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Small Trees but Big Show

Jatropha Peregrina

Plant Talk By Mike Malloy For all of us who want to have one of the showiest trees in town in our gardens (Royal Poinciana) and just don’t have the room because of their size, here are some of my favorite small trees that can be grown in courtyards, containers and small yards here in southwest Florida that can also be as special as the big boys. Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is the little brother to the Royal Poinciana but a much smaller size. This evergreen shrub that can be pruned and trained into a specimen small tree, usually about ... Read More »

No Snoozin’ in Goodland

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Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn Seasonal visitors driving through Goodland or visiting some of our excellent eateries, observe a sleepy village (except on Sundays) where, during the week anyhow, nothing much seems to happen. There are no stores, beaches, theaters, or malls. The village is surrounded by water and mangrove forests. There is only one way in and one way out. What do those guys do anyhow? Quite a bit actually. One of my favorites is the self-styled Pool Sharks and Red Hot Mamas. Formed in 2009, this eclectic bunch gets together every Thursday afternoon, at a member’s house to ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida Landscape

Concentrica

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Bromeliads are finally getting the attention they deserve. Until recently, they were only popular with a small segment of house-plant enthusiasts. Today, bromeliads are prized tropical treasures in many Southwest Florida landscapes and public and private gardens. Featuring a wide range of color, leaf shapes and textures, bromeliads are as beautiful as they are hardy. If you’re looking for beautiful, exotic-looking tropical plants that are easy to care for and drought tolerant, look no further than bromeliads. Bromeliads are in the Bromeliaceae family, which is native to the tropical Americas. The pineapple plant is the most ... Read More »

Gardening for Bees

Sweet Almond

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Honeybees are more important than most people realize. Hundreds of crops that we have come to love and also dislike rely on the honey bee for pollination. It’s estimated that the sum of approximately fifteen billion dollars annually, is the value of the honey bees work in the United States agriculture industry. About one third of all food consumed in the United States is pollinated by bees. Inadequate pollination will reduce the size and quality of crops. The demise of the honey bee is a complex issue. Since 2006 bee keepers have lost about one third ... Read More »

Courtyard Gardens

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com In Florida, there are many homes that are built around small courtyards having a view of the courtyard from all rooms in the house. Small areas, which can be a challenge to landscape, can be the true focal point of your home if done right. Keeping plants neat and organized and watching their size will ensure the area will not be overwhelming. Creating your own tropical paradise can be fun and rewarding even if you live in a condo with a small lanai. Plants and Trees Planting a small tree in your courtyard can really bring ... Read More »

American Cancer Society Saving 500 Lives Per Day

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Sr. Manager Distinguished Events American Cancer Society, Marco New data shows that the American Cancer Society continues to create a world with more birthdays by saving 500 lives per day. In fact, 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer today will survive at least five years. These are encouraging statistics, and they motivate me to work as hard as I can to help finish this fight. I invite you to join me. So, you may be thinking how do we make this happen? We do it by working together to raise the funds that the ... Read More »

More Holiday Ornaments in the Winter Garden

Christmas Flower (Euphorbia leucocephala)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Last time I gave you names of some plants that become beautiful holiday ornaments in our gardens during the holiday season here in South Florida. Now that Thanksgiving is over, I think! And Christmas is coming, or is it the over? Or are they all on the same day? This year they seemed to be celebrated at the same time! I would like to continue with others that will bring joy to our hearts and souls during this festive time of the year. Creating joy and happiness in the eyes of any gardener, beginner or old ... Read More »

Bracing Myself

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GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind of fun; so many things to do jam-packed into so little time. Over the last week, the air has once again become thick with an almost palpable anticipation for the sudden influx of tourism that’s just around the corner, and ... Read More »

Seashells by the Seashore

Her doggies.Photos By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Someone asked me recently what I love about the beach. It was then I realized why I’ve always gravitated to the nearest body of water. The Great Lakes stay cool, even in the dead of summer; the Atlantic Ocean’s waves make me feel like a little kid, no matter my age; the Gulf of Mexico is warm and clear, reminding me of the Caribbean Sea, the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen. Despite their differences, every shore I’ve walked along has made me feel like I’m at standing at the earth’s end. At night, ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Splendes (Glory Bower)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using them ... Read More »

The Power of a Kind Heart

The impromptu event ended with a group photo for Margie. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com In my 35 years of being perpetually lost in the big city shuffle, I have never had the pleasure or privilege of witnessing unity and support within a neighborhood like I’ve experienced here. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the small island community of Goodland came together in a very big way with a tremendous show of love and support for one of their own. Nearly 400 familiar faces gathered in Margood Harbor Park to participate in a benefit to raise money for 30-year beloved Goodland resident, Margie Fortune. Two days before Thanksgiving, Margie was diagnosed with colon ... Read More »

