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We are the Gardeners of Southwest Florida, an informal group of avid gardeners based around Naples and Fort Myers. Membership and everything else is free in this group; all expenses are paid by leaders Peter Kacalanos and Suzanne Cherney. Current membership totals over 1,100 gardening families. We usually meet on most weekends in group members' gardens or local nurseries, discussing a different gardening topic each time, usually presented by an expert in that subject. The number who attend these events has ranged from ten to 81 members and visitors. We all learn about the particular problems of gardening in this sub-tropical environment, exchange our excess plants for free, share light foods and drinks during the snack-and-chat period, and trade gardening information and advice.

Many members focus on planting a variety of wildlife-attracting species of flowers, shrubs, vines and trees, ideally those native to Florida. At our meetings we've discussed growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, cactus, succulents, bromeliads, orchids, bonsai, native plants, tropical plants, flowering shrubs and trees. Other topics included organic gardening, water gardening, vertical gardening, butterfly gardening, wildlife gardening, landscaping, composting, fertilizing, pruning, indoor plants, invasive plants, pest management, horticulture, permaculture, and hurricane-resistant trees.

Do you have a gardening business that would be of interest to our members? You can schedule an informative presentation at one of our future meetings to share your knowledge, and let our members know about your company. Your firm can also offer discounts to the members, as 20 garden centers and other other businesses do. You'll be listed for free in our website's Our Sponsors section on the left side of each page of the extensive site. (It's right there, on your left.) Your listing will include your company's name, its logo or photo, your discount offer, and a direct link to your firm's web site to let our members instantly see your products and services.

Everyone is welcome to join Gardeners of Southwest Florida. You can instantly sign up with no obligation on the group's informative website at (It won't take long, did it?) When you do, you'll be handed your colorful membership card (printed with your full name) at the first event you attend. The membership card will give you discounts of 10%, 15% or 20% at all the gardening companies listed on the "Our Sponsors" column of the group's website. You'll also get an equally colorful name tag (printed with just your first name and your town) to wear at each event, which helps all members become good gardening friends. The membership is free, the garden classes are free, the refreshments are free, the advice is free, and your gardening pleasure will increase as you share creative ideas and good conversation with other avid gardeners in our area.

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  • Suzanne and Peter founded Gardeners of Southwest Florida

    on June 29


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