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The Official Children's State Flower

Michaela’s Garden Project Seed Locations

Michaela’s Garden on Northeast Living

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After the tragic July 2007 home invasion and fire in Cheshire, CT, that took the lives of JENNIFER HAWKE-PETIT and her daughters, HAYLEY and MICHAELA, family members visited the home site to see if anything of value could be salvaged. Little was left.

One exception was the many flowers and foliage plants that Bill and MICHAELA had planted and maintained over the years. One flower in particular was dear to MICHAELA—her Four O’Clocks. Because of that, the Four O’Clocks were dug up, brought to Plainville, CT and replanted.

Michaela’s Garden Project is designed to encourage area families and youth to become more involved in community service.

For the past three summers Michaela’s Four O’Clocks have been re-planted from harvested seeds. As a result, enough seeds have been collected to begin the Michaela’s Garden Project. The summer of 2010 was our first mass propagation effort. With the help of volunteer gardening enthusiasts, Cub Scout Pack 49 of Plainville, Cub Scout Pack 30 of Bristol and other area youth groups, we produced about 5,000 plants—all from Michaela’s original garden. The seeds from these plants were harvested, packed and are being sold in specially designed packs of 25 seeds as a fundraiser for the PETIT FAMILY FOUNDATION.

About Four O’Clocks
A favorite of Michela’s, Four O’Clocks are sturdy, bushy plants with showy red, pink, yellow and white trumpet-shaped flowers. Some blooms are two-toned—usually yellow and white. Four O’Clocks got their name because they open their flowers in mid-afternoon (about 4 o’clock). The blooms remain open overnight, and close in early morning. They are also known for their strong, aromatic fragrance. Four O’Clocks are native to tropical areas of North and South America and are often called the “Marvel of Peru”. They are actually perennials that are grown in northern areas of the U.S. as annuals. The dark green, bushy plants make an excellent hedge or border. Because the flowers are open during the evening and nighttime, the plants are often planted in areas where they will be seen during the early evening and morning hours. Four O’Clocks are hardy plants, exhibiting good tolerances for dry conditions; however, plants will thrive if watered regularly, especially in dry weather. Where possible, plant in full sun and in well-composted soil. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month to encourage vigorous growth. Bulbous roots may be dug up in the fall, cleaned and stored overwinter in the dark, in damp peat moss or sand.

Share the Love
You can help grow the project by planting and harvesting seeds. It’s easy to do. Each plant will set multiple blooms over a two to three month period. As each bloom emerges, matures, wilts and falls away, it will leave one seed—about the size of a peppercorn—which can be picked from the bract. Each plant will set dozens of seeds. During and after harvesting store seeds in a paper bag (not plastic) so that seeds can dry. Send us your harvested seeds and we will pack them for next year’s program. Every 25 seeds returned can mean $10 in additional support for the FOUNDATION.

Current Michaela’s Gardens
CT Science Center, Hartford
Walnut Hill Park, New Britain
Adult Resource Center, Bristol
Artsplace, Cheshire
St Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield
YALE Marsh Botanical Garden, Yale, New Haven
St Phillips House, Plainville
Oxen Hill, Suffield
Geremia’s, Wallingford

The FOUNDATION’S funds are given to help foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences; to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses; and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence.

GOLF TOURNAMENT

Mon, tba, 2018 - info

THE PETIT FAMILY 5K ROAD RACE

Sun, tba, 2018 - info

RIDE FOR JUSTICE

Sun, tba, 2018 - info

MICHAELA’S GARDEN PROJECT

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HEADLINES

Oct 28 - Petit Family Foundation awards $5,000 to Bristol Boys & Girls Club Family Center
Oct 24 - TA Restaurant Group Opens First Fazoli’s Restaurant in Southington, Connecticut
Oct 20 - SAVE THE DATE! Chip's Restaurant Thanksgiving Day Breakfast to benefit PFF
Oct 16 - The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund receives Petit Family Foundation grant in support of regional conference on necrotizing enterocolitis

The latest photos & videos are here

RECENT GRANTS

Boy's & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center
The Diaper Bank
Domestic Violence Crisis Center
The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington
Girl Scouts of Connecticut Inc.
Girl's on the Run Greater Hartford
Leadership, Education, & Athletics in Partnerships, Inc.(LEAP)
Madonna Place, Inc.
Mikey's Way Foundation
The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, Inc. (Morgan's Fund)
New Britain Youth Museum/New Britain Institute
The Resiliency Center of Newtown
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