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Gardeners of Southwest Florida Message Board › Butterfly gardening and water gardening in our screened enclosure in Naples

Butterfly gardening and water gardening in our screened enclosure in Naples

Suzanne and P.
Group Organizer
Naples, FL
Post #: 273
Suzanne and I recently moved from cold and icy Geneva, Switzerland, to warm and sunny Naples, Florida, principally to grow the tropical plants we couldn't grow in Switzerland. We're slowly converting our half-acre lawn into a jungle of native Florida wildflowers, flowering shrubs, ground covers, mosses, and productive fruit trees.

We've had our 24'x36' pool cage removed and replaced with a 36'x60' screened enclosure, so that it would encompass part of the garden as well. Within that cage I've planted the shrubs and vines preferred by local Florida butterflies and their caterpillars. The butterflies are breeding now, so they flutter from flower to flower around us as we swim and sunbathe in glorious Florida sunshine. Visitors are charmed when they see a beautiful butterfly flutter by, then return to land gently on their outstretched hands.

I also created two large fish ponds in the enclosure, where we're raising tropical water lilies, papyrus, lotus and other flowering aquatic plants. I netted a dozen gambusia fish out of the lake that borders our garden, and placed them in the ponds. They must have fallen in love and decided this is a good place to raise a family, because now we have hundreds of fish skinnydipping among the water plants.

When we lived in Switzerland, I founded and led the Geneva Area Pond Club, and later the Geneva Area Turtle and Tortoise Society, because we wanted to share our love of these hobbies with others. Both clubs quickly grew, and currently each group has well over 100 families as members. We hope this Gardeners of Southwest Florida group grows just as large, so that members can meet and share their experiences, advice, plants, seeds, and good conversations at this club's monthly meetings.

Suzanne and I enjoy meeting other group members at these casual and informative events. We invite all nature lovers to visit our butterfly garden and water garden in Naples. We'd also enjoy seeing and being inspired by your own gardens. Please send an e-mail so that we can arrange to get together. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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