Friday, October 15, 2021

Year-end Celebration and New Officers for Calusa Garden Club

Members of the Calusa Garden Club (CGC) recently held their year-end luncheon at the Marco Island Yacht Club complete with installation of new officers. A big thank you to Special Events Coordinators, Kim Porter and Janice Engel for the beautiful centerpieces showcasing miniature pineapples, succulents and hydrangeas. One lucky member from each table got to take home a centerpiece.

The highlight of the luncheon was the installation of new officers for the Calusa Garden Club for 2019-2021. The officers are: President, Sara Wolf; First Vice President and Program Chair, Susan LaGrotta; Second Vice President and Membership Chair, Susan Neustadt; Treasurer, Vivian Patterson; Assistant Treasurer, Jane Gregory; Recording Secretary, Rhea Brekke with Cristina Leske, Corresponding Secretary. Opi DeFalco, CGC’s past President, presided over the oath of office for the new officer.

Special guest, Katie Vance of Floromancy Designs showed simple and artistic ways to create headbands and fascinators from plants, flowers and leaves commonly found in your landscape. Floromancy is the magic of making headpieces from flowers and plants in a magical sort of way.

Katie is affiliated with the Naples Botanical Garden and has an extensive landscape background. She has always been interested in plants and fashion and she is now using real materials instead of faux flowers.

Jackie Purvis introduced Kathy McNabb who has been a member for several months, but whose induction was delayed for various reasons. Kathy is a year-round resident of Marco Island and has been a volunteer assisting Susan LaGrotta at the Butterfly Garden each month. According to Jackie, membership has reached its maximum of 59 members with several on the waiting list.

Susan LaGrotta informed members that the Butterfly Release Program scheduled for Tuesday, April 16th has more than 60 butterfly orders taken at $10 each. This event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly Garden.

Also, a reminder to all the members that the Gardening Guide, an invaluable resource to all property owners and landscapers, is available for sale at $10. According to the Garden Guide, April is the time to plant heat-tolerant herbs such as basil, coriander, cumin and mint. Planting vegetables is not advisable at this time.

Dale DeFeo, past President, reported that the Pioneer Garden to be installed at the Marco Island Historical Museum will be “in the manner of the pioneer garden” and not a replica. Dale is waiting for final approval of the plans and installation, which will commence this summer. Linda Colombo, also past President, will be assisting Dale with this project.

Calusa Garden Club is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and membership is open to residents interested in floral design, horticulture and the environment. Calusa Garden Club meets the second Monday of each month, October through March, at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 350 S. Barfield Drive, Marco Island. Calusa Garden welcomes visitors interested in their educational programs and in membership. Please contact the Garden Club at or visit the Calusa Garden Club’s website at

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