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At Nature Scapes, Palm Coast Garden Club Grows Its Annual Show Into a Special Event

| April 22, 2012

Kathleen Terlizzo, left, the Palm Coast Garden Club president, with Jill Carpenter, who chaired this year's garden show at Nature Scapes Saturday. (© FlaglerLive)

The Palm Coast Garden Club board had been discussing having a spring “Extraordinary Expo”–a first for the Garden Club–for a while. But finding the right location with the right atmosphere was difficult, at least in Palm Coast. Then Nature Scapes came to mind: the nursery is almost as old as Old Brick Road, where it’s located (parallel to State Road 100, on the south side, just inside the Bunnell city limits), its grounds and surroundings having preserved the feel of old Florida remarkably well for a property sandwiched between Palm Coast and Bunnell.

Nature Scapes' Marylou Baiata. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“We wanted to find a venue with ambiance,” Jill Carpenter, the club’s co-chair for the event, said. “When I asked Marylou Baiata, she said yes,” Carpenter said, referring to Nature Scape’s owner. “she was happy to host it.”

And so Baiata did Saturday at Nature Scapes, where the Garden Club presented its first daylong “Extraordinary Expo.” Some 50 vendors took up posts and nooks beneath the oaks to show their wares and the club carried out its annual plant sale.

“It was our first time working with vendors and it took a lot of persuasion,” Carpenter, who worked with Linda DuLong on the expo, said. “It was kind of nerve-racking but it turned out wonderful. We could never have done this without our garden club members.” Club and vendor stands included garden accessories, clothing, herbal products, fashion items, crafts, and arts of different sorts. There were also many activities for children and food stands.

The club’s own plant sale at the expo included about 2,500 plants, all of which were grown by club members. Carpenter herself plants things from scratch and has her own little green house at home.

By early afternoon, two-thirds of the 2,500 plants on display were sold. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“This is a once a year work-until-you drop event,” DuLong, the club treasurer, said. “We have worked very hard this year. None of these plants were bought wholesale.” It paid off. By 1p.m Saturday, two-thirds of the plants at the sale were gone. “It’s fantastic to see how many people are coming out, showing an interest in our flowers,” DuLong said.

It wasn’t just about selling. Garden Club President Kathleen Terlizzo said the club “decided to expand this year and we increased the amount for the scholarships, giving out $6,000.” Peg Senecal, the Club’s scholarship chair, said that the club’s main focus, its greeneries aside, is young people. “We are buying into the youth of this county and our whole year is geared toward scholarships,” Senecal said.

The club is awarding four $1,000 scholarships this year: three to graduating Flagler County seniors, a continuing education scholarship to one prior recipient, and two additional $500 scholarships. All recipients have been chosen by way of interviews and interests: students must have a scientific focus in their future studies.

All funds from the expo, including the Garden Club plant sale, the raffle and vendor spots, are dedicated to the club’s scholarship program, with vendors paying between $35 and $50 for their spot, depending on size. Non-profits weren’t charged.

Soem 50 vendors were part of the show. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Chris Baita of Nature Scapes said that they were happy to host the expo. “We have used our venue before for other events and it’s something we want to move into. A couple of big ones every year would be good.” The location, at once in the heart of the county and autonomous from its more urban looks (think of Central Park in the heart of Manhattan), lends itself to that sort of special, cultural events with broad appeal.

Diana Hull, a Flagler Beach resident, came to the expo to look at the plant sale and enjoy the day with her two young children. “It was an awesome day,” she said. “So many activities for the kids. We have been here for almost three hours. We ate lunch, my son got his face painted and he got as dirty as could be planting some seeds.”

Carpenter hopes the expo is a yearly event at its new home.

Nature Scapes in its more natural state. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

6 Responses for “At Nature Scapes, Palm Coast Garden Club Grows Its Annual Show Into a Special Event”

  1. ric says:

    Great club. I wish my neighbors would look at this. Their houses look like most foreclosed homes..

  2. B. Claire says:

    Nature Scapes has been added to my visitor tour…even if we don’t happen to need any plants. It looks like a little yester-year scene out of Gone with the Wind, with its giant old trees complete with hanging moss. It should have a Flagler Mini-Zoo designation as well … they had me at gorgeous talking birds in lavish cages, cats & chickens…then they added the cutest goat family e-v-e-r. [did I miss any of the zoo family?]

    Also, love the new hardscape/fire pit, added I believe, this year.

    Even the bumpy old brick road adds to the charm.

    Have a great 2012 season Nature Scapes!

  3. Pcadiron says:

    Do they always have the animals, or was it just for this expo?

  4. palmcoaster says:

    She always had the animals…mostly donated by some local residents not able to care for them any longer given a death in the family or other overwhelming reasons. Marylou provides a safe haven for them and enjoyment for her customers while shopping or just visiting her businesses. I know goats are good live lawn mowers to keep weeds at bay also

  5. Michelle says:

    Could not have pick a better venue for this event – had a GREAT time, even the rain didn’t dampen my visit. Came home with two beautiful orchids! Looking forward to next year, cannot come soon enough!

  6. ART WOOSLEY says:

    Marylou, Great job, your business is a credit to our community, you certainly do have a wonderful sanctuary of peace and tranquility there, an oasis surrounded by an often hectic and busy outside world. I wish both you and your staff the very best of luck, and sincerely hope that you will continue to host future events such as this, thereby enabling your business continued prosperity well into the future, you deserve it.

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