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Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island presented an educational workshop at the Marco Island branch of Collier County Library on Tuesday, Jan. 7 to a group of about 25 community members. 

Club member Dale DeFeo illustrated the workshop with a PowerPoint slide show as well as with a handout with step-by-step instructions on planting and caring for a succulent dish garden.

DeFeo is a National Garden Clubs horticulture instructor, master judge, master landscape design consultant, master gardening consultant and master environmental consultant.

DeFeo also demonstrated as she talked by planting a striking succulent dish garden as a gift to the library.

Friends of the Library supported the presentation by sponsoring the materials for the dish garden, and the succulent dish garden is now in place at the Library. 

At its Junior Gardeners meeting at Tommie Barfield Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 7, the Garden Club awarded a campership to Kyleigh Haueter, a fifth-grade student at Tommie Barfield Elementary and a member of Junior Gardeners.  The campership pays the student’s tuition and transportation expenses to Camp Wekiva.

Wekiva Youth Camp, sponsored by Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, is an environment focused nature activity camp located in Wekiwa Springs State Park. 

At its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, the club inducted four new members: Annette Kuhn, Joyce Hathaway, Joan Gracey and Cynthia Swayze. After the business meeting, the club welcomed horticulturalist Eric Jadaszewski, owner of Everglades Native Designs, LLC.

Club members were delighted that over 20 community members joined them to hear Jadaszewski’s presentation Native Plants and Habitats for Marco Island.

Jadaszewski described our local native habitats:  beach dunes, coastal hammocks, subtropical hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and marshes. Then he discussed the plants that were part of each habitat. He also brought about 10 potted specimen plants that are native to our Marco Island habitat and illustrated his PowerPoint presentation with multiple photos of native plants – from trees to small trees to bushes to ground hugging flowers – such as sabal palms, live oaks, coco plums, ferns and beach daisy. He recommends that Marco Island landscapes be planted with native species that not only look beautiful, but also thrive in the Marco Island environment. If we populate our landscape with these plants that grow naturally without human interference, we reduce and hopefully eliminate the need for fertilizer, weed killer and irrigation, and we thereby preserve our waterways. Among the specimens Jadaszewski brought for the club members to see were coontie, buttonwood, muhly grass, clusia, and firebush.

Calusa Garden Club meets the second Monday of the months of October and November, and January 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. 

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