant! Lots of positive attributes!
That pretty much ends the tour! We left with a ton of information, and a lot to study before we’re tested on Tuesday! Wish me luck!
Until next time……
- How the Ranchero got its name (smallhousebiggarden.wordpress.com)
- A Scratch on the Wall, Part 1 (smallhousebiggarden.wordpress.com)