Hall County Master Gardeners website
Bringing a bright spot to the entrance of Lanier Village Estates was Jan Tuttle's goal when she began her campaign to raise the funds to plant some daffodils.
But what she ended up raising was so much more than she ever expected.
The Hall County Master Gardener's daffodil campaign raised nearly $3,000, and more than 2,200 daffodil bulbs were planted for all to enjoy come next spring.
Yet her helpers, the fourth- and fifth-grade Junior Master Gardeners from Myers Elementary School for whom Tuttle volunteers, deserve much of the credit.
"My 49 kids came out with their two teachers, and they planted 2,200 daffodil bulbs," said Tuttle, who volunteers to raise awareness in school about gardening and the Master Gardener program. "I didn't sleep for a couple of nights before because I wasn't sure they could do this."
But the students from Caye Guidry and Chris Worl's class planted all those bulbs and were rewarded with a picnic at Lanier Village Estates retirement community.
Tuttle thinks that the mass planting will be a bright spot for many of the Lanier Village residents.
"When you come in the entrance, there are trees and bushes and things and someone had planted a few daffodil bulbs, and I kept thinking it was a shame there wasn't more daffodil bulbs," she said. "It's sort of reviving in the spring when you see things coming to life, it's particularly important when you are 70, 80 or 90 years old."
The Hall County Master Gardeners, who topped the state in 2009 for volunteer hours with 17,997 and 147 members, are completing community projects, like the one in front of Lanier Village Estates, in Hall County all year long.
Another Master Gardener, Lori Carson, recently helped construct a children's butterfly garden at Wilshire Trails Park in Gainesville.
There is a larger garden adjacent to the new children's garden that the Master Gardener's keep up year-round, so this was an expansion to the beauty already at the city of Gainesville park.
"We planted the host plants for butterflies and hummingbirds ... and the nectar plants that they eat from," she said.
The new children's garden includes colorful signage, an arbor, flowers and shrubs such as butterfly weed that attract butterflies. It soon will have brightly colored sculptures for children and adults to enjoy.
Besides the work at Wilshire Trails Park through the winter, the Master Gardeners also have begun adult classes through the Gardens on Green program at 1 p.m. Wednesdays with different lecturers and topics each week.