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The UF/IFAS Florida Master Gardener Volunteer program is now on the University of Florida IFAS Extension’s internal blog (http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/global/).

You’ll find Master Gardener Volunteer information and more at the UF/IFAS CLUE blog. The MGV program is a part of the UF/IFAS Center for Land Use Efficiency (CLUE). The center brings UF/IFAS agricultural and urban Best Management Practices (BMP) programs together. For more information about CLUE, please visit: https://clue.ifas.ufl.edu/

For the Neighborhood Gardener newsletter, you can always find all issues on the Master Gardener Volunteer website: https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/mastergardener/newsletter/

Or have it come to your inbox by subscribing directly to the Neighborhood Gardener via Constant Contact!

Thanks for reading — we hope you join us on our new platform!

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The Neighborhood Gardener – April 2020

April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. Volunteer Month recognizes and promotes the spirit of service, and raises awareness about how volunteering changes lives and strengthens communities. Learn more about our volunteers.

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Green edible kale and colorful ornamental coleusFoodscaping: Creating an Edible Landscape — Many gardeners live for blooming flowers and stately shrubs. Others prefer rows of juicy vegetables and fruit trees. Some gardeners bring both to their landscape. But how often do you see ornamentals and edibles growing in the same bed? Enter: foodscaping, the perfect marriage of form and function for your garden. It’s a growing trend in gardening, an easy entry point for edibles, and a fresh challenge for veteran vegetable growers.
Photo: Edible kale and ornamental coleus, courtesy of Brie Arthur.

Cover of the book Foodscape Revolution by Brie ArthurJoin Our New Book Club – We are excited to announce the beginning of the Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Book Club! In these unprecedented times, many of us are faced with more free time and fewer diversions than we might like. Whether you’re interested in home food production, or just looking for a new way to connect, you’re invited to join us for a community reading of “The Foodscape Revolution” by Brie Arthur. We’re looking forward to continuing in growing together, as communities and as a statewide program.

Blueberries on the bushWebinars to Keep You Growing — For many volunteers and other friends of our program, continuing education is a high priority. In unprecedented seasons of life, a gardener may find themselves stuck inside and searching for a new source of engagement. Here at the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, we support lifelong learning. If a move, illness, or change in lifestyle leaves you with a new normal, don’t let it stop you from expanding your horizons. Whether or not you’re a volunteer, this spring we’re inviting you to enjoy our archive of garden-related webinars.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — When I am stressed and can’t shake the worries of the world, I head to the garden, or my landscape. The urge to work the soil, to plant and tend is not something I want to do, it is simply what I must do. Based on the requests of Floridians contacting their Extension offices for gardening advice, I am not the only one who is being drawn to garden. These isolating times have people thinking about a better way. The reality is you can grow food in your yard.

Lavender flowers of agapanthusPlant of the Month: Agapanthus — This summer-flowering bulb is ideal for Southern gardens in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. Depending on the cultivar, the flowers may be blue, lavender, purple, or even white. Don’t let its delicate flowers deceive you; it’s a deceptively tough plant. Native to South Africa, agapanthus performs well in partial shade or full sun, drought, and even our sandy loam soil. For the best blooms, however, plant in full sun and moist, amended soil. These blooms are perfect for highly visible spaces in a landscape.

Tomatoes on the vineApril in Your Garden — Heat-loving annuals like colorful coleus are good plants for April, as are bulbs like cannas and daylily. Divide clumps of bulbs, ornamental grasses, or herbaceous perennials to expand or rejuvenate garden beds or to pass along to friends. In the vegetable garden, it’s time for warm-season edibles like sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

Read the full April issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

[Stay safe, gardeners! Get reliable information on COVID-19 from the Florida Department of Health]

The Neighborhood Gardener – February 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day, gardeners!

