This free garden club was founded so that local gardeners could meet one another at regular monthly get-togethers to share their experiences, and offer and receive practical advice. Whether they're long-time residents very knowledgeable about gardening in this semi-tropical environment, or new residents from up north unfamiliar with the plants of southwest Florida, group members freely exchange ideas at our informal meetings.
The free gatherings take place in the homes and gardens of volunteer members, usually on the first Sunday of every month, typically from 3 to 5 PM in winter and 4 to 6 PM in summer. We're all inspired by the wide range of landscaping designs created in other members' gardens. Usually light snacks and drinks are served during these events, although meeting hosts are under no obligation to do so. Hosts can also adjust the date and time of their gatherings to suit their convenience. Members who would like to host a meeting can write to the group's organizers, Peter Kacalanos and Suzanne Cherney, at PeterSuzanne2@hotmail.com, or call them in Naples at (239) 331-2858.
Peter and Suzanne often host meetings in their own butterfly garden and water garden, which are within the 36'x60' screened enclosure located in their flower and fruit garden. Those who attend relax in the shade of the patio with no worry about mosquitoes, while dozens of native Florida butterflies breeding there flutter from flower to flower within the enclosure. During the meetings, members also admire the hundreds of tiny local fish swimming through the tropical water lilies, papyrus, lotus and other beautiful flowering aquatic plants in the enclosure's large ponds.
Visitors to the club's web site can instantly become members for free by clicking on the link to join. (It won't take long, did it?) They can then click on each link at the top of the screen to get useful information on every page of the extensive web site. The link marked Home lists the web site's latest changes, notably the upcoming free meetings. Clicking on a meeting you'd like to attend will bring up a page giving the event's full details. There you can submit your RSVP by clicking the link to reply Yes or No, and indicate the number if you're inviting any guests to come along.