Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweetwater Garden Tour

On April seventeenth, the Mandarin Garden Club welcomed Sweetwater Creek Garden Club for a tour of our facilities. Thirteen members of Sweetwater Creek were presented a history and outing by Master Gardener Mary Forester. 

The weather was perfect and encouraged a slow, appreciative walk through the various gardens. The ladies of Sweetwater had many questions about plant placement, maintenance and insect control. Information and helpful tips flew back and forth, in that easy way that happens when gardeners meet gardeners. 

Refreshments were served with additional information and resources. It was such a pleasure to present the gardens to incredible people that share a love for gardening. 

Donna Crosby 
Education and Community 
Mandarin Garden Club 






Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Yard of the Month

Carol Fitzsimmons is the proud owner of a lovely little oasis of green. This viridescent shade garden is nestled between bustling San Jose and Scott Mill Road.

Recently retired, Carol has been on a mission, to replace the "nightmare of maintaining grass," in a deeply shaded yard. Carol's goal is to drastically lower her garden's maintenance while increasing the pretty factor. The bonus for her accomplishment is more time to enjoy the beauty of her garden. 

Under the canopy of majestic Oak trees, Carol has used Mondo grass, Dwarf Mondo and Asiatic Jasmine to replicate a lush green grass look. Large Ligustrum trees provide shade and perfume the air.

A circular, paver walkway winds around the garden and is anchored with a shed in the center. The space is filled with Hibiscus, Azaleas and various Gingers. Bromeliads brush against Begonias and Blue Daze blends with apricot Geraniums. 

The Fitzsimmons' garden is a certified Wild Life Habitat. This means the yard supplies the three basic habitat elements food, water and places to raise the young. Carol has accented her space with bird houses, self-watering bird baths, bird feeders and plenty of vegetative cover.

The Mandarin Garden Club continues to search for people committed to demonstrating care and beautification of the Mandarin community. Residents interested in having their yard considered or who would like to nominate a yard should email information to -

themandaringardenclubflorida@gmail.com.

or contact -

Mandarin Garden Club 
P.O Box 23193
Jacksonville,  Florida  32241

Donna Crosby 
Education and Community 

Photo courtesy 
Donna Crosby  





Girl Scouts in the Garden

Mandarin Garden Club recently had the pleasure of hosting the Mandarin Girl Scouts for a tour of the club's beautiful gardens. 

The girls were treated to an informative tour by Master Gardener, Nancy Taylor. After the tour, the girls and their siblings participated in a garden scavenger hunt. Afterwards, they were treated to refreshments. 

Each troop member was given a succulent along with care instructions to take home. The girls also received their own rake for use at home.

Thanks to Donna Crosby and Nancy Taylor for conducting the tour.

Submitted by ~

Betty Waldrep

Monday, January 30, 2017

Chili and Bingo!

Oh What a Night....

Bingo, Chili, Soup, Cornbread, and Desserts with a group of Garden Club Ladies and guests is a recipe for FUN.

 Laughter, fellowship, and good food highlighted the evening's events.  As we have proven over and over - Mandarin Garden Club Ladies know how to cook.  Everything from soup to chili to stew was available - in fact - over 60 feet of food.  On a cold night - it was the perfect menu and I know I went back several times just to check out all the selections available.

Our ladies made good use of the photo booth preserving memories of another special evening shared by our members.  Props for our photo booth furthered our love of "dressing up" and the resulting new looks were quite amazing.

Bingo proved to be quite challenging for this writer - it doesn't look like work
- but I was worn out trying to keep up with my cards.  Thank you to Stacia Snuggs for being our Numbers Caller Extraordinaire as she kept us on our toes and moving right along.

Many, many thanks to Sandra Varner and her committee for putting  together such a great evening.

Karen Rowe












Wednesday, January 4, 2017

More About Mushrooms

Do you know about “stinky” ones--called Stink Horns--that have a distinctly putrid smell?  Usually you will find these things in mulch or damp, shady areas of your yard.  The spores are probably carried in by squirrels, crows, or other small animals that like to investigate rotting animals.

 When you locate the general area of odor, then begin to look for an orange/white shape coming up out of the ground.  I know the name says “horn” but sometimes there is really no horn shape to it – maybe it forms either earlier or later than I have ever found them.  You will HAVE to get rid of it, or it will multiply.  Do not touch any part of this thing, or you may spread the spores.  That goes for touching it with your hand or with any tool.  Begin by carefully removing any mulch or living plants which surround the mushroom.  The underground structure of a Stink Horn is surprisingly deep and wide, so begin a few inches away from the above ground orange structure, and, with a shovel, dig straight down about 6 inches, and then all the way around.  Try to remove the whole thing in as big a piece as you can and put it in a plastic bag which does not leak.  Go back to your hole and inspect to see if you have removed all of the mushroom.  Finish up removing what’s left and put that all in the bag, too.   Seal up the bag, then put that in another bag and seal up.  Place all in your kitchen garbage and put out for the kitchen garbage truck.  Wash all of your tools well with soapy water. 

PS.  If your garbage pickup is several days away, you may want to put the plastic mushroom bag someplace where you are sure its increasingly powerful smell won’t pervade your outdoor living space.

As insurance, you may want to make a weekly sniffing tour around your yard for the next several weeks.




Submitted by -

Martha Dysart

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mandarin Garden Club Christmas Party

Members of the Mandarin Garden Club ushered out the year 2016 in fine style with a variety of holiday parties.  Magnolia, Dogwood, and Cherokee Rose had celebrations, but the season really started with all Circles joining together for stories, songs, pictures, and plenty of good food in a wonderfully decorated clubhouse on December 6th.  The party theme was "The Christmas Jar": Betty Waldrep gave a synopsis of the story, and members chipped in spare change (and folding money too) to provide a Christmas surprise for a local mother and child.   

Below are some photos of the festivities for your enjoyment -
Good Friends



Food, Friends, and Frivolity
Thank you Crafty Ladies for the Decorations

Christmas Hugs

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Magnolia Christmas Party

Our Magnolia Circle enjoyed its Christmas Party on December 8th at the Blackstone Grill.

The ladies enjoyed a Chinese gift exchange, some singing, great food, and a great time of just being together.

Here are some pictures of their event for all to enjoy -