Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island recently held a Gardening Expo at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The Gardening Expo included seminars on orchids, succulents in dish gardens, and gardening on Marco Island. Over 100 people attended the free seminars, participated in the flower arranging classes, or walked through the floral design display to admire art with flowers.
Patricia Rose, Education Director of Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance, spoke on care and cultivation of orchids, and she and a fellow Orchid Alliance and Naples Orchid Society member Tom O’Donnell brought for display over 20 varieties of beautiful orchids in bloom. The audience was delighted. In addition, Rose described and then demonstrated how to re-pot a beautiful large rare orchid that had outgrown its pot. The audience peppered Rose with questions throughout the seminar, and enthusiastically applauded her presentation when the seminar ended.
Dianne Hughes and Juliette Flasche, National Garden Club Flower Show judge and retired judge, respectively, taught two sessions of a “Make-Your-Own-Centerpiece” class in which the participants prepared a rustic flower arrangement centerpiece that featured an echeveria succulent and colorful pastel roses.
The seminar on Fantastic Succulent Dish Gardens was presented by Mary McIntosh, Barbara Messner and Sara Wolf, who were standing in for seminar author and National Garden Club Horticulture Instructor Dale DeFeo who was ill. Messner and McIntosh taught the audience how to prepare succulent planting mix and the procedure for planting a succulent dish garden as they planted a striking modern succulent dish garden in a demonstration. Then they passed out small succulents and cuttings from McIntosh’s garden collection, which the audience members greatly appreciated.
In the final seminar for the day, Master Gardener Donna Kay and 40-year Marco Island gardener Sue Oldershaw presented a seminar on Month-By-Month Gardening on Marco Island, including a section on gardening in earth boxes.
As part of the Gardening Expo, Calusa Garden Club floral designers displayed 16 beautiful floral designs in the Lauritzen Gallery for the viewing pleasure of the attendees. The People’s Choice Award, chosen by attendees, was won by Jackie Purvis for her design of succulents and orchids on driftwood. As an added attraction, Garden Club members raffled four gift baskets, and club members also promoted the sale of their newly published Month-By-Month Gardening Guide. The day was capped by Garden Club President Sandy Wallen drawing winning raffle tickets for the gift baskets, with resulting excited cries of “I won!” coming from the assembled ticket purchasers.