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Everyone loves to cook with fresh herbs. But isn’t it nicer snipping from your garden than grabbing a plastic package from a grocery shelf? Sometimes, though, growing herbs in the Southwest Florida climate can be a challenge.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island officially kicks off its new season on Monday, Oct. 12, in the Fellowship Hall of Wesley United Methodist Church with a program on “Successfully Growing Culinary Herbs in Southwest Florida” presented by Chris Burt, owner of Island Garden Center.

An off-site members-only workshop featuring a tour of two local gardens will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct.12, in advance of the meeting.

Members of the public who think they might be interested in joining the garden club are invited to attend the culinary herb program beginning at 1:15 p.m.

Seven garden club members visited the Island Garden Center recently in advance of the meeting to learn more about culinary herbs and to help choose some of the specimens to be highlighted in the October program. Burt was there personally to host the group.

“All of my herbs fell victim to heat and humidity this summer,” said Linda Colombo, club president, adding that she is looking forward to learning about overcoming some of her herb-growing challenges.

The Island Garden Center owner responded that some herbs, such as rosemary, can thrive in the ground, in a container – inside or outside of a pool cage, or on a condo balcony, but that others are much more finicky.

Garden Club member Maria Lamb agreed, adding that, in her experience, some varieties of herbs definitely do better than others.

“For example,” she said, “Thai basil holds up in our rainy season much better than conventional basil in my yard.”

A chart featuring the use and pairings of fresh herbs will be available at the meeting and featured in the club’s newsletter.

More information

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island meets at 1:15 p.m. on second Mondays October through March in the Fellowship Hall of Wesley United Methodist Church, 350 S. Barfield Drive. For more information, call Judy Kouhi at 642-4645 or Linda Colombo at 642-6845, visit the club’s website calusa.org , or email calusagardenclub@aol.com.

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