By Diana Openbrier
mail@floridanewsline.com

Mandarin Garden Club celebrated National Gardening Day on April 14.  This holiday is meant to encourage gardeners of all kinds to kick off spring with a day of gardening. While many activities have been curtailed in a major way with the COVID-19 pandemic and residents are required to stay home, we can still garden in our own yard. It is fun, energizing, connects us with nature, connects us to friends, and provides a bounty of beauty for our mind and attitude as well as food for our body. Everyone can participate.  

Since club members cannot get together to share gardening information at this time, the group decided to share their gardens on line. To add to the fun, plants started for the plant sale (cancelled) are prizes for the best yard presentation. Many pictures of gardens were emailed in and a winner and three runners up were chosen for recognition. Winners and runners up will get plants to add to their home, which they will choose from online pictures and then take home with no face-to-face contact. Club members can then drive by the winners’ homes to enjoy the beauty of the yards.   

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The winner of the 2020 Mandarin Garden Club’s National Gardening Award is Betsy Hogan, who has created a lovely and colorful respite area that would be calming and pleasant for anyone. The curved path invites visitors to a restful, peaceful seating area surrounded by colorful flowers and lush greenery. This calming, cool, vision of relaxation draws one up the path to a lovely bench — where one can watch the birds, dream problems away, and focus on the beauty of nature.

Other submissions were lovely as well and four will receive honorable mention. Linda Carvalho has many colorful flowers throughout her yard.  The colors are so bright they draw your attention and lift your spirits. Peggy Martineau has nicely trimmed her yard and flowers are blooming. She has also created a “Mother Mary Garden” that warms the spirit and brightens the day. Karen Stanley has created an amazing and inviting entrance to her home. The greenery is bright and nicely trimmed. Her flowers are showing bright this spring. And for special mention for what is old is now new, Laurie McDonagh started a victory garden in a sunny part of her yard with a promise of fresh veggies soon.

This contest was just a fun way to show off work in the garden to friends. This spring it is time for us all to get out and start gardening. Till, plant, mulch, trim, clip, put dirt in a pot and plant a seed and spend time in nature. It brings beauty to your home, calm to the mind, and a feeling of accomplishment with every spout. It’s time to garden! It’s spring.

Photos courtesy Diana Openbrier
The winner of the National Gardening Day: Betsey Hogan, Live Oak Circle.

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