Master Gardeners Earn State Awards

It's all smiles as these Master Gardeners earn state awards.
(L-R) Maggie Biggerstaff, Roger McDaniels, Linda Headley.

& Enhancement Award

recognized Master Gardeners who beautify and enhance their community through plantings. It is based on the creation of new plantings or modifying existing plantings which can be either exterior or interior landscapes. Because this beautification project places the right plant in the right place, It models UF/IFAS recommendations for watering, fertilizing, and maintenance.

“Beautiful Imaginings,” project at Dixie County Courthouse perfectly pairs science and art. Seven raised beds are planted and maintained using knowledge gained as a Nature Coast Master Gardener (NCMG), and skills honed through trial and error. June 2016 courthouse survey yielded startling results. 100% respondents enjoyed the gardens. 50% have made changes in their garden as a result of the project. 30% had questions generated by seeing the project. 10% have contacted UF/IFAS Extension for information.

“Thanks for making it [Courthouse] more attractive to visitors.”

In addition to showcasing Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) principles, the garden complements the Florida Yards and Neighborhood program. Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy county residents may receive UF horticulture recommendations specific to their home landscapes. While there is no charge for this service, site visits are on first call basis.


Water lettuce covered the surface of Sue's Sink.
Spiders were frequently found on the water lettuce. This was surprising and somewhat alarming.

Outstanding Master Gardener Team Award

recognizes Master Gardeners who foster cooperation, collaboration and open communication to achieve a specific goal in the Master Gardener horticulture program and/or the gardening community. Teams exhibit one or more of the following:
 Work effectively as part of a team to accomplish a task or meet a goal
 Create a team environment that promotes communication, trust, cooperation, and respect for differences
 Contribute to a group effort which has significant impact on Master Gardener program goals
 Builds collaborative relationships across different groups to define and solve problems and achieve specific goals.

“Enhancing Natives in the Nature Coast” to solve coastal, inland and freshwater invasive plant issues through identification, education and control. Three species were targeted. Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) , air potato vine (Dioscorea bulbifera) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) found in coastal, inland and freshwater sites respectively.

Two more 'lettuce harvest' were needed before surface was clear.
At the end of day one.

Likewise, NCMG’s fostered cooperation and collaboration between federal, state and local governments. We worked closely with UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants whose mission is to develop and disseminate strategies for addressing the impact of invasive plants, and civic groups in Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties. Plant diversity, large geographic area and aggressive growth tendency required multiple groups and agency involvement. As a result, we experienced a 40, 90 and 70% reduction respectively of Brazilian Pepper-tree, water lettuce and air potato in those sites. Consequently, there is space for Florida’s native flora and fauna.

Science Behind Weed Control
Take the OUCH! Out of Sandspur

Did You Know??
Effectiveness – 84% Clients who had an opportunity to use the information received, and…

87% said it solved their problem or answered their question.
( Levy County, 2016 survey)


Posted: October 24, 2017

Category: Home Landscapes
Tags: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Invasive Plants, Master Gardener, Water Lettuce

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