NCBG FL Native Demo
The Florida Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the Nature Coast Botanical Garden
In 2006 the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s awarded a $5000 Community Education Grant to the Spring Hill Garden Club for the “Florida Native Plant Garden” project.
The Florida Native Plant Demonstration Garden dominates the North East corner of the 3.5-acre gardens section of the property. A paved, wheelchair-accessible trail loops through the property as a whole; visitors tend to walk the entirety, meaning all visitors are likely to encounter the Native Plant garden at least once. The Native Plant demonstration area is large, and features an unpaved loop trail (mulched) leading to a bridge over a small pond. This spot is very popular with professional photographers, as well as amateurs capturing family portraits. The maintained section of Florida Native Plant Garden is approximately 60 feet x 60 feet, a little less than an acre total.
In 2012 the Hernando Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society took on a labor of love: renovating and expanding the native plant garden. Since that time the Chapter and Spring Hill Garden Club volunteers have been selectively removing trees to open the canopy and improve conditions for native forbs and shrubs. Garden light conditions range from shade in the wetlands, hammock area to partial and full sun in the new planting areas.
Viva Florida Planting Grant - 2018 to 2021
There were three specific planting sites with individual goals for planting as relates to this grant program. These include (1) enhancing the existing Sandhill demonstration planting, (2) introducing a variety of wildflowers to the Florida Native Plant Species demonstration area adjacent to the paved walkway, and (3) adding select species to a newly cleared, soon to be prepared area along the back loop trail adjoining the fenceline. Interpretative signs were installed in conjunction with the grant program.
Reaching Out from 2021 to the Present
"Wings in the Garden" was an October event designed to provide the visiting public exposure to the different concepts at home in the garden: support for pollinators and other wildlife, control of invasive plant species, the importance of fire to the sandhill and more. We scheduled the event for 3 years, and although we were unable to draw a crowd, we were able to clarify our messaging about the garden.