Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival: March 26th

Florida wildflower seeds sell quickly.
Spring means plentiful natives in bloom, especially in Volusia County, which offers plentiful natural lands to explore. The county’s flowers are the perfect foil for the March 26 Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival in downtown DeLand – a gathering of speakers, vendors and organizations that celebrates our native wildflowers.

This year’s family-friendly event again blends education, entertainment and fun. Vendors will line West Indiana Avenue selling potted wildflowers and plants, seeds, garden utensils, yard ornaments, books and more. Joining them will be organizations such as the Florida Wildflower Foundation, local Florida Native Plant Society chapters, and garden clubs, all which will offer information on native wildflowers and plants, as well as Florida gardening in general.

Last year's festival was well attended.
Six wildflower, gardening and pollinator experts will give presentations at the historic Athens Theatre, 124 N. Florida Ave. Among them will be the always-popular Dr. Walter Taylor, author of three books on Florida’s wildflowers and grasses, and Dr. Jaret Daniels of the Florida Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest. Other presenters are Wildflower Seed Co-op President J.R. Newbold, of Forest Groves Inc., Crescent City; gardening gurus Tom MacCubbin and Dana Venrick; and beekeeper Doug McGinnis of Tropical Blossom Honey, Edgewater. Visit www.floridawildflowerfestival.com to see download the event schedule.

Children are invited to participate in a drawing for $50 in MainStreet Money which can be spent at Downtown DeLand Stores & Restaurants by submitting a wildflower coloring page to the Information booth during the festival. Coloring pages can be picked up at the MainStreet DeLand Office, 100 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand or downloaded for printing at www.floridawildflowerfestival.com. Free art activities for kids also will be offered at the Museum of Florida Art booth.
The Florida Native Plant Society's booth at last year's festival.
Live entertainment, a wildflower-arranging demonstration, composting demo, and paintings by Central Florida Plein Air artists also will be featured. A shuttle bus will run between the Wildflower Festival and the nearby DeLand Outdoor Art Festival at Earl Brown Park so that attendees easily can enjoy both events.

The Wildflower & Garden Festival, attended by 9,000 people in 2010, was the recent recipient of the Florida Secretary of State's Award for Outstanding Special Event. 2011 sponsors and partners include MainStreet DeLand Association, Florida Wildflower Foundation, University of Florida/IFAS Volusia County Extension Office, River of Lakes Heritage Corridor, the Florida Wildflower Seed and Plant Growers Association, Garden Club of DeLand and Museum of Florida Art.

Lisa Roberts
Executive director of Florida Wildflower Foundation


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