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

White planter containing several different foliage plantsIndoor Gardening — For green thumbs living in apartments, traditional gardening may be impossible. Thankfully, the houseplant trend is back! And for “plant parents” looking for something new, creating an indoor garden can be a fun challenge. An indoor garden is a contained, garden-like landscape created from houseplants. They thrive year-round in the climate-controlled environment inside your home. In this article, you will learn how to build your own indoor garden. But before you begin, carefully consider which plants belong together. No matter how beautiful they look, not all plants are compatible.

Smiling woman holding a plaque with happy people around her2019 Awards of Excellence Winners – On October 20-23, 2019, Master Gardener Volunteers from all over Florida gathered in Kissimmee for advanced training and networking at the 36th Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Continued Training Conference. A number of them left the conference with an Award of Excellence. These Master Gardener Volunteers have accomplished spectacular projects, from building a butterfly garden to leading landscape design classes.

Pale green orchid flower of vanilla plantVanilla in Florida? Yes! — Vanilla is native to the Americas, but today the source of this familiar flavor is exotic. Today, Madagascar and Indonesia produce most of our planet’s authentic vanilla. There, growers cut, cure, and ship the beans around the world. The cost of shipping is part of what makes this edible so expensive. This does not mean that vanilla must be left to the pros, however. South Florida’s hot and humid weather is perfect for orchids.
(Photo: the flower of Vanilla planifolia. Credit: Alan Chambers, UF/IFAS.)

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — In February we think of love and passion when we see Valentine’s Day on the calendar. When I think of valentines, I think about all the passionate gardeners I know. Passion can be thought of in two ways — harmonious passion is when people do something because they love it in a controllable and manageable way and it has a positive outcome. Obsessive passion is when people have an uncontrollable urge to participate in an activity and the outcome might not be favorable. Most of the gardeners I know walk this edge of harmonious passion and obsessive passion when it comes to the plants they favor.

A mass of hot pink bougainvilla flowers which technically are called bractsPlant of the Month: Bougainvillea — This tropical, vining shrub comes in a pallet of bright pinks, purples, oranges, and yellows. It thrives in arid, sunny climates; the more sun, the better! Bougainvillea can be trained into a stand-alone shrub or allowed to grow naturally as a vine. It will climb fences, stairs, and even small trees, adding a splash of color to your landscape. This article also answers the pressing question, “Why won’t my bougainvillea bloom?”

Dark pink rose with many tightly packed petalsFebruary in Your Garden — Prune roses this month to remove damaged canes and improve the overall form. After pruning, you can fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch. Blooming will begin 8–9 weeks after pruning. Now’s the time to plant watermelon, plus many other edibles. Annuals to plant now in North and Central Florida gardens include dianthus and pansies, while South Florida gardeners can plant impatiens, verbena, strawflower, and lobelia.

Read the full February issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

[Header photo: Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) at the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, Seminole County, FL, February 2017. Photo by Mary Keim, licensed under Creative Commons, cc-by-nc-sa.]

The Neighborhood Gardener – January 2020

Happy New Year, gardeners!

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Green broccoli floretCole Crop Confusion — In Florida, January is cole crop season. These cold-hearty plants are some of the most familiar in our gardens and grocery stores. But did you know that kale, collards, kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all considered one species? There is a lot more to these classic crops than meets the eye.

White container with the word compost on it, sitting on a cutting board with color vegetablesComposting – This year’s gardening trends include sustainability, minimizing waste, and bringing together communities. Composting falls happily in the center of these three goals. But for gardeners with less time, energy, or yard than they’d like, backyard composting is impractical. Thankfully several alternatives to traditional composting exist. Whether you live on acres or in an apartment there is a composting method to fit your needs. Some approaches are so sanitary that they can even operate inside your home!

