Last November, the Brooksville Garden Club was approached by the May-Springer Heritage Museum with a request to the club's membership.
The museum was seeking help to refurbish its Living Memories Garden, which was established by Compassionate Friends of Hernando County in 1994. This small garden set under a canopy of oak trees features marble benches, a cedar gazebo and "struggling" plants is located behind the Heritage Museum, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. The Hernando County Chapter of Compassionate Friends is no longer in existence.
The refurbishing project of this "best kept secret" garden in Brooksville has been under way by the many volunteers of the Garden Club since last December. "Power Couples" have power washed the several granite benches that are engraved with names and years of the deceased "children." The wooden gazebo and cement walkways have also been given attention.
Garden Club volunteers can be found every Thursday morning from 9 a.m. to noon weeding out invasive plants, removing sun starved plants or preparing new garden beds for plants donated from their own backyards that are shade loving, cold and drought hardy. With contributions from the Brooksville Lowe's, the cedar gazebo now displays new life of red paint color as well as the grey cement pathway.
It is the Garden Club's intention to return the garden to not only a place of beauty and peace, but, also serve as a teaching instrument of Florida Friendly gardening. Plant identification tags are being donated to inform the community in the goals and purpose of the Brooksville Garden Club — to further educate the public in horticulture, conservation and botany. The club supports environmental programs and volunteers time and monies raised to our local community.
Phase I of the Garden Club's refurbishing project of the Living Memories Garden was to be completed by Feb. 18. The garden's "grand opening" to the public is scheduled to coincidewith the Museum's Heritage Day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Brooksville Garden Club will have a plant sale table that day, and all proceeds are planned for the future needs and continued maintenance of the garden.
The BGC gratefully accepts and gives thanks for all donations from local establishments. We appreciate the recent donations of paints from Lowe's and look forward to the much needed top soils, mulches and fertilizer for the azaleas hedges and other shade-loving plants. A local tree service has agreed to "pro bono" its time to remove overhead dead tree limbs which cause a safety concern to our working volunteers and the visiting public. We hope to receive, either through donations from local nursery/landscaper companies of small shrub camellias, gingers, shady grown covers or by community purchase, monetary donations to complete the new established garden come spring.
Brooksville Garden Club is a nonprofit Chapter of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC). The Garden Club supports FFGC through volunteers at Wekiva Youth Camp during summer weeks as Nature & Art/Crafts Leaders, Office Administration. For more information about the Brooksville Garden Club, visit brooksvillegardenclub.us.
For Memories Garden questions, please contact project coordinator, Ronette at (352) 544-5669 or club president, Louise at (352) 799-3160.