What to do With Holiday Plants After the Holidays

Pointsetta

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) The poinsettia is probably the best known and most popular holiday plant. It has been hybridized into many different colors, but I believe red is still the most popular. It’s festive and epitomizes the holiday season. It’s unfortunate that because the price of poinsettias has become so reasonable, most of them end up in the garbage after the holidays, and because I hate to see any plant suffer that terrible fate, here is what you need to do to ensure that your poinsettia, along with several other popular holiday plants, will re-bloom next ... Read More »

An Island Christmas

At our house, even the pets are forced to be merry.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Christmas is just around the corner, and “island-style” holiday preparations are being made all around me. I’m also nearing the one-year anniversary of my big move here in February, and I’ve been reflecting back on this past year in sunny southwest Florida. I’ve never been happier, and my kids are doing really well. We are all making adjustments and thriving, but the holidays are proving an unfamiliar challenge to me and my newly relocated family. This time last year, my brothers and I were digging our cars out from under several feet of snow daily, ... Read More »

Tropical Ornaments Abound

Black Bat (Tacca chantrieri)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com The holidays are here again. Soon, we’ll be unpacking colorful ornaments and decorating our trees. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy festive decorations year round? Well, here in Naples, we can. The tropical jewels that bloom in our gardens are as beautiful as any or-nament you can buy at the store. The Dombeya, for example, every home in Naples should have at least one of these beauties. The Dombeya, also known as tropical hydrangea, starts bloom-ing in the fall and usually continues blooming until summer. It’s hands-down the most spectacular winter-blooming plant. Dombeya ... Read More »

Why We Are Thankful

Volunteer of the Year,  Cathy Nelson, with husband John. SUBMITTED PHOTO

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend with family and friends and enjoying the start of the holiday season! I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it is all about being with each other and being thankful for all of our blessings. Here at the Marco Island American Cancer Society we have so much to be thankful for and it’s all because of you – everyone that supports us day in and day out in the fight against cancer. More than 100 years ago, the American Cancer Society was started by ... Read More »

Homegrown Clams

Nick spent most of the day covered head-to-toe; the process of  getting into a wetsuit proved more complicated than I thought. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Does the average seafood lover ever wonder about what is involved in bringing their favorite oceanic edibles to the table? As a seafood lover myself, I’ve always gravitated to the surf items on any menu, but I’ve never really put much thought into how that delicious shellfish came to land on my plate. Where do the clams in my clam chowder come from? I’m a city girl from Ohio, which means they’ve always originated in a can, and until now, that was okay. But since moving to Florida, all of the seafood I’ve eaten has ... Read More »

Fall Color in the Florida Landscape

Alata cassia Candlelabra Cassia

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Summer heat is beginning to subside. and we actually have temperatures in the mornings in the 50s and 60s. The first thing to do is open all the windows and doors. The next step is to start enjoying all the cassias, or sennas, that begin to bloom this time of the year. Cassias are generally known for their fast growth. Let me get this over with now before we all get confused: Cassias and sennas are the same group of plants, but some people with too much time on their hands decided to change the name ... Read More »

Sunshine in Goodland

On the opening night of his exhibit, Donald Sunshine and his wife Joanna greeted every visitor. They are pictured here with Marco Island residents, Judy and Ron Hattendorf.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in my decision to leave Ohio and move here in search of a better life. It’s hard to describe the pride I feel when others get to see my beloved home as I do, but recently I had an opportunity to ... Read More »

More Notable South Florida Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are other notable butterflies we have here in South Florida, and I would like to tell you about one of my favorites — the Buckeye butterfly. A medium-size Florida butterfly, the Buckeye has several eye spots on both fore and hind wings of this very colorful butterfly. These are usually large round spots on the wings that make the butterfly seem much larger than it really is to scare away predators. The Buckeye has a tendency to stay low to the ground and perch in the sun for hours on end, watching for any ... Read More »

Celebrating the Past and the Future

Shell tool artifacts

By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig R. Woodward On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Historical Museum will celebrate the next stage of their evolution with the completion of its newest permanent exhibit about Frank Hamilton Cushing and his famous 1896 archeological expedition on Marco Island. Dubbed “Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island,” the ribbon will be cut on the exhibit Nov. 15 during a private donor reception, followed by a MIHS member preview on Monday, Nov. 17. It will officially open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 18. It will ... Read More »