Florida Gardening 101: A beginner's guide

The December 2 meeting will be held in the 36'x60' screened enclosure in the club leaders' half-acre garden in Naples. This event is designed to provide novice gardeners with all the basic information they'll need to garden in the semi-tropical environment we have in southwest Florida. Experienced gardeners will attend to answer beginners' questions and provide additional practical advice.

A wide assortment of topics will be addressed, to cover the broad range of interests we gardeners enjoy. We'll discuss which flowering shrubs and trees are best for attracting native Florida butterflies, birds and other wildlife to our gardens. Experts will explain which palms and other trees have proven to be the most resistant to Florida hurricanes. Conversations about basic landscape designing can inspire club members to remake their gardens to look more natural, or more formal, whichever they prefer.

The meeting hosts will show how raised flower beds can make gardening more comfortable for seniors, and how container gardening can beautifully display attractive plants. You'll see how large plastic storage boxes and tubs can be sunk into the ground to easily create small ponds for growing lotus, papyrus and other exotic aquatics. The hosts' mini-orchard includes tropical fruit trees producing papayas, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, tangelos, key limes, Meyer lemons, mangoes, avocados, bananas, star fruits, and pineapples. Some of these fruits will be included in the snacks and drinks served at each club meeting.

You'll learn how to build a compost bin which in time will convert garden trash into rich garden loam for your plants, how to recognize and control garden pests without endangering the environment, how to use the proper fertilizers to increase the growth and flowering of each kind of plant, and get tips on raising orchids, bromeliads, cactus, succulents, bog plants, and others requiring specific conditions.

Other topics likely to come up include replacing lawns with a wide variety of alternative ground-covers that are much better for the ecology; creating new plants from old by air-layering, ground-layering, and giving cuttings a good start with rooting hormone in a boggy planting bed; choosing native Florida plants and removing invasive plants; and any other subjects under the sun that members tend to bring up during meetings.

To let the hosts know whether you can or can't attend this get-together, just click either Yes or No on the web site's RSVP link. Visitors are always welcome at these free events, so invite any interested friends and neighbors to come along. Please indicate the number of visitors you're inviting when you RSVP. We expect this meeting to be as informative and successful as each of the previous get-togethers held here. We're looking forward to seeing you on December 2.

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  • Etelka Kovacs

    speedy recovery.and a flue shot next time

    January 4, 2013

  • Deborah Silver

    Sorry we are gong to miss Sunday. I am just getting over the flu

    January 4, 2013

  • Suzanne and Peter

    Each monthly meeting seems even more enjoyable than the one before. Members were given a guided tour around our garden, and asked about each fruit tree in our orchard, how to plant pineapple tops to create new plants, why Peter feeds banana skins to the large staghorn ferns, and the varieties of butterflies breeding in the screened enclosure, where the meeting was held.

    Everyone left with something from the plant-exchange table, including young potted trees, vines, bromeliads, papayas, oranges and lemons. Pictures of the event are in the web site's Photos pages. The web site's Home page lists the next three monthly meetings in other members' gardens.

    December 2, 2012

  • Suzanne and Peter

    Other members of this group have beautiful gardens which can inspire each of us to improve our own. Please let us know if you'd ever consider hosting a future meeting in your own garden. Meeting hosts can set their preferred day and time for the event, and limit the number of those who can attend.

    November 1, 2012

13 went

  • Suzanne and Peter +1
    Club leaders since 2012, Organizer
    Event Host
  • David Chapman
    Meeting Host
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