People standing in a vegetable gardenMaster Gardener Volunteer Legacy Award — The 2019 recipients of the Legacy Fund Award Grant are the UF/IFAS Broward County Master Gardener Volunteers, for their demonstration vegetable garden showing homeowners how to grow edibles in their yards and community spaces. They plan to use the award funds to expand the demonstration garden to include alternate growing methodologies for small or “difficult to plant” spaces, like patios or rocky soil. The Master Gardener Legacy Fund was created to provide financial support to Master Gardener programs throughout Florida.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — I have been thinking about that Benjamin Franklin quote, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Nowadays, when I ask an expert about the name of a plant or other horticulture fact, if I don’t write it down I forget. My plant brain used to be a vault of plant facts, now if it I don’t jot it down on paper or put it in my phone it is gone. I am going to work on this for 2020.

Bulbous, light green kohlrabi growing in soilPlant of the Month: Kohlrabi — Kohlrabi is a plant that is not just new to the U.S., it’s new to the planet. This strange, sputnik-shaped vegetable has no historical record before 1554 AD. It was uncommon in this country until the 1880s and was rarely grown in the South. Recently, however, its popularity has skyrocketed. Once rare, this versatile vegetable is now stocked in most supermarkets. And with fewer than sixty days from sowing to harvest, you should stock your garden, too.

Woman planting small tree in the groundJanuary in Your Garden — Winter is a great time to plant bulbs like crinum and agapanthus. You can prune shrubs and trees, but not those that flower in the spring. Florida Arbor Day is the third Friday in January; celebrate by planting a tree. Contact your county Extension office for species recommended in your area.

Read the full January issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

The Neighborhood Gardener – May 2019

Sun rising over a lake which reflects the oranges and pinks of the sunrise

May means lots of plant sales and festivals – happy gardening!

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

An retention pond with lilypads and grasses, in front of a line of McMansionsProtecting Florida’s Water – The Earth is covered with water, but despite its abundance this resource is limited. In a state with so much access to water, it is easy to understand why we must all do our part to protect this vital resource. Gardeners can help protect and preserve the waters of Florida in many ways. Read on for more about preserving our water resources in Florida and some of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles that address protecting water in the state.

A tiny fig leaf budding from the tree with sun shining through itWhat Can Your Plants Do for You? – Have you ever sat and considered what your plants are doing for you? Plants can be used in a number of ways; they can provide you with fresh food, beautiful scenery, lovely aromas, and much more. Factoring in how a plant will be used when designing your garden will create a more functional, energy-efficient landscape. We list some of the functions plants can serve and how to pick the right ones to fulfill all your landscape needs.

A brightly colored hibiscus with orange, yellow, and red in the petalsHibiscus — Hibiscus evokes an image of a vivid tropical paradise, with flowers that come in a rainbow of colors. Tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is what’s commonly seen in garden centers and landscapes. However, there are about 35 species of native hibiscus, also called rosemallows, in the United States. One hibiscus native to Florida, Hibiscus coccineus, is also known as the scarlet rosemallow, marsh hibiscus, or swamp mallow.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — When you think of Sarasota you think of the beautiful beaches and lush tropical landscaping. Please also think of the amazing 150 Master Gardener Volunteers there that share their passion of tropical landscaping, edible gardening and community outreach with the residents of Sarasota County. The MGV group is led by Dr. Pat Williams and they are headquartered at the UF/IFAS Sarasota Extension Office off of Clark road. They were recently recognized by the Sarasota County commissioners for their impact in the community.

Tropical looking plant with long strappy leavesPlant of the Month: Bird’s Nest Fern — Bird’s nest fern can be grown indoors or outside. Large, stemless, bright-green fronds slowly uncurl from the center of this plant giving it a nest-like appearance. Native to tropical Asia, bird’s nest fern thrives in Florida’s humid climate in zones 9 to 11; plants in zone 9 will need freeze protection. Plant it in an area with partial to full shade and rich soil. This epiphyte makes a lush addition to the landscape, where it can shine as a specimen or a container plant, or indoors as a houseplant.

