I’m three weeks into the Duval County’s Master Gardener program and things are getting real. Last week was all about the anatomy of plants, also known as botany.
Technically, botany is the scientific study of plants, including their physiology, structure, genetics, ecology, distribution, classification, and economic importance.
It was a rude awakening for me.
This lesson felt like the equivalent of the anatomy class in medical school! The terms were SO technical. I couldn’t pronounce most of them – neither could the instructor.
I have to admit, while I was watching the videos and reading our study manual I was getting discouraged.
Then, we had our field trip. That was a GAME CHANGER!
I’m a hands-on learner. I need to combine the practical with the didactic.
We visited the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens for a scavenger hunt of sorts. Nature was our classroom. We teamed up with partners and went looking for leaves and flowers to identify.
Botany is the fundamental lesson of master gardener training. If I can’t understand the anatomy of a plant, then I’m not going to do well in this program.
Being outdoors in nature helped me grasp the concepts better. I didn’t get all of it, but it made much more sense.
This outdoor excursion was so much FUN! The gardens were beautiful. I saw flowers I’ve never seen and learned about the variety of trees. I found the bald cypress to be uniquely and weirdly beautiful.
Our time there was limited, but I vowed to go back to take it all in beyond what we did in the classroom.
Our next lesson will take us to the demonstration garden. I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to share what I learn, so stay tuned.