Safety Harbor Garden Club
May 20, 2020
The meeting was called to order at 9:45 a.m.
This meeting was held outdoors at Folly Farm. Approximately 27 members and visitors attended. All attendees wore masks, brought personal chairs/drinks/snacks and practiced appropriate social
Gary introduced new officers: himself as president, Leslie Zambito as Vice President, Paula Harvey as 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair, Karen Isak as Secretary, Anne Ward as Treasurer. Gisela Bennie continues as Public Beautification Chair and Judy Zaccaria as Webmaster.
New members and visitors were introduced.
Gary gave a brief history of Folly Farm, an 8 ½ acre property which has been donated to the City of Safety Harbor by owner George Weiss. Mr. Weiss created a grant for a position to maintain the property and Gary currently fills that position.
The City has installed butterfly gardens, including the Wind Garden and Butterfly Labyrinth. The Farm includes a 400 linear feet labyrinth, community
gardens, childrens playground, a greenhouse, and approximately one mile walking trail.
Finance Report: Anne reported that the balance is $3,200. No money has been received or paid out since the last report.
Membership Report: Paula reported that there are 91 members, 48 of which are paid (45 members plus 3 life members). A reminder to pay dues will be sent out.
By-Laws: Gary, Barbara and Gisela reviewed the By-Laws and brought them up to date. The revisions will go to the Board next month for approval and then to the general membership.
Mullet Creek Park: The 9-squares (demo gardens) have all been adopted by various members to maintain. Gisela reported that most squares are beautiful and full of butterflies, however three squares are in dire need of attention. Gary stated that the City will provide the needed plants as soon as budget
holds are released.
Folly Farm: Gary announced that the Wind Garden will be expanded and become the Safety Harbor Garden Club garden. The Club has received a Florida Wildflower Foundation $3,000 VIVA grant for this garden; $2,400 for plants and $600 for signage. Gary stated there is a lot of support for the
gardens, not only from City of Safety Harbor, but also summer camp programs, Boy Scout projects, Las Prados and SHAMC artists (donating mosaics, paintings and sculptures). Gary stated there is ample opportunity for volunteering at Folly Farm. Volunteers are welcome to come, especially on Mondays from 8:00-noon and join the “Safety Harbor Active Gardeners” (“SHAG”). These “Shaggers” would do a lot of the heavy lifting, such as digging. Opportunities also include dead heading, pruning, etc. There are also other non-physical opportunities, such as working on signage (i.e. painted rocks with names of plants on them). A schedule will be set up for volunteering.
An Amish-built gazebo will be installed near the butterfly gardens. This will include a paver apron in front for gatherings/events (i.e. wedding attendees). The gazebo will be surrounded by the butterfly gardens. Artist Kumpa has donated a Bee Sculpture to be located near the gazebo. The sculpture is a
tall boulder with a flower on it and a bee getting nectar from the flower. The boulder will be held up by a sculpted ant.
Butterfly Presentation: Leslie Zambito gave a short presentation about butterflies, including the four stages of butterfly life. She stated that butterfly plants should be planted in groups of at least three of
the same type of plant. Butterflies like bright colored flowers, such as the Penta, zinnia, and spinach trees. Plants of varying height should be planted together to provide protection from predators.
Butterflies need 4 hours of sunshine daily. They do not drink water, but drink nectar. The males are “puddlers” and the “puddles” can be made using sand and nutrients, even stale beer. Butterfly Safari:
At 10:30 am the meeting adjourned and members were divided up into groups with docents, to go out into the gardens to identify at least ten different types of butterflies, using the checklists provided. All attendees also received a color chart entitled “Florida Wildflowers & Butterflies” as well as a color
brochure on “Attracting Butterflies with Florida Native Wildflowers.” Gary will send photos of completed checklists to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission “Wings Over Florida”
Butterfly Program. Participants will receive a full color award certificate.