Plant with small new flowers on it after being deadheadedDeadheading: Not as Scary as it Sounds — Keeping your flowers looking fresh can help you be sure your landscape is looking its best. Deadheading can make a huge difference in your landscape with a minimal effort, something any gardener could rejoice over. Matt Orwat, Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County explains the basics of deadheading. (Photo of coneflower, Matt Orwatt UF/IFAS Extension)

Deep purple torenia flowerMay in Your Garden — Summer is coming, and if you’re adding plants to your landscape be sure they can take the heat. Coleus, salvia, torenia, wax begonia, and ornamental peppers are a few of the ornamentals that can handle the high temperatures in South Florida. For heat-loving herbs, try basil, oregano, Mexican tarragon, or rosemary.

Read the full May issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

The Neighborhood Gardener – April 2019

Earth Day is Monday, April 22. Happy spring, gardeners!

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

The smiling face of Daisy Thompson, a 36-year volunteerForty Years of Memories – April is National Volunteer Month, and as we continue to celebrate 40 years of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, we’ve chosen to highlight five long-serving volunteers from around the state. Between these five there is more than a century of volunteer experience! Read more about these wonderful volunteers, all the work they have done, and their favorite Master Gardener Volunteer memories.

A white clover flower with a tiny beePollinator Cover Crops – Cover crops can really make a difference in the quality of the soil in your edible garden. They have the potential to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil, supply nitrogen, reduce leaching of nutrients and pesticides, reduce erosion, mitigate damage from plant pests and/or reduce their population densities, and attract beneficial insects. It’s that last benefit—attracting beneficial insects—that many gardeners choose to focus on. Learn about cover crops that pollinators love to visit, like buckwheat, clover, vetch, and lupin.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — April is national volunteer’s month and this week in April is volunteer’s week. This provides me with the platform to stand up and proclaim that the Florida Master Gardener Volunteers are doing amazing volunteer work. Volunteering has its benefits to the person who gives back, too. Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health. In fact, the more you volunteer the happier you are. We know that Master Gardener Volunteers are life-long learners and continuing their education is one of the biggest benefits that Florida MGVs enjoy.

Small red cone with tiny yellow flower emerging from its sidePlant of the Month: Spiral Gingers — Gingers are typically low-maintenance plants with attractive foliage and long-lasting, colorful blooms that make great cut flowers. Plants in the Costus genus are often referred to as spiral gingers although the family (Costaceae) has been segregated from the true gingers (Zingiberaceae). Flower appearance with spiral gingers can vary; some form a rigid tube that is usually red to yellow in color, or they can be more open and spreading, in colors from white to pale pink. Learn more about this plant that adds a splash of tropical color to the Florida garden.

Posterboard display with the words Power to Pollinators on itGirl Scout Wins Gold with Pollinator Plan — The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Emily Mayo with Troop 673 in Fort Myers is being recognized with the Gold Award for a project close to the hearts of many gardeners — advocating the importance of pollinators. She developed a lesson plan called “Power to Pollinators,” with help from UF/IFAS Extension Collier County and their Master Gardener volunteers.

A coleus plant with dark red foliageApril in Your Garden — April is the time to plant heat-tolerant annuals like coleus, while continuing to plant warm season edibles like sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Southern peas, and beans.

Read the full April issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

The Neighborhood Gardener – March 2019

Spring is right around the corner, gardeners! (The first official day of Spring is March 20th.)

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Pine straw mulch with bright green leaves of a plant peeking into the frameMulch Madness – Mulch is a magnificent addition to any landscape; it helps planting beds conserve moisture while also providing a beautiful texture and a bit of weed barrier. With so many types of mulch, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which to choose. We help you decide which mulch is best—and which mulches may not be good—for your landscape. Learn which mulch is best to fill in your garden brackets.

A head of cabbage still in the groundCabbage – Did you know that St. Johns County leads the state in production of cabbage? Farmers call their busiest production time right before the holiday the “St. Paddy’s Day Push”! While it isn’t a good time for planting cabbage in Florida, it’s a great time for harvesting it in your garden or finding it freshly harvested from Florida farmers. Learn more about this vegetable so closely associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer program is celebrating 40 years of service in 2019 and I will be highlighting several long-serving counties in this column. Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast is home to Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and the UF/IFAS Brevard County Master Gardener Volunteers. Brevard is one of the original three counties that started their Master Gardener Volunteer program in 1979.

