A herb garden grows in the Village of Florida

Emily de Jong creates a garden filled with sage, lemon balm and lavender at the Raymond Green House as her Girl Scout Gold Award


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  • Provided photos Emily de Jong completed her Girl Scout Gold Award in August by creating this herb garden at the Raymond Green House in the Village of Florida for the Florida Historical Society.




  • After the completion of the garden, Emily hosted an event for Girl Scout Troop 429 where she spoke about her project. The girls also got a tour of the Raymond Green House led by Gary Randall, president of the Florida Historical Society, where they learned about the house’s history, the garden and the parts of the house restored by other Girl Scouts.




  • Emily de Jong is pictured here during her high school awards ceremony in June, where the Florida Historical Society recognized her project at the Raymond Green House. She also received a scholarship from the historical society. She is now a freshman at SUNY Geneseo.




— Emily de Jong completed her Girl Scout Gold Award in August by creating an herb garden at the Raymond Green House in the Village of Florida for the Florida Historical Society.

The Raymond Green House is one of the oldest homes in the Village of Florida and after its donation to the Florida Historical Society, restoration of the interior and exterior were needed.

Emily, wanting to work outside, decided to enhance the backyard of the house by designing a wheel herb garden, focused around herbs commonly used in the late 1800’s.

The herbs were also selected based on their popularity today and include lavender, oregano, sage, mint, lemon balm and thyme.

After approval from the Girl Scout council, the project began with Emily designing and mapping out the foundation of the garden. She directed volunteers including her grandfather, John Galiski, and other family and friends to make her design a reality.

Emily and her grandfather, John, measured and roped off the area, removed the sod while volunteers leveled the ground with dirt donated by Anthony Monaco Landscaping to make sure the bricks would lay flat.

During the process, two large boulders were discovered in the foundation and had to be removed.

Aside from the boulders, many other items turned up in the 166-square-foot area including several pounds of iron nails and scrapes, army men, marbles, belt and/or shoe buckles, glass bottles, buttons and much more.

Emily and volunteers laid sand and bricks for the perimeter and for the spokes, dividing the different herbs of the garden.

Next to the garden is an old shed foundation that Emily decided to make into a seating area. It was cleared out of the overgrown weeds and weed block was laid down in both the garden and the shed foundation.

The herbs purchased from Sugar Loaf Mountain Herb were planted and mulch was laid in both the garden and shed foundation.

A bench and a birdbath pulled the garden area together.

After the completion of the garden, Emily hosted an event for Girl Scout Troop 429 where she spoke about her project and the uses of the herbs planted.

The girls also got a tour of the Green House led by Gary Randall, president of the Florida Historical Society, and were intrigued by the house’s history, the garden, and the parts of the house restored by other Girl Scouts.

Emily, who graduated in June from the S.S. Seward Institute, enjoyed creating the herb garden and working with her family and friends right up to the day before she left for SUNY Geneseo.

She was glad to have helped her community and hopes the garden helps create an inviting atmosphere to the house and that it inspires other to also help in the restoration of the Raymond Green house.

She would like to thank all those who helped her throughout the project for their support, advice and service.





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