Calusa Garden Club Home Garden Tour | Entertainment

Calusa Garden Club Home Garden Tour | Entertainment

On Friday, March 31, Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island hosted over 50 ticket holders for its Second Annual Home Garden Tour. Marco Island residents presenting their home gardens for the tour were Susan LaGrotta, Cathy Williford, Jen Ferrier and Maria Lamb. The hosts’ four beautiful gardens were very different from each other, and garden tour ticket holders were awed by the variety and beauty of plants and landscapes they saw. Tour attendees also appreciated that the home gardeners themselves took them on the tours and personally explained their plants and planting areas.

Each home also featured a presentation by a Calusa Garden Club member on a gardening or floral design topic. Demonstration presenters were Connie Lowery and Sara Wolf on leaf manipulation in floral designs; Marianne Foley on using tillandsia in decorations and rooting succulents; Lindy Kowalczyk on making a centerpiece for your table; and Sharon Lewis on container gardens – thrill, fill and spill.

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The tour group holds the centerpieces that Lindy Kowalczyk (in back with hat) demonstrated for them.

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Cathy Williford shows her garden.

Maria Lamb’s large hillside lot was a standout for her use of bromeliads and orchids in planting beds, in addition to hosting wildlife in the form of gopher tortoise burrows. Maria also grouped orchids together to form a small “grotto” and fastened them to shade trees where they thrive.

Susan LaGrotta’s use of only native plants showed tour attendees how varied foliage and colorful blooms of native plants are as beautiful as imported tropical plants and more friendly to birds, butterflies and bees. Susan also told the tour groups what plants survived the flood of Hurricane Ian, including the beach daisy she thought was dead but returned in full bloom.

Cathy Williford’s beautiful riverside garden showcases perennial and annual flowers, in addition to containing a succulent garden. Cathy’s use of varied colors of ground covering plants, from light green to dark green, illustrates that the background of a planting bed is part of the design and can make the flowers and flowering shrubs pop.

Jen Ferrier’s home is striking by its use of large agave and palm trees that form the centers of her planting beds. She also illustrated the methods of fastening bromeliads, orchids, and tillandsia to trees for a beautiful effect. Ferrier and Marianne Foley are shown in the photo with the welcome sign Ferried designed that was made of a window box of flowering plants enclosed in a picture frame.