What we're about


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 1,700 gardening families. We usually meet on weekends in group members' gardens or in local nurseries, discussing a different gardening topic each time, with classes usually presented by an expert in that subject. The number who attend these events has ranged from ten to 83 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, nurseries and other local businesses do. You'll be listed for free in our extensive website's Our Sponsors section. 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 and purchase 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 https://meetup.com/FloridaGardeners (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 members remember your name to 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. For any additional information not already shown on the group's website, you can contact group leaders Peter and Suzanne at PeterSuzanne2@hotmail.com or (917) 553-3776.

Past events (148)

At this free class, learn how to create strong healthy disease-resistant plants

Peter and Suzanne's 36' x 60' screened-in garden patio

A party for the garden group's 8th birthday and its co-leader's 85th birthday

Peter and Suzanne's 36' x 60' screened-in garden patio

Photos (3,230)