Scenes from the Botanic Garden – May 2020

Food-growing season winds down, but our Garden Ambassador volunteers continue to work hard on  making the Botanic Garden a beautiful oasis.

Community Garden Happenings

Nancy Sanders from the Community Garden leadership team reports: “Many gardeners are closing up and getting ready for the hot summer. Some “Green Thumb” gardeners are still growing a few veggies and a lot of beautiful flowers.”

Rasied bed in the Lakes Park Community Garden is "put to sleep" for the summer

Some gardeners choose to put their beds “to sleep” for the hot summer months.

 

Black swallowtail caterpillar enjoys a parsley snack in the Lakes Park Community Garden

This little guy will grow up to be a black swallowtail butterfly – they LOVE parsley!

 

 

Beautiful flowers can replace vegetables in the Community Garden at this time of year.

Beautiful flowers can replace vegetables in the Community Garden at this time of year.

 

Eggplants growing in the Lakes Park Community Garden

Golden-colored eggplants bring color to the Community Garden.

 

We donate excess produce to the Community Cooperative soup kitchen in Fort Myers

We donate excess produce to the Community Cooperative soup kitchen in Fort Myers

 

In a few weeks, we will start the process of formally reaching out to our current Community Garden members to inquire about their plans for renewal. The new season will begin October 1st, 2020 and end on September 30th, 2021. We will know more about which beds will become available at that time.

To find out more about the Community Garden and get yourself on the notification list for available beds, click here.


Children’s Garden – Goodbye, Grand Old Elm Tree

Arborists prepare to take down the grand old elm in the Children's Garden

Arborists prepare to take down the grand old elm in the Children’s Garden

For some time now, we have all suspected that our beautiful, grand old elm has been unwell. This tree has brought shade to the Children’s Garden for many years. We’ve picnicked beneath its branches, birds have nested in its boughs, and squirrels have frolicked and chased one another around its trunk. Unfortunately, the grand old elm had not shown signs of life for a few seasons. For everyone’s safety, it was best to take it down.

A bucket truck begins the sad task of taking down the grand old elm tree in the Children's Garden at Lakes Park

A bucket truck begins the sad task of taking down the grand old elm tree in the Children’s Garden at Lakes Park

Machinery was brought in, and expertly maneuvered around plants, statuary, and other trees. Bit by bit, the grand old elm was taken down and carted away.

After the sad farewell, Parks & Rec began to chip the wood and discovered signs that the tree had been struck by lightning. This is why the tree died so quickly, without any signs of disease. Farewell, grand old elm tree – we shall miss you! 

Fragrance Garden Goings-On

The Lakes Park Botanic  Garden continues to enjoy the efforts of the BEST team of volunteers ever!

Kathy Busick tells us, “The trellis in the back of the Fragrance Garden holding the Queen’s Wreath was starting to lean, and it was determined that the bottom of the upright sections were rotted.”

Volunteers work to replace the trellis in the Fragrance Garden

Volunteers work to replace the trellis in the Fragrance Garden

 

Waiting for the new post bases to cure.

The Queen’s Wreath has a new support system – hooray Lakes Park Garden Ambassadors! 

“The team came up with a plan and now that trellis should be good for many years to come.  The same crew also tackled the leaky sink near the sheds so we can once again use it without getting a shower.”

Jewels from the Botanic Garden

Here are a few little gems that are currently growing in our gardens –

 

Prickly pear cactus with a yellow bloom growing in the succulent section of the Lakes Park Botanic Garden

Prickly pear cactus with a yellow bloom growing in the succulent section of the Lakes Park Botanic Garden

 

Delicately mauve-colored rain lily, found growing in the Lakes Park Botanic Garden

Delicately mauve-colored rain lily

 

A tiny Madagascar palm has produced new foliage in the Lakes Park Botanic Garden

Madagascar palm growing in the Lakes Park Botanic Garden. This plant is actually a succulent!

Kathy and Paula are working on plant labeling. They’re having a lot of  fun  trying to figure out what everything actually is! Paula continues to propagate new plants for the gardens and for plant sales from samples she gathers from here, there, and everywhere. The rest of the volunteers who remained in town for the summer continue to work hard together, and their efforts are evident. Kathy says, “Even with high heat and humidity as well as nasty mosquitos, they always show up with a smile on their faces. We leave sweaty, dirty and bug-bitten, but with the knowledge that we accomplished something positive in the Botanic Garden.”