Winter 2019 Class Schedule
All classes are held at McKee Botanical Garden. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. To register, call 772-794-0601 or stop by the Garden. Payment in advance is requested and payable to McKee Botanical Garden (cash and checks only). Due to our limited space, we ask that participants withdraw from classes at least seven working days prior to the start of class in order to receive a refund. If we must cancel a class, we will make every effort to inform you prior to the class time, and you will receive a full refund.
Learn how to easily enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs during the winter months. Participants will discuss the steps to consider in edible gardening, including: site location, garden planning, soil amendments, water, pests and diseases, and resources. The class will meet in McKee’s Horticulture Building where demonstrations will be visible, including some garden beds with growing plants and soil amendment examples. Participants should be prepared to sit outside on folding chairs.
Instructors: Rebeca Siplak, McKee Horticulture Staff
Rebeca Siplak is one of McKee’s Horticulture Department staff members. She has a BS in Horticulture from Oregon State University and has been growing vegetables and building edible gardens for over 20 years. Her experience includes work in the private and public sector, including large and small commercial organic and sustainable farms, the USDA-ARS, food bank gardens, community gardens, permaculture projects, and a little hidden garden at McKee.
Tatiana Holway’s story of the Victoria regia reveals the role this magnificent lily played in Victorian life, art and culture in England, particularly in the intense race among prominent Britons to be the first to coax the flower to bloom. McKee Botanical Garden is hosting a Luncheon, Lecture and Book Signing with Tatiana Holway, author of The Flower of Empire: An Amazonian Water Lily, The Quest to Make it Bloom, and the World it Created on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Tatiana Holway is an independent scholar and academic consultant with a doctorate in Victorian literature and society. Author of several studies of Dickens and popular culture, she also serves on the advisory board for the Nineteenth-Century Collections Online Global Archiving Project. Currently, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island where she pursues a passion for gardening. Tatiana Holway’s story of the Victoria regia reveals the role this magnificent lily played in Victorian life, art and culture in England, particularly in the intense race among prominent Britons to be the first to coax the flower to bloom. From alligator-laden jungle ponds to the heights of Victorian society, The Flower of Empire unfolds the marvelous odyssey of this wonder of nature in a revealing work of cultural history. McKee Botanical Garden has two different species of Victoria lilies. Victoria amazonica and a hybrid between the V. cruziana and the V. Longwood species. McKee’s lilies are more like annuals, as they typically bloom in summer when the water temperature is over 75 degrees and are dormant in the fall and winter months. The cost to attend this event is $50 per person, which includes the luncheon and an autographed book. A luncheon served by Sealantro of the Garden Café will begin at noon and will be followed by a illustrated talk on the book and a book signing with Tatiana. For more information, please visit www.mckeegarden.org or call 772-794-0601.
Instructors: Tatiana Holway, Author of The Flower of Empire: An Amazonian Waterlily, the Quest to Make it Bloom, and the World it Created
Tatiana Holway is an author and cultural historian who lives in Providence, Rhode Island. She received a PhD with distinction for her work on Charles Dickens and Victorian symbolic economies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and subsequently taught at the University of St. Thomas, Macalaster College, Stonehill College, and elsewhere, as well as in a variety of adult-learning settings. She has published a number of articles on Dickens, produced a new edition of Bleak House (Barnes and Noble, 2005, with an original introduction and notes), and appeared on public television to discuss BBC adaptations of his novels. In a circuitous way, Dickens led her to Victoria regia and to the extraordinary adventure that researching and writing this book and speaking about it have been and continue to be.
In India, it is believed that a meal shared is a blessing multiplied. Let Urvi’s passion for cooking and sharing with others inspire you during this introductory lesson in Indian culture and cuisine. Discover what spices are used in Indian cooking and how ingredients and techniques vary by region. Participants will sample a variety of dishes as they learn how to create a traditional Thali plate. Spice boxes will be available for purchase.
Instructors: Urvi Upadhyay
Born in the State of Gujarat, India and raised in the United States, Urvi is a home chef and caterer who has been guided by generations of recipes, which she has honed by adding her personal touch. She enjoys sharing her passion for Indian cuisine with others, and teaches private cooking classes out of her Vero Beach home where she encourages her students to “cook from the heart.”
Participants will gain a better understanding of the differences between honey bees and Florida native bees in this informative lecture. They will also learn how they can help protect and preserve their natural habitats.
Instructors: Andy Harrell, President, Treasure Coast Beekeepers Association
Andy is the President of the Treasure Coast Beekeeper Association and is a Certified Beekeeper. He is enrolled at the University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program as an Advanced Beekeeper.
