Submitted By: Sara Wolf

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island – Publicity Chairperson

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island’s recent September “Cocktails and Chat” session included a Round Robin in which club members showed floral designs they had made from flowers and plants found solely in their own yards or condominium grounds.  The creativity the floral designs showed was fantastic!  In our subtropical landscapes here on Marco Island, we have the opportunity to grow many beautiful flowering plants and exotic foliage plants all year round.

Calusa Garden Club members have enjoyed their informal “Cocktails and Chat” sessions online through the Zoom app over the summer and early fall.  The informal Zoom meetings always include a Round Robin so that the members can discuss a particular topic on horticulture or floral design. One horticulture Round Robin featured members showing a plant or a photo of a plant that the member “loved, or loved to hate” (in the event there was a problem growing the particular plant).  In addition, the online get-togethers have included news of gardening activities the members are working on, offers to share offshoots of plants,  and any announcements of community or online programs of interest to Garden Club members.

The photos show Jackie Purvis’ cascading floral design in a two-level container that featured three  graduating shades of pink ixora balanced with wild variegated ginger, fern and sansevieria foliage.  She also showed a low-level design of a darker coral ixora that was a complement to its light blue ceramic container.  Jackie collected her greens from her condo grounds and the flowers from Maria Bachich’s yard. Susan Neustadt made two designs, one with pink jatropha flowers and yellow allamanda flowers from her yard and including string of pearls foliage, and the other showcasing an areca palm frond cut in half to make a dramatic statement, accented with coral jatropha flowers, red firebush flowers, and bright white vinca flowers to match her vase. Marianne Foley’s design included a pale green anthurium flower centered between two inflorescences of bromeliads of the same color as her vase, accented with fishtail palm leaves.   Sharon Lewis used a variety of foliage, including a looped dieffenbachia leaf, to frame clusters of colorful ixora flowers and added a few lilies purchased locally. Liz Haines arranged pretty pale lavender orchids on contrasting dark red ti plant leaves in a clear glass cube.  Sara Wolf used stalks of umbrella papyrus to lend height to her colorful pink vinca flowers accented with multi-colored lantana blooms.  Sue Oldershaw made a design suitable as a table centerpiece.  Its low profile was framed by dark greenery including fern fronds for length, plus a few spikes of liriope and bromeliad inflorescence for varied height, while the pink and cream ixora flowers contrasted nicely with the dark greens and the eye-popping yellow popcorn cassia tree blooms.

Calusa Garden Club is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and membership is open to those interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County. 

Calusa Garden Club normally meets the second Monday of the months of October through March, at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 350 S. Barfield Drive, Marco Island.  However, no physical meetings are being held during the corona virus pandemic. If you are  interested in membership, please contact the Garden Club at For information about Calusa Garden Club activities, please visit the Garden Club’s website,, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.