Visitors to the Gardeners of Southwest Florida's extensive web site could spend hours learning about the club and its members, and get lots of good gardening advice, by clicking on each link at the top of the screen. Browsers can instantly become members for free by clicking on the link to join. (It won't take long, did it?) They can add a note about their particular gardening interests, and a profile photo so that other members can recognize them at the free monthly meetings.
The link marked Home very briefly 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.
On the same Home page, clicking on the titles of previous meetings will let you read about any events you missed, and read the reviews submitted by some of those who attended. In the page's left-hand column you can see some of the ancillary benefits of membership, such as free admission (normally $15 per person) to the impressive walk-in butterfly enclosure at The Butterfly Estates in Fort Myers, and discounts of 10% to 20% from local nurseries and other businesses. The page's right-hand column shows the group's latest activities, including its newest members (you'll see yourselves there when you join), and who's coming to the next meeting.
Clicking on the link marked Members will bring up page after page of local gardeners who have already joined the group, along with their photos and interests. Clicking on their names will give you additional details, like the date they joined, the city they live in, and the greetings they've received from others. A few have included additional photos of themselves. You can post a public greeting to a member yourself, or send a private e-mail by clicking the envelope icon. The mail will be forwarded to the member, and you can decide whether or not to reveal your e-mail address.
The link marked Sponsors produces the page of membership benefits and discount perks. Click on the links titled How to redeem to get full details of each offer. If you have a local nursery or other business and would like to get more customers by promoting your products or services on our web site, please contact the group's organizers to offer a discount or other perk to our members. Then your offer will appear on every page of the web site, and in every mailing that goes out to the members.
Clicking on the link marked Photos will show albums of photos posted by the group's leaders and members. You can click on an album's title to open the album, then click on See all photos to do just that, then click on a photo to enlarge it, then click on the enlarged photo again to see it in its full size. If you have good photos of your own garden or its plants or its wildlife, you can create your own album for the web site by clicking on the link marked Upload photos. Check the dot marked A new album, and type in the name of your album. Then click on Add photos, and upload the pictures from your computer's Photos file. It's good to add a caption to describe the details in each photo.
The link marked Pages brings up a list of additional pages on the web site, which will continue to be expanded. There you'll see separate pages for specific types of gardens, such as flower gardens, vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, cactus gardens, butterfly gardens, and water gardens.
Click on the link marked Discussions, and then on the link marked Message Board. That will provide opportunities for all group members to participate in discussions of interest. Click on the one titled List here the plants or seeds you're seeking or offering to members to do just that. The other discussions are equally self-explanatory. Links on the Discussions page will let members initiate discussions as well, and to get alerts when members add to the discussions.
The link marked More will soon make available additional features of the group's web site. There you can read and participate in various Polls, in which members will be surveyed on various topics concerning gardening and the club. Its leaders will post a range of Files to disseminate detailed information about gardening. The Promote feature gives enthusiastic members the opportunity to publicize the group by inviting friends to join, printing promotional materials, creating group T-shirts and hats, and advertising the group on their own web sites.
Finally, the link marked My profile displays everything you want to post about yourself. Links on that page let you describe yourself in your Introduction. If you haven't already done so, you can post as many portrait photos of yourself as you like, and choose which one should be your profile photo. Click on Email settings to control the number and scheduling of group notices you'd like to receive. On your profile page you can see messages other members have sent to you; links let you reply to them or delete them. Your page can also list the other Meetup groups you've joined, and the other topics that interest you. You can also choose to have your profile hide your groups and/or your interests.
Our web site is frequently updated with additional information, so feel free to check back regularly to see what's new. Enjoy exploring it.