Summer has arrived, the heat is close to unbearable and on top of it, the rain is slow to start. Does anybody have any lawn left? I am starting to water more to keep my plants going. The presentation on Artemesias went very well, Marci outdid herself and presented many wonderful recipes. Another surprise was that everyone went home with a plant from the Artemesia family and we have to thank Tom Hewitt who grew them from seed for us. Everyone should know Tom or get to know him. He is the person to go to at the Mounts Guild/Nursery where I go and buy many plants for my garden. The Guild/Nursery also supplies The Garden of Well-Being (previously the Herb Garden) with plants. They are open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 am to noon for visits and purchases. Since they are located in the back of the garden at the Mounts, your walk back there will lead you by the Garden of Well-Being. You need to stop there as you will be amazed at the variety of plants and how great they look.
My Thursday mornings are the most enjoyable for me since
Our speaker this month is new to our group; it is Elisabeth Hoffman, a 2007 graduate of the Florida Master Naturalist Program offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Program. Born in northwest New Jersey, initially educated in Pennsylvania and Ohio, she married and settled in Boca Raton in 1968. Once established in the rapidly growing south Florida area, she developed an interest in maintaining and preserving Florida native ecosystems which has continued through the years. She has worked both professionally and voluntarily with the Nature Conservancy, the Everglades Coalition, Everglades Restoration, LEED-certified building programs, the Environmental Advisory Board for the City of Boca Raton, and the Palm Beach County Natural Areas Management Advisory Committee. In 2013 she completed the Biodiversity module at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, part of the Conservation Science topic in the Advanced Master Naturalist Program.
Elizabeth maintained a natural Florida landscape at her north Boca Raton home for over 30 years, using no irrigation for most of the plantings. She is particularly interested in sustainable lifestyles and community gardening, and very fond of butterfly gardens. She enjoys monthly hikes with other graduates of the Master Naturalist Program.
She currently volunteers as docent and landscape gardener for the butterfly garden at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, and leads groups of both adults and children on interpretive hikes through the property; you can find her there on Monday and Thursday mornings. She will be speaking at our Evening Herb Society on June 24th on how we can use native plants in our home landscapes.
An EHS friend and favorite speaker, extreme horticultural expert David McLean, 79, died in hospice on June 2nd, after a brief bout with cancer. David was last with us as the keynote speaker of Mounts “For the Love of Herb” day and the opening of the re-enhanced Herb Garden as the Garden of Well-Being in mid-February of this year. David was his usual twinkling, witty, incredibly full of all-herbal-knowledge self that day and he also gave proper attention to all the herb ‘n’ spice cookies we had that day. His loss is a deep shock to all of us. We will miss him so.
Evening Herb Society sends our deepest sympathy to his wife Penny and his sister-in-law. We like to think that David, although accompanied to his rest by flight of angels with wings of rosemary for remembrance, is still looking over his family, friends and students as he wears a halo of tropical medicinal herbs perched over his ponytail.
David sold his eclectic Trinity Churchside Garden nursery shortly before he died, and there is probably not a one of us who doesn’t cherish one of his plants, either from a nursery visit of from one of his lectures. His unusual tropicals and herbs sell-out at “For the Love of Herbs” day, satisfied a lot of lucky attendees.
A plant collector “who couldn’t help himself” and “plant nut of the first order,” says Penny McLean, whose vegetarian, delicious restaurant and The Annex is next to David’s old nursery. David taught plant identification and landscape design at Broward Community College for 40 years before recently retiring. He was the curator and introducer of many tropical herbs for the medicinal garden at Nova Southeastern University, a notable lecturer around our State and founded the BUSH Club (Better Understanding through the Study of Horticulture), that distributed untold numbers of unusual plants, and was, perhaps, his favorite project.
Our hearts and our thoughts are with David’s wife Penny. We’ll cherish our memories of David and we will think of him whenever we see or use or cultivate one of his plants. There will a celebration of his life, says Penny, later on this summer.
To offer condolences: Sun Sentinel.com/davidmclean.
The end of the month of April was very busy. First, the SPRING PLANT SALE, on April 26 and 27, was suddenly real and we got in high gear to prepare our booth for those two days. The herbs not only looked great but smelled even better. Our loyal volunteers were there as usual. Not only do we learn from each other, but we also have fun talking to the customers and getting the herb off the table into their hands. Thank you to Brenda Skaggs, who worked both days from the opening to the closing. I don’t know how you do it. Also thanks to Mary Wickensheimer, who not only helped at the sale, but shuttled plants back and forth. And the rest of the volunteers: Marci Green, Leslie Rigg, Kitty Phillips, Bernard Pages, Linda Spillane, Lee Laupus, K.C. Foster, Susan Colfels, Pam and Chuck Wilcox, Pam Chalker. Thank you for everyone bringing food to sustain us. The weather was great, but it was a hot two days and I was glad when it was over.
There was a surprise as we were able to bring