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Clermont Garden Club to host pioneer in Florida
restoration ecology for talk on using wildflowers
clermont garden clubIf you want to use native plants in your landscape, but you aren't sure where to start, consider going to the Clermont Garden Club's meeting on Saturday, February 6. Restoration ecologist and horticulturalist Nancy Bissett will be presenting a free program starting at 10am on how to use Florida wildflowers in the landscape.

The Clermont Garden Club is inviting everyone to attend the program, which will be held in their building at 849 West Avenue. Bissett brings more than 30 years of experience working with Florida horticulture to her presentation.

After receiving her BS degree in horticulture and botany from Florida Southern College, Bissett co-founded "The Natives (" in 1982. It is a multi-disciplinary firm based in Davenport. Among other services, it assists clients in designing and implementing restoration of native plant species to an area. It also maintains a wholesale nursery that grows only plants that are native to Florida.

Bissett developed the techniques for restoring many upland ecological communities. Prairie seed mixes have been used in the Midwest and West for several decades, but Florida's primary upland grass, wiregrass, apparently did not produce viable seed. As it turns out, it does, but it must be burned during the growing season to do so.

"We produced some of the first seedlings in 1989 and have been investigating techniques for seeding wiregrass and other grasses, sedges, and wildflowers ever since," Bissett revealed.

Bissett's work encompasses direct seeding projects for organizations ranging from state and local agencies through developers and corporations. She has monitored research projects for prestigious organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.

She also possesses strong knowledge of and interest in rare plants, having performed a number of rare plant and vegetation surveys. Indeed, she has assisted federal, state, and local authorities with finding and evaluating rare plant communities.

Such work has enabled her to find new locations for rare plants. She even discovered a new scrub mint.

For more information about the Clermont Garden Club, visit


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