Calusa Garden Club visits butterflies; host guest

Sara Wolf
Special to the Eagle
Calusa Garden Club members were treated to a guided tour of the Butterfly Garden at Calusa Park on Winterberry Drive.

On the sunny morning of Monday, March 11, Calusa Garden Club members were treated to a guided tour of the Butterfly Garden at Calusa Park on Winterberry Drive.

The tour was guided by Susan LaGrotta who chairs the Butterfly Garden Committee of Calusa Garden Club, with assistance from Sue Oldershaw and Donna Kay. LaGrotta told the club members about the Butterfly Release planned for 11 a.m., April 16, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Calusa Park Butterfly Garden. For a cost of $10 for each butterfly, Marco Island residents can purchase a butterfly in honor of a friend or in memory of a loved one for the mass butterfly release at the celebration on April 16.

Kay and LaGrotta spoke about the life cycle of the butterfly, while Oldershaw identified the plants in the butterfly garden and told the group which butterflies use each plant as either a nectar plant or a host plant.

Nancy Carrington, Sandy Wallen, Annemarie Dalfonso show floral arrangements.

On Monday afternoon, after the Garden Club’s social hour and monthly business meeting, club members enjoyed a floral design demonstration by Nancy Carrrington, florist and owner of Marco Island Florist & Gifts. Carrington was assisted by Annemarie Dalfonso, buyer and visual merchandiser for the shop, who also is a florist.

As Carrington prepared six stunning arrangements using different combinations of antherium, lilies, roses, birds of paradise, statice and succulents, Dalfonso described Carrington’s techniques and named the flowers she was using. Carrington showed Garden Club members how to wire succulents to use in arrangements. Garden Club members asked Carrington and Dalfonso many questions about flowers, design inspiration, and techniques of design.  Pictured are Nancy Carrington, Calusa Garden Club president Sandy Wallen, and Annemarie Dalfonso showing some of the arrangements Carrington made in the demonstration.

Calusa Garden Club is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and membership is open to those interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County. 

Calusa Garden Club meets the second Monday of each month, October through March, at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 350 S. Barfield Drive, Marco Island.  Business meetings begin at 12:30 p.m. and programs begin at 1:15 p.m. Calusa Garden Club welcomes visitors interested in our educational programs and visitors interested in membership.  Contact the Garden Club at, or on the Garden Club’s website,, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.