Festival lends a hand to turn those thumbs green
By AMY SCHERZER
Published March 24, 2006
Dig up everything including exotic tropical plants and handmade straw hats at GreenFest, a nature festival sponsored by the Friends of Henry B. Plant Park.
Gardening experts and 80 vendors will fill the historic waterfront park at the University of Tampa, where amateur and professional gardeners alike can buy flowers, herbs, tools, fresh produce and yard art.
Want to build a rain barrel? Here's your chance. How to raise disease-free roses? This is the place to find out.
All workshops are free, said Sherry Leffers, a GreenFest organizer. She is especially excited about a children's book author whose characters are fruits and vegetables. A tool sharpener also will be on hand: "Drop off your knives and clippers to be sharpened, and pick them up when you've finished shopping," Leffers said.GreenFest begins at 11 a.m. today when Rebecca Cole, also known as "the Garden Goddess," brings her energy and humor to Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club. Her advice covers "Practical to Paradise" at the $60 luncheon. Host of Surprise By Design on the Discovery Channel, Cole has written three books, Potted Gardens; Paradise Found: Gardening in Unlikely Spaces; and Flower Power.
Mark Shelby, general manager of Bella Terra, a landscaping, consulting and educational firm in Sarasota, will present two programs starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. The first topic is "Principles of Florida Gardening," followed by "Care of Fruit and Citrus Trees."
At 1 p.m. Sunday, Tim Myers of Bay Gardens, a 7-acre greenhouse in Seffner, will discuss "New Trends in Florida Roses," specifically disease-resistant Knock Out Roses.
Proceeds from GreenFest support restoration projects at Plant Park, including repositioning the Civil War cannons for a more historically accurate display. It's part of the Friends of Plant Park's mission to nurture and preserve the Victorian heritage of the botanical gardens outside Plant Hall, the former Old Tampa Bay Hotel.
Amy Scherzer can be reached at email@example.com or 226-3332.
[Last modified March 24, 2006, 10:59:37]
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