Nassau Master Gardeners tour state's oldest nursery

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Group Photo
Owner Lin Taber (from left) shows Nassau County Master Gardeners Ginny Grupe, Bea Walker, Shirley Fenton, Mary Chudznyski, Marshall and Bertie Tanner, Howard North, Ann Reamy, Diane Graham, Shirley Lohman, Dottie Kelley, Beverly Stormoen, Bonnie Johnson, Kathy Warner and Mike McKay around the historic Glen St. Mary Nursery established in 1882.

SPECIAL/Nassau County Extension office

Nassau County Horticultural Extension Agent Rebecca Jordi recently led Nassau County Master Gardeners on a field trip to the Glen St. Mary Nurseries, the oldest nursery in the state of Florida.

Established in 1882, the nursery is managed by third-generation owners Lin and Magi Taber. With its roots established as citrus growers, the nursery was later expanded to include ornamentals, and now includes an array of exotics, especially black bamboo and Cephalotaxus, a deer-resistant shrub.

The Nassau Master Gardeners, who received advanced training hours for this educational experience, were taken on a tour by Lin Taber. They were amazed at the nursery's acres of natural shade provided by tall pine trees.

While 60 acres of the nursery are under irrigation, at the Tabers' home landscape there is no irrigation. Their "drought tolerant" plants - camellias, roses, anise and other ornamentals - thrive with just rain water and an occasional hand-watering during times of drought.

Lin Taber, who was recently inducted into the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association's hall of fame for contributions to the industry, also donated an Alphonse Karr bamboo - a non-invasive cultivar - for the Nassau County Demonstration Garden at the Nassau County Governmental Complex in Yulee.