Post last updated: October 10th, 2018

It’s a treat to be an important visitor! Saturday, I was one of three Very Important Visitors who were invited to the Mandarin Garden Club plant and garden goodies swap which is a private event for club members. Also invited were Linda Cunningham of Cunningham Herbs and Tatyano Vaynberg, formerly of Trad’s Garden Center.

I had so much fun with all the gals and, as always, one of them got away with something I really wanted – a smiling fish face with human teeth. In rounds 1 and 2, I went for two plants I really wanted – a fern and a fancy rex begonia. By round 3, the fish was gone. The gal who got my fish promised to give him a good home by hanging him in a prominent place in her yard. I also had a nice chat with the gal who got my copper sprinkler last year. She assured me it was still going strong.

I have new photos to share of one area of the Mandarin Club Gardens. This area had a lot of new plants and as Becky B. pointed out, the new border plants hide the plants in the middle so that the walkway draws your eye into the interior.

In this first photo, notice how the bright lime green/yellow shrub catches your eye. The gals tell me this is Gold Mound Duranta commonly grown as a border or low hedge shrub for Zones 9 – 12. It attracts butterflies and birds and is not freeze hardy. I am hopeful this is NOT duranta erecta which has a stunning purple bloom with white edges but the plant itself is too messy for my tastes. Apparently, both go by the common name Golden Dewdrop so it’s confusing. My research revealed that the Duranta in the photo has a non-descript pale lavender flower in comparison to the flower of duranta erecta.


MGC Gold Mound Duranta-2546
Left to right: yellow lantana, gold mound duranta and Rudbeckia longifolia

This second photo shows plantings on the right side of the same walkway.

MGC plantings-2547
Left to right: purple lantana and Mexican Sage

The third photo is a close-up of a flower bed I have previously shown you from my very first visit to Mandarin Garden Club, when I attended the Fall Gardening Workshop. In the center was a  loropetalum shrub pruned to look like a tree. It was bordered by Variegated Flax Lily. I don’t remember what was planted inside the border but it now has caladiums and a variegated ivy ground cover. I was trying to photograph the ground cover but had the camera set on Auto Focus so I got the caladiums instead of the ivy. I never said I was perfect!

MGC Gold Mound Duranta-2548
I took enough trade plants to participate in seven rounds. In addition to a few magazines, here’s my loot:

Left to right: Patchouli, Fancy Leaf Begonia (front), Japanese Tongue Fern, Blue Skullcap, tools
Left to right: Patchouli, Fancy Leaf Begonia (front), Japanese Tongue Fern, Blue Skullcap
(it had PURPLE flowers!) and three good quality tools

While I was chatting with Becky B., who happens to be a Master Gardener, I learned that an anonymous donor gifted me with a membership to the Club. Is that Too Kewel or what? Thank you to the kind soul who became my most wonderful benefactor! They promise I won’t be on weed duty. With two acres and only Poppie and I to weed it, I would be hard-pressed to take on more weeding.

As a reminder to residents of Jacksonville, Florida, the Mandarin Garden Club grounds at 2892 Loretto Road are open to the public for viewing unless the clubhouse has been rented out for a private event.

10 thoughts on “MGC’s 2014 PLANT SWAP”

  1. What a fun time we had! An event I’m sure our grandmothers would have loved.
    FYI…the tree in the middle of the “circle” is actually a loropetalum shrub which has been pruned to look like a tree! It’s a real beauty. I am so glad you are now part of the club!

  2. I’m impressed. I can kill philodendron and that’s supposed to be indestructible. You seen to be able to grow anything. Just call me jealous.

  3. What a great group to be part of! And a swap, how fun is that! I love golden-leaved shrubs. I have a golden leafed Caryopteris up here that I am in love with, and at some point I’ll have to get another golden-leaved Butterfly bush like I had in North Carolina as it was so pretty. Enjoy your new plants and tools!

  4. God Bless your wonderful benefactor. I am sure you will enjoy the membership. But if the women there are as crazy as you are, I am afraid for Jacksonville. BTW, still enjoying my yellow pear tomatoes. Had some for lunch.

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