September 2020 General Meeting
The meeting was held via the Zoom app and was called to order at 9:30 a.m. Approximately 20 people
Leslie presented a live “walk-about” tour of Folly Farm. The entrance of Folly Farm features artwork
by Chris Dotson. There is also a kiosk, built by an Eagle Scout, currently featuring information about
the Florida Wildflower Foundation. The tour then followed the path past the Wind Garden and wetland
and paused by the Spinach Tree, which is loved by butterflies. It will bloom in white flowers that the
butterflies rest on. Also featured was the Sunshine Mimosa as well as Frog Fruit, which hosts three
types of butterflies It is a ground cover.
The Folly Farm property was donated by George Weiss. Near the Walters Viburnum, there is a display
of a beautiful poem written by his wife. The tour continued past Vitex (Chaste Tree), which is a
summer lilac that is a non-native but good at attracting butterflies. Also, there is an unusual white
salvia. Other plants along this path include Paw-Paw, Passion Vine (Lady Margaret - which hosts
Zebra Longwings and Fritillaries), Pentas, Salvias, Mexican Sage (pollinator), Fire Bush,
Fire Spike in an uncommon pink, Frog Fruit, and Blue/Black Salvia. Also featured was Beauty Berry
from which jelly and wine can be made and it is good for arrangements. The Dutchman’s Pipe is a
non-native host plant for Swallowtails and Polydamas.
The tour paused at “Party Central” an area with benches where “dead head” parties are held. Near that
area is Caesar Weed and Mexican Petunias. Leslie stated we need people to help weed these areas.
There is also Blue Porterweed which is a good pollinator and butterflies love it.
Next was the greenhouse area, which included Pentas, Salvia, Butterfly Ginger with an excellent
fragrance, Fennel which is a host for Swallowtails, Snow Square Stem (a good pollinator), African
Milkweed and Mexican Sunflowers. There is also a sign with educational material on Monarch
The Wind Garden is blooming and thriving. The first quadrant is all natives, including Lantana,
Hercules Club Tree, native Milkweed, Tuberosa (with aphids on it), Elliott's Love Grass which self-
seeds, Button Sage, Rosinweed, and Liatris. The Dotted Horsemint and Silk Grass bloom in the Fall.
The 3 rd quadrant includes Sneeze Weed, Frost Weed, Liatris which is about to bloom, Goldenrod and
many Fall bloomers. There is also Necklace Pod, Calusa Firebush, Bahama Cassia which hosts
Sulphur butterflies and Salt Bushes.
The Gazebo was provided by George Weiss and will have electricity and lighting as well as seating.
The Bog area is not completed yet.
The labyrinth was inspired by Gary's mother. It is shaped like a butterfly and is a meditative walk. The
mailbox contains suggestions on how to walk a meditative garden. The walkway is lined with mirrors
which reflect the plants and sky. The mirrors are arranged into Morse Code messages. There is also a
butterfly puddler. Next on the tour was the Fruit Orchard including Wild Lime which is a host for Giant Swallowtail,
Barbados Cherry, Dwarf Mango, Orange, Miracle Fruit and Sour Oranges.
The next project is a new garden. The rest of the VIVA grant ($1,500) will be used for this garden.
The last stop on the tour was the Propagation Area back at the Greenhouse. The Propagation Tables
were full of Pentas. Compost and mulch have been donated. Shampoo Ginger a/k/a Pinecone Ginger
has recently been planted.
Leslie, Sharen and Beth demonstrated two propagation techniques. It is possible there will be future
workshops on these techniques. First was the Vermiculite technique. A screen, or weed cloth, was
placed at the bottom of a large container so that the Vermiculite would not leak out. Then a clay pot
was nestled in the center. A cork was placed in the hole in the bottom of the pot and then the pot was
filled with water. Lastly cuttings were placed in the water.
The second technique involved filling a container with paver sand. It must be “clumpy” sand and not
fine. Wet the sand and then use a flat edge (i.e. spatula) to make slits in the sand. Each cutting must
have at least two nodes that will go under the sand. Wet the cutting, roll it in root tone and place it in
the sand. Do not pour root tone in the sand as it will contaminate it. Put stakes in each corner of the
container and slide a white (not clear) garbage bag over it. Pull the drawstrings to “seal” it. Do not
open or remove the bag. Do not water or mist it. Keep it in the shade. Cuttings should be rooted
within three weeks. At that time, put the cuttings in 4” pots with slow release fertilizer. Regular
fertilizer will burn them. Make sure there is good drainage.
In closing, Leslie spoke of the desire to have the premier gardens in Pinellas County (Folly Farm,
Mullet Creek Park and Moccasin Lake Park) with a focus on education, demonstration and plant sales.
All are invited to Folly Farm on Monday mornings to help with propagation, planting, weeding and
The meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.
Link to video of Sand propagation method: