Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island offers horticulture workshops to its members.  The upcoming December 14 workshop will demonstrate a home without a “lawn;” instead, the home is landscaped with plants and without grass.  The October and November workshops included a visit to the home of Rhonda and Bob Gloodt, avid gardeners who concentrate their landscape on pollinator and host plants for butterflies, and a visit to the home of Maria and Charles Lamb.  Maria Lamb showed garden club members various methods of propagating plants that she has used in her landscape.

Gloodt’s Marco Island home garden contains many native and Florida friendly plants, including pollinator and host plants for butterflies and moths, and plants that attract hummingbirds.  Rhonda Gloodt described the plants in her home garden, which include a majority of native Florida plants, along with some Florida friendly plants.  Gloodt pointed out which plants were nectar plants for butterflies and which were host plants on which the butterflies lay eggs, caterpillars hatch, finally forming chrysalises and emerging as butterflies. She also showed the group her butterfly enclosure that contained chrysalises of monarch butterflies waiting to hatch. Some of the plants in the Gloodt landscape include native Florida milkweed, African senna (also called popcorn senna or the candelabra tree), and passion vine.  A photo shows Gloodt’s Certified Monarch Habitat certification and a monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant.

After Gloodt was profiled in a local newspaper as the Butterfly Lady, Marco Island resident Brian Ferrell contacted her. He had purchased a set of 15 collectible porcelain butterfly figurines for his mother, who had passed away.  When he saw the article about Rhonda’s devotion to butterflies, he contacted her and gave her the collection.  The photo shows Ferrell and Gloodt with one of the porcelain butterflies.  Another photo shows Gloodt pointing out plants in her garden to the Calusa Garden Club group.

The November workshop at the home of Maria Lamb was attended by about a dozen plant enthusiasts from the garden club. Maria showed the group her large back yard area that contains the plants she cultivates, and described her practice of plant propagation to obtain new plants from existing ones.  For the white spider lily, Maria showed the seeds that drop from the plant’s large flower, and described how they can be planted to grow a new plant. She also showed how plants such as orchids and aglaonema, or Chinese evergreen, can be propagated by division.  And she showed how to air layer shrub and tree branches to force the branch to grow roots while the branch is still attached to the main shrub or tree.  After the roots are plentiful and healthy, the branch can be removed and planted as an independent new plant.  The photos show Maria showing the division of an orchid, and with aglaonema plants she propagated by division.  Another photo shows the group attending the horticulture workshop.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is a Section 501(c)3 organization and is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.  Membership is open to persons interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County.