Three small white pinwheel-shaped flowersPlant of the Month: Crepe Jasmine — Crepe jasmine has abundant white flowers that are shaped much like a pinwheel. The flowers are particularly prominent in the warmer months of the year, but they stand out against the dark green, glossy evergreen leaves in any season. Forming a moderately dense, rounded, evergreen shrub that flowers even in filtered shade, this plant is a great addition to many gardens. Crepe jasmine plants thrive in Zones 9B to 11.

Sandhill crane's head and long curved neckFlorida Snowbirds — Quite a few birds can be seen migrating through Florida, and some even call our state home for the winter. While the term “snowbirds” can have more than one meaning, we’re referring to the feathered friends who flock to the state to enjoy a little warmth in the winter. Learn more about migratory birds who overwinter in Florida: sandhill cranes, cedar waxwings, and American robins.

Striped watermelon in the fieldMarch in Your Garden — North Florida gardeners are still experiencing winter, so hold off on planting those summer annuals just yet. Bulbs can be planted this month. In Central Florida, you can start replacing those declining winter plants with angelonia and gazania. Gardeners throughout the state can plant beans, squash, corn, and watermelon.

Read the full March issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

The Neighborhood Gardener – February 2019

Happy birthday…to us! The Florida Master Gardener program turns 40 this year.

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Banana shrub flower is creamy white with waxy petalsGardening for Fragrance – Floral and herbal scents have been distilled and enjoyed indoors for centuries, and they can be equally delighting in the garden. Scent is one of the strongest human senses, and fragrant plants can add a new dimension to your landscape. With thoughtful planning and design, it’s not hard to create a pleasant fragrance garden. We have some plant suggestions for adding fragrance to your landscape.

Crabgrass uprooted and on concreteCrabgrass – As winter stretches on, you may find yourself with brown lawn areas that you swear were healthy green turf a few months ago. If so, the culprit is likely crabgrass. An important part of preventing crabgrass and other weeds from taking over your lawn is maintaining healthy turf. Unfortunately, once crabgrass has germinated and begins to grow, there are very few or no herbicides available to homeowners or commercial applicators that can kill it without harming most types of turfgrass grown in Florida.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer program is celebrating 40 years of service in 2019 and I will be highlighting several long-serving counties in this column. The UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Master Gardener program was started in 1980 by the beloved Dr. Sydney Park Brown, and has been going strong ever since. More than 100 active Master Gardeners in Hillsborough County have created a beautiful demonstration garden, introduced thousands of children to agriculture, and so much more.

Frilly green parsley leafPlant of the Month: Parsley — Parsley is a bright green, versatile herb that looks good growing and tastes good too. Parsley contains vitamins A, C, and K as well as several B vitamins, calcium, and iron. You don’t need much space to grow parsley; it even grows well in containers. One idea would be to grow it in a container with other herbs. And here’s a fun fact you may not know about this herb — it’s a host plant for caterpillars of the black swallowtail butterfly.

Green palm frondPalm Leaf Morphology — Palms are an iconic Florida plant, and there are many species and varieties of these tropical emblems. As you admire these trees and shrubs, have you ever wanted to know the difference between the types of palm leaves? Learn more about pinnate, palmate, and costapalmate leaves.

Red rose blossomFebruary in Your Garden — Prune roses this month to remove damaged canes and improve the overall form. After pruning, fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch. Blooming will begin 8–9 weeks after pruning. Plant winter annuals like dianthus and verbena. Many bulbs can be planted now as well, like agapanthus and crinum. Continue planting cool-season vegetables, including potatoes.

Read the full February issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

The Neighborhood Gardener – January 2019

White frangipani blooms this month in South Florida

Happy New Year, gardeners!