Children's Workshop: 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Adult Workshop 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. In making the water lilies, students will learn how to cut and shape crepe paper petals. They will apply glue to a circular base in a circular fashion and glue the petals down. Petals in the middle will be given a little cut to pleat them at the base so that they stand up in the middle rather than the flatter ones on the outside edges of the flower. Green lily pads will be cut to set off the flowers. Participants will be able to take home their creations.
Instructors: Ardith Schneider and Joan Ross
Ardi Schneider has taught art in public and private schools in Conneticut and New York. Joan Ross is a well known artist and sculptor. Her bronze animals are on the grounds of the Westerly Library in Rhode Island.
Participants will create a 13” x 17” acrylic painting on canvas of one of the many beautiful waterlilies growing at McKee Botanical Garden. All abilities are welcome! After transferring one of the sketches, you can follow along with a step-by-step demonstration on color mixing and painting techniques, and make the painting uniquely your own. The finished painting can be mounted and framed or used as a placemat. Supplies will be provided, but bring any painting equipment that you already own, especially brushes, as well as something to protect your clothing.
Instructors: Linda Spencer
After 35 years of teaching high school art, Linda Spencer now enjoys spending time painting, including plein air sessions at McKee. Besides winning awards at New England art shows and selling her work through the Vero Beach Art Museum and the Vero Beach Art Club, she has enjoyed working with adults or local guilds and adult education classes. Feel free to check out her most recent work and contact her at LindaSpencerArts on Facebook, LindaSpencerArts.com, and on Fine Arts America.
One of the easiest ways to get to know a plant is to spend time with it. This is a beginner’s class on how to construct a lei of all nature has to offer. All participants will leave with a fresh lei of their of their own making and a sense of Aloha.
Instructors: Nikki Stoltze, McKee Horticulture Staff
A plant enthusiast and a member of McKee's Horticulture Department staff, Nikki loves working in the ponds, waterways and pathways of the Garden. Her current focus is on hybridizing from our delightfully fragrant waterlily collection. Nikki's passion is learning about McKee’s collection and sharing her knowledge with Gardens visitors and staff.
Have you ever wondered what kind of bats live in Florida? Join us for a presentation about “Bats and Bat Detecting Basics” with guest speaker, Ken Gioeli. A University of Florida /St Lucie County Extension Natural Resource Agent, Ken will cover the basics of bat biology and how to use bat detectors on night time searches. This is an informative "bat chat" where you'll learn about this fascinating, beautiful, and misunderstood mammal that is an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. Ken will bring bat detectors to show participants how to detect bat echolocation at night. Live bats will not be showcased.
Instructors: Ken Gioeli, UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension Agent
Ken Gioeli serves on the faculty of the University of Florida/IFAS as the Natural Resources Extension Agent for St Lucie County. He provides natural resource-related educational programs for Extension volunteers such as Master Gardeners and Florida Master Naturalists as well as general homeowners, community organizations, school and governmental agencies. Ken earned his University of Florida M.Ag. in agricultural education and communications and a graduate certificate in environmental education. He conducted research on vampire bats through the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) – a collaboration between UF, Duke University and the Universidad de Costa Rica.
Participants will learn how to grow and care for all sizes of carnivorous plants, from the smallest to the largest. Carnivorous plants are predatory flowering plants that kill animals in order to derive nutrition from their bodies. These plants eat insects, spiders, crustaceans and other small soil- and water-living invertebrates and protozoans, lizards, mice, rats, and other small vertebrates. They use specialized leaves that act as traps that lure prey with bright colors, extra-floral nectaries, guide hairs, and/or leaf extensions. Once caught and killed, the prey is digested by the plant and/or partner organisms and the plant then absorbs the nutrients made available from the corpse. Most carnivorous plants will grow without consuming prey, but they grow much faster and reproduce much better with nutrients derived from prey.
Instructors: Ronald M. Dupont, Florida Carnivorous Plants
Ronald is 76 years of age and has been working with plants and animals his entire life. His passion for both began at age six. In Massachusetts, he set up natural displays in a museum prior to moving to Florida wherehe worked at Lion Country Safari as an advisor. Ronald has made several trips to the Central American jungle to study the plants, animals and people of this region. He currently owns and operates Florida Carnivorous Gardens out of Loxahatchee, Florida.
Karen Tripson, granddaughter of Waldo and Elsebeth Sexton, whose childhood memories include many trips to McKee Jungle Gardens, discusses her new novel about love late in life, aging, the challenges of staging a Basque art exhibit, Basque cuisine, and memories of Waldo Sexton. Sample foods from the book will be served.
Instructors: Karen Tripson, Author and granddaughter of Waldo and Elsebeth Sexton
Karen is the author of two fun novels about cooking, drinking wine and living the good life in Seattle. She is obsessed with food and wine. She has cooked, catered, sold cookbooks, edited cookbooks, been a web site content manager, a marketing product manager, and the senior editor of a commercial web site dedicated to home cooking.