Garden Club’s Junior Gardeners Learn About Tortoises
This school year, 25 Tommie Barfield Elementary students are participating in the Calusa Garden Club’s Junior Gardener Program. The first Junior Gardener meeting featured retired City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie presenting a program on tortoises. After the program, the students applied their new knowledge to creating fanciful tortoises to take home. The Junior Gardeners enjoyed learning about and creating tortoises to take home. The boys agreed, though, that what they really look forward to are the “digging-in-the-dirt” activities.
Garden Club Members Tour Marco Island Florida Friendly Yards
On a lovely October Marco Islandmorning, 15 Calusa Garden Club members toured two local gardens on Mulberry Court. Sue Oldershaw personally narrated a tour of her garden and that of her neighbors, Janet and Larry Bowser, pointing out specimens and describing growth and blooming habits. She also keyed in on use of garden art as focal points in the gardens.
Garden club members were especially interested in the saucer-sized deep purple blossoms of the passion vine. With their frilly edges and bright yellow centers, the blossoms are somewhat reminiscent of – but much more showy than – northern clematis. Florida passion vines also are preferred feeding hosts for fritillary butterflycaterpillars. Another showy plant, the plumeria pudica, also interested garden club members because, unlike the deciduous frangipani tree, it is evergreen in our climate, and also more shrub-like in size and shape. Both yards have been certified by the University of Florida as “Florida friendly,” and both have won “Marco in Bloom” awards. Sue’s yard also has been designated a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Foundation.
Calusa Garden Club Learns Tricks for Growing Herbs
Learning tricks to growing herbs in the Southwest Florida climate began for some Calusa Garden Club members with an invitation to Island Garden Center from Chris Burt, owner, and on-sitediscussions about varieties of culinary herbs and some of their growth habits.
Then, at the October meeting of the garden club, Chris shared some secrets of successfully growing culinary herbs, pointing out, however, that there are both annuals and perennials in the herb families, with some of our favorites falling into the annuals category – meaning they likely will need to be replaced at least once a year.
Chris brought many herbs with him to the meeting, and garden club members lined up to choose which ones to buy. Two lovely herb dish gardens also were donated by Island Garden Center as door prizes.
Calusa Garden Clubof Marco Island was chartered in 1982 as a Federated Garden Club of National Garden Clubs, Inc., Deep South Region. Regular meetings are held the second Monday of the month in the Fellowship Hall of Wesley United Methodist Church at 350 S. Barfield Drive. The social and business portions of the meeting begin at noon, and the program at 1:15 PM. Prospective members are always welcome.
On November 9, the club’s 11 AM on-site workshop and 1:15 PM program will center on floral design and decorating for the holidays. There also will be a plant exchange and sale. For further information, please visit www.calusa.org or contact Judy Kouhi, membership chair, at 239-642-4645.