Demonstration Gardens Installed at Franklin County Extension Office

Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer
James Hargrove

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UF/IFAS Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer James Hargrove

Every aspect of gardening can be educational and fun. The UF/IFAS Extension office in Franklin County was recently remodeled and reopened. However, until

Figure 1. Franklin County Extension Director Erik Lovestrand poses with Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers John Franklin, Helen Golgowski, and James Hargrove (L to R) the day the new raised beds were filled with garden soil.

now the Plant Clinics that are held there each Wednesday from 10 a.m. until noon have not had gardens to help educate the public about Florida Friendly Landscaping™ principles. The exceptions were the red salvia (Salvia coccinea), Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha), and marigolds (Tagetes erecta) planted along the walkways leading to the building.

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Figure 2. From left, Michelle Huber at left explains to Franklin County MGVs Doug Rauscher, Elizabeth Berkheiser and her son Sammy, Cathy Franklin and John Franklin (with hose) what she needs to help educate our clients.



In October, Franklin County Master Gardeners Ted Ruffner and John Franklin installed two 4’ x 4’ garden beds using Ted’s portable nail gun and donated lumber. Next several MGVs gathered to line the beds with landscape fabric and unload 22 bags of SOIL that was donated by Mark Willis of Apalachicola (never say dirt! Oops! Dr. Pat Williams, the MGV Coordinator never allowed us to use the “D” word in class). MGVs Becky Comyns and Helen Golgowski joined in what turned into a celebration because the Franklin County MGV team got news that it had been awarded a state-wide Master Gardener Legacy Grant to further education in the county.

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Figure 4. MGV Liz Berkheiser confers with MGVs John and Cathy Franklin about the newly seeded flower bed.
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Figure 3. MGV Doug Rauscher explains to 3 year-old helper Sammy Berkheiser how to nail the pins into the frame of the raised bed.

The final crew of MGVs included Cathy and John Franklin, Liz Berkheiser and her son, Sammy, Doug Rauscher and James Hargrove assembled to plant the beds using seeds that MGV Ted Ruffner provides to the Franklin County residents for free through the Extension Office in Apalachicola. Marigold seeds that Doug Rauscher harvested from plants along the walkway were planted in the corners of the beds. One bed was planted with spinach (Spinacia oleracea), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), and crookneck squash (Cucurbita moschata). The second bed was planted with butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), and zinnias (Zinnia elegans).

To misquote Albert Austin, “The glory of gardening is hands in the soil, head in the sun, heart with nature.” (He did not actually say, soil, he actually used the four letter “D” word!).

Please come visit us on Wednesday mornings so we can share our new planting beds with you and help you improve or establish your own.


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Posted: January 19, 2022

Category: Agriculture, Crops, Farm Management, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Fruits & Vegetables, HOME LANDSCAPES, Horticulture, Lawn, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Research, UF/IFAS Teaching
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