The much anticipated Cummer Amelia Garden Walk held in April was a great success and raised funds to provide school tours for all Nassau County third- and fourth-grade students to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, which both enriches their curriculum and broadens their worldview.
The Cummer Amelia Garden Walk included a walking tour of four beautiful home gardens, each with its own unique charm. Art demonstrations, live music, master gardener instruction, and refreshments were provided along the tour route.
We will be including these homes in the next several issues of South Island Living.
Bronson and Paula Lamb
Paula shares her passion for gardening and boating with these words…
“When looking to downsize from their home in Jacksonville in early 2015, Bronson – a third generation marina owner – and his wife, Paula were immediately attracted to the interior of their Amelia Island Plantation home (built by a boat builder in 1985) with its vaulted ceiling, large wooden beams, and a galley-like kitchen. They were also drawn to the well established, non-turf, landscape planted by the previous owners.
The oak shaded front of the home has standard thick beds of Asiatic jasmine, azaleas, palmettos, pittosporum, holly fern, agapanthus, and a backdrop of ligustrum. Potted flowers add color to the greenscape. The sunny, golf course and pool side of the home is ever-evolving (thanks in part to recent hurricanes and freezes).
There are potted herbs and flowers, a raised bed for seasonal edibles, hydrangeas and newly planted citrus – along with shrubs for some privacy (human and winged). The couple especially loves to plant for butterflies, the occasional hummingbird, and other pollinators. Host plants include milkweed, parsley, citrus, and cassia. Nectar plants include pentas, plumbago, and lantana among others. In these surroundings, the Lambs relish in the natural beauty and quiet of this coastal community.
Bronson and Paula are both natives of Jacksonville. Bronson started as a youngster working with his father at the family marina. Through the years, he bought, refurbished, and sold a number of local marinas before retiring in 2016. They raised two children while spending lots of time on and around the water with family and friends. Paula worked part time doing legal research and writing for a couple of Jacksonville law firms. They both enjoyed being outside – planting and maintaining the landscape and garden of their Jacksonville home. Paula likes to attribute her love of planting to seeing her grandfather work in his garden in Gainesville in the ’60s. She became a Master Gardener in the early 2000s. After fielding gardening phone calls for several years, she joined the gardening writing team for the Florida Times-Union. There, she says, she really kick-started her learning curve. She is now an inactive Master Gardener, but still maintains her love for working out of doors.
Also in the mid 2000s, Bronson set his sights on taking on a boating excursion known as the Great Loop or Great Circle. While work demands kept him close to the grind, he did lots of research for the trip. Ten years down the road, they started the trip – from Amelia Island Yacht Basin – in the spring of 2015 on their 37’ Nordic Tug trawler, the Split Pace. While many “Loopers” start and finish the Loop or Circle within a year’s span, the Lambs have taken their time to explore countless places and anchorages along the way and have chosen to do their trip in segments. They have wintered the boat the last three years in various locations along the way – Maryland, Western New York, and most recently Northern Michigan. Their travels have taken them up the Eastern Seaboard, into Canada, through hundreds of locks and all of the Great Lakes except Lake Superior. They both declare that the trip has been extraordinary. They will start the Western side of the trip in June 2018 and will travel south on Lake Michigan, into the Mississippi River and eventually down to the Gulf of Mexico, around the state of Florida and back to Fernandina where they will “cross their wake”. When the trip is finished, they will have logged in over 6,000 miles of motoring on the waterways.
In the meantime and between travels, they love to return home and give some TLC to home and garden. The front, shadier side of the home tolerates the hot summers easier than the sunny, golf course side where they like to maintain a butterfly, bird, and bee friendly environment. They also always try to keep something in the edible or herb department on hand. Paula is a big promoter of composting – mostly using kitchen scraps and lots of oak leaves. They keep two secured compost bins and use the finished product for potting soil.
Thank you to Paula and Bronson Lamb for sharing your garden in the Cummer Amelia Garden Tour. The Lambs love our small community and the natural beauty of Amelia.
Photos courtesy of Page Tehan Photography
For more on the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, visit www.cummermuseum.org or
to learn how to become part of the Cummer Amelia group visit www.cummermuseum.org/amelia
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat in the garden.