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

pink and white turnip emerging from soilTurnip the Fun in Your Garden – Turnips are quick-growing, cool weather vegetables that are very nutritious. Some turnip varieties produce delicious roots, while others produce delightful greens. If you are hoping to start your new year off on a sustainable note, you can cultivate one of the turnip varieties that produces both enjoyable roots and greens, cutting down on vegetable waste. However you eat them, turnips are a great way to “turn up” the fun in your garden.

White flowerNighttime Gardens – Gardening for the day is common. Deliberately gardening for the night can take a little reframing, but is well worth it. White and silver plants can really shine in the moonlight. Some flowers are only fragrant at night, adding another sensory dimension to your evening garden experience. The final element to bring your nighttime garden together is the lighting; whether you consult a professional or carefully string your own fairy lights, additional illumination is an important part of making your night garden glow.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy WilberWendy’s Wanderings — What does a Mississippi paddleboat have to do with one of the most successful horticulture programs in Florida? Many Master Gardener Volunteers know that the MG program began in Florida in 1979, but they might not know how the idea was introduced. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Florida Master Gardener program, Wendy takes a look back.

Huge tree towering over housesPlant of the Month: Mahogany — Mahogany is best known as a hardwood, but it’s a beautiful tree in South Florida too! Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) casts a light, dappled shade on the ground below, making it a great shade tree for landscapes with enough room for it to thrive. Mahogany is native to southernmost Dade and Monroe counties and is currently listed as a state threatened species due to logging. However, it is readily available for purchase at many native nurseries in South Florida.

Leafy green peace lily plant with tropical white flowersIndoor Gardening Resolutions — With the start of 2019 we’re focusing on the resolutions gardeners can make for their indoor gardening. Maybe this is the year you bring a plant inside to grow. Perhaps you’re just hoping to maintain the plants you cultivated in the past. Or maybe you’re ready to diversify and try something new or a little more challenging in your indoor garden. Whatever your indoor gardening resolution, we have some guidance to offer to help your future be a little greener.

Small broccoli floret on the plantJanuary in Your Garden — Planting cool-weather vegetables and herbs is a great way to start out the new year. Vegetables like Irish potatoes, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard, and turnips can all be planted. Additionally herbs like tarragon, thyme, dill, fennel, and any mints will thrive in the cooler temperatures of the season.

Read the full January issue.

Or subscribe today, and receive it directly by e-mail.

Volunteers are the heart of the Master Gardener program

A large group of people gathered outside on a very sunny day many wearing hats and sunglasses

As we near the end of April, National Volunteer Month, we’d like to share the stories we’ve received from UF/IFAS Extension offices around the state.

Like the story of Lynda, an Okaloosa County Master Gardener. Her program leader writes, “When describing the study group that Lynda helped start, one of the other Master Gardeners said, ‘It is fun learning and it works.’” This former educator has kept her passion for teaching — and now children, adult gardeners, and even other Master Gardeners are benefiting from her knowledge.

okaloosa_lynda_penry
Lynda is far right in this photo, winning an award for Outstanding Service to Youth with Jennifer Yelverton (far left) and Haley Worley (center).

Or the story of Ann, a Sumter County Master Gardener that helped her new program leader settle into the position. Lisa Sanderson writes, “As a relatively new agent with UF/IFAS Extension in Sumter County, I appreciate Ann’s professionalism and attention to detail in all her volunteer efforts — co-chairing the “Ask the Master Gardener” plant clinics, focusing on improving technology available to the Master Gardeners who volunteer at the clinics, and coordinating continuing education especially focused on plant clinic technology and skills.”

sumter_ann_fender
Ann, from the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Master Gardener Facebook page

That’s just two of the stories, and of course agents couldn’t name every wonderful Master Gardener that has given their time to her or his county Extension program. But you can read all the stories we did gather at the Florida Master Gardener website.

April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. Volunteer Month recognizes and promotes the spirit of service, and raises awareness about how volunteering changes lives and strengthens communities.