Many of the 47 gardeners who attended the club's recent excursion here have asked for a return visit, so our host Rege Malone has generously invited us back for another tour of this veritable Garden of Eden. Our events usually last only two hours, but there are so many beautiful plants and animals to see here that we'll be enjoying the place from 12 noon to 3 PM.
We'll all meet on the patio beside the large koi pond. Rege will lead groups of about 15 members at a time on informative guided tours of the extensive property, so that everyone in each group can hear his explanations of what we're seeing. The tours will include visits to areas our members didn't see last time. The first 45-minute tour will start around noon, the second at about 12:45, and so on.
Those who would prefer to explore the grounds on their own will be given a handout for a self-guided tour. They can use it to go through the garden, the nursery, the barn with farm animals, and the menagerie with other creatures. Signs will be placed throughout the property so we'll all know where we are.
Rege and his partner Al will have someone in the nursery to assist us and answer questions about each plant. Someone in the barn will introduce the farm animals to us, including all the babies born since our last visit. A few of them, along with some new plants, are listed near the bottom of this page. Note that your own pets should be left at home when you visit here, lest they disturb the animals on this property.
At 2 PM everyone should gather on the patio beside the pond. That's when Rege will give us an informative program about soil-less potting mixes, plant propagation, and how to make a "patio rooting greenhouse" using recycled plastic bins or just clear plastic bags. If time and interest allow, he'll also demonstrate the technique of air-layering to create a rooted stem without cutting it off its parent plant. Rege is a Master Gardener, and helps teach such techniques in Collier County's courses for new Master Gardeners.
Our host should know how many people plan to attend this event. You can indicate on line whether you can or can't come by clicking either Yes or No at the RSVP link near the top right corner of the screen. If your plans later change, just return to this page to revise your answer. You can always invite friends to come along to these free events. Please include the number you're inviting when you submit your RSVP.
As usual, members will bring their favorite foods and drinks to share with others during the snack-and-chat portions of our get-togethers. And those who bring their excess garden plants for the plant-exchange table can take home for their own gardens whichever other plants they like. Generous gardeners always share their extra bounty with other members of the club.
Note that parking is no longer limited on Rege's property. As on our earlier visit there, the farm animals will all be moved to their pens for this event, so we can park our cars in the open field at the back end of the property. That doesn't preclude sharing rides to this event if you enjoy carpooling with other club members. Offers and requests for sharing rides are always listed on the web site's Carpooling page, accessed by clicking this green link. Riding in the company of other gardeners helps to bond members together, and provides a great opportunity to discuss gardening problems and solutions during the ride.
Among the new and unusual tropical plants we'll be seeing during the tours are an orange-flowered Medanilla (a third variety), and a new dwarf Taiwan sugar palm (Arenga engleri). We might see in bloom the yellow geiger tree, white powder puff, lover's tree, yellow desert cassia, orange-flowered persekia cactus, and white fragrant dombeya. The herald's trumpet (Beaumontia grandiflora), New Guinea trumpet (Tecomanthe dendrofila), Panama queen (Aphelandra sinclairiana) and others are loaded with buds, and should be in their glory by showtime.
All these varieties, and hundreds of others potted up in the nursery, can be bought for your own garden. Rege generously offers all registered members of our club a 10% discount on all purchases--not only during this event, but always. Details are on the section of our web site which lists the discounts and other perquisites offered to our members by nine local nurseries and other organizations. Click this green link to reach the Perks section. The link is also in the left-hand column on every page of the web site.
The liveliest features we admired on the club's previous visit to Rege and Al's were the many domestic and wild animals on the property. These include horses, donkeys, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, white and colorful peacocks and peahens, parrots, macaws, cockatoos, and deer. The latest additions are the eight babies born since our previous visit. Among them are Nubian goats born on December 30 and January 3, including quadruplets from supermom Waverly. Bring your camera to take closeup photos of the animals and magnificent blooms, then post your best shots on the club's web site to make those who couldn't attend really jealous.