Calusa Garden Club refreshes Veterans’ Memorial

From left, Monna Hormel, Sara Wolf, Nancy Adams and Maria Bachich.

On May 15, a team from Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island planted new landscaping in the plaza for the Veterans’ Memorial in Marco Island Cemetery.

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The group of workers skillfully pruned existing bushes and removed some plants to make room for red “fireball” bromeliads on the corners of the memorial plaza. They also planted six low-growing Carissa (white flower) Emerald Blanket along the front of the memorial plaza, which matched the existing Carissa planted around the base of the memorial in color and effect, but which present a different profile.

In addition, the group added a row of Schefflera arboricola variegata on the right side of the Memorial Plaza in order to co-ordinate the area with the neighboring memorial.

The group photo shows Monna Hormel, Sara Wolf, Nancy Adams and Maria Bachich smiling after completing the new plantings at the Veterans’ Memorial. Additional photos show the club members planting the new plants.

Monna Hormel rakes while Maria Bachich plants Carissa.

Other Calusa Garden Club members who worked on the Veterans’ Memorial project design were Janet Watson and Sue Oldershaw. Oldershaw had worked with Eve Schliesser, a Calusa Garden Club founder, in 2008 when the Veterans’ Memorial was installed and the plaza was originally landscaped and enjoyed working on the refreshing of the original design.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island supplied the design and the labor, and the Garden Club thanks Marco Island Cemetery Association for providing the funds for the purchase of the new plants.

The project was brought to the attention of the club by Virginia Read, a longtime Garden Club member, and her friends Therese Giannone and Joe Lombardo. Therese’s sons, Joseph and Vincent Giannone, members of Boy Scout Troop 234 of Marco Island, had raised funds for the Veteran’s Memorial as part of their Eagle Scout Project in 2007. The project was a success, and the beautiful granite Veteran’s Memorial was erected in 2008, thanks to the generosity of local Marco Island citizens and businesses.  Over the years, some of the original landscaping around the Veterans’ Memorial had become overgrown or had died, and Florida friendly landscaping was the answer.

The 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. 

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Calusa Garden Club meets October through April. Contact the Garden Club at, or visit the Garden Club’s website, or its Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.