Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island presented an educational workshop at Marco Island Branch of Collier County Library on Feb. 19 to a group of over 30 community members.

Sue Oldershaw, a Garden Club member with over 40 years’ experience gardening on Marco Island; Brenda Rasch, librarian of Marco Branch of Collier County Library; and Donna Kay, a Garden Club member who is a certified Collier County master gardener.  Oldershaw and Kay illustrated their important points with photos taken by Kay that showed good and bad practices evident in local Marco Island landscapes and gardens.

The presentation educated the attendees about our climate – we are living in a coastal environment, in subtropical Zone 10A. Our planting conditions include poor, sandy soil and we are surrounded by water, with the effect of salt spray on windy days. They recommended that the best way to landscape in Marco Island is to use Florida friendly plants, native plants when possible, and to work with the climate that exists here.

These practices require less of our drinking water to maintain our landscapes, require less fertilizers and pesticides and help protect our waterways by yielding less pollutant run-off. Oldershaw and Kay highlighted the motto: Right plant, right place. Their slides of beautiful Marco Island landscapes showed attendees what colorful and attractive effects could be achieved by homeowners and condominium associations when using regionally appropriate plants.

Also, in February, Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island donated flowers in public places to Mutual of Omaha Bank, the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, and Tommie Barfield Elementary.

Marianne Foley placed a design at Mutual of Omaha Bank. Kathy Hershberger placed a design at the Chamber of Commerce office. Sara Wolf placed a design featuring sunflowers at Tommie Barfield Elementary School.

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 five months or more in Collier County. 

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.  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.

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