Fernandina Beach, Nassau County: Counting Blessings

There is something good and virtuous about counting your blessings — especially when starting a new year. We still live in an enchanted place. Just ask the visitors who travel to Amelia Island from around the world. The beaches are still breathtaking, the historic district of Fernandina Beach still emanates a distinct charm, and the island lifestyle is still laid-back and idyllic. Norman Rockwell could portray us in a painting.

Northeast Florida: It’s Time to Prune the Muscadines

Do you have fruit growing in your yard? Muscadine grapes should be pruned between January and March in the Northeast Florida area. Concerned about your orange tree during a hard freeze? Most of the oranges we grow in Northeast Florida area are grafted onto cold hardy root stock, so there is less chance of losing the tree from freeze damage. The portion of the tree you truly need to protect is the grafting part (where the root stock meets the scion).

Ten Hopes for a Fruitful New Year in 2010

On a local level, the national issues have inevitably trickled down and impacted our way of life here. However, so has the hope of an economic recovery and a return to a normal way of life. With a new year beckoning, here are 10 hopes for 2010. It is indeed a wish list, but it’s the kind of positive thinking we need as a follow-up from last year.

Holiday Season May Turn Out Jolly Good

Judging from initial readings, the Christmas holidays may turn out to be a jolly good season — and a respectable finish to a tumultuous year. This is not to sugar-coat a U.S. economic landscape with a 10 percent unemployment rate, a ballooning national debt, and a chaotic political scene. Or to be insensitive to those of us falling upon hard times. Let’s count our blessings either way. Remember, just one year ago, things looked a lot worse than they do now in the financial and economic senses.

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Backyard Economics 101

Doing business locally when possible in our own backyard is more important than ever in the current economic environment. Local residents should remember the ghosts of Christmas past and think twice before spending dollars outside of Nassau County, Florida this holiday shopping season, and throughout the coming New Year.

Florida Gardening: Winter Lawn Watering, Oleander Moths

A University of Florida faculty member and Nassau County Extension Horticultural Agent, Rebecca Jordi addresses some of the questions she receives about landscaping and gardening in northeast Florida, in GARDEN TALK. The Extension also offers helpful clinics throughout the year, providing assistance to local gardeners…

R.I.P.: Bosque Bello Cemetery, Fernandina

Called “beautiful woods” by the Spanish, Bosque Bello is located off North 14th Street in Fernandina, toward Amelia Island’s northwest, close to “Old Town.” Here in the Amelia Island area, oak trees draped in Spanish moss are a distinguishing characteristic of the local landscape. To most people not living here, “Florida” connotes coconut palm trees — not these ancient oaks with “beards.” The name, “Spanish moss,” is thought to have originated from its resemblance to the Spaniard explorers’ beards. Legend has it that the Indians called it “tree hair.” It’s not a true moss, but rather an epiphyte (or air plant). Visually, it adds interest, and drapes the local landscape with a distinctly southern charm.

Flowering Fernandina: Blossoming Grass Roots Effort

“Flowering Fernandina” is a blossoming grassroots effort to instill beauty through bountiful flowers in the historic downtown area. It has been embraced by city officials, business owners, and individuals alike.