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Rollins Art Classroom Extends to Mead Garden

Mead Botanical Garden is the focal point for Professor Rachel Simmons and Dana Hardgrove’s freshman art classes.

The entire class of 40 walk together from the college campus with their paints, sketch pads, and cameras in hand. These newcomers from around the world, are becoming familiar with their new college town and their local garden.

Students are putting their talents to work as they use the natural landscapes at Mead as a source of inspiration and imagination, while spending time outdoors learning about Florida’s native wildlife and vegetation.

We give a warm welcome to the Rollins College freshman students to the gardens and we look forward to seeing another semester of impressive artwork.

Volunteer profile: Nancy Tyree


Back in the day, Nancy Tyree recalls, she would escape to Mead Garden at lunch time to relax in nature and rejuvenate before having to go back to work -- and sometimes find herself returning a little late! Retired since 2007, Nancy still comes to the garden regularly to relax, now as a Garden volunteer.   

Air Potato Leaf Beetles released in Mead Botanical Garden

In early August, 2014, 200 air potato leaf beetles were intentionally released in Mead Garden in an effort to combat the invasive air potato vine. 

Air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) is considered one of Florida’s most invasive exotic species due to its aggressive growth habit. It is an herbaceous, perennial twining vine that can grow up 8 inches per day and to over 70 feet in length. Its leaves are broad and heart-shaped, and it produces many potato-like tubers from which new vines grow. 

Volunteer Profile: Susan League

The beautiful pops of color seen at the entrance to the Community Garden are thanks to the ongoing work of Susan League, devoted garden volunteer and MBG Board Member. Susan also deserves tremendous credit for the dozens upon dozens of hours she spends planting and tending beds in the Legacy Garden, working on various horticultural projects, and maintaining the expanding collection of camellias.

In Bloom: Partridge pea

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) blooms from summer through late fall, attracting mostly bees and butterflies, although ants are also attracted to its nectar glands. It is the host plant to several species of butterfly, including the gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) and cloudless sulfur (Phoebis sennae), and its seeds are consumed by birds and other wildlife. 


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by Dr. Radut