Calusa Garden Club members present horticulture workshops

Mauree McFarland, Marianne Foley, Monique Doyle, Annette Kuhn, Jo-Ann Carroll, Eva Kubinsky, Sue Oldershaw and Sharon Lewis.

The February horticulture workshop for members of  Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island was “Care and Cultivation of Bromeliads.” Calusa Garden Club Horticulture Chairman Maureen McGovern organized monthly educational horticulture workshops from October through April for garden club members. Presenters are often club members who have expertise to share in a particular field of horticulture. 

Marianne Foley and Sue Oldershaw, long time gardeners on Marco Island, presented the bromeliad workshop at Leigh Plummer Park in the new garden the Club has recently established there that contains bromeliads, staghorn ferns, orchids and tillandsia. They were assisted by master gardener and club member Donna Kay who prepared educational handouts.  Other members who attended were Janet Watson, Jane Robinson, Margie Bramel, Nanette Baumgardner, Kathy Stark, Ellen Norton and Joan Husband.

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Oldershaw reviewed information about bromeliads, including that they are native to North and South America and that there are thousands of varieties and hybrids of these plants. They are tillandsia, or air plants, meaning that they derive their nutrients from the air and from the water in their cups, and through their leaves, but not through their roots.  Their roots only serve to anchor the plants in the ground or on trees or other surfaces.

Foley pointed out the many shapes and colors of bromeliads the group could see in the garden where the group was assembled.  She also showed that some specimens were mounted in trees, while others were planted in the ground. Oldershaw then talked about the plants’ requirements for planting, light, and water, and then showed the group how to separate the several offshoots from one type of bromeliad.Next the group went to work, and pruned some plants and separated offshoots of other plants in the new Calusa Garden Club garden in Leigh Plummer Park.

A bromeliad workshop held Feb. 1 at Leigh Plummer Park.

The earlier 2023 horticulture workshop was held in January at member and Horticulture Chairman Maureen McFarland’s home. McFarland showed the members in attendance how to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and other edible plants here in Southwest Florida. She showed her raised garden containers that contained tomatoes and vegetables. She also treated the group to cups of herbal teas she made by infusing hot water with lemon grass, ginger, and other aromatics or herbs.