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Gorgeous Gala

Pine Island Garden Club event well attended

February 27, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Phillips Garden Park came to life Saturday morning, as well as throughout the day, as individuals walked the grounds looking at an assortment of beautiful plants while visiting many vendors during the 12th Annual Pine Island Garden Club Gala.

Bokeelia resident Meredith Higgins said she attends the Garden Gala every year.

"We love it," she said of her and her husband.

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Gayle Edwards provided a presentation during the 12th Annual Pine Island Garden Club Gala Saturday afternoon about gardening for Lee County’s top butterflies. She shared with the crowd that passion vine’s are a good butterfly attractor.

Higgins said since they are gardeners, they enjoy attending the event. She said she also enjoys looking at the art booths because they are always fun.

"Always a fun event," she said.

Saturday the Higgins purchased some citrus to add to their yard. She said they received some good advice from the vendor on how to take care of the plant.

This year the Garden Gala featured 58 vendors, which is a few more than last year, as well as a raffle, silent auction and a few presentations on various topics.

Donna Schneider of Pine Island Tropicals said they experienced a nice and steady crowd of people throughout the day.

"Overall a good day," she said, adding that it provided them with good exposure.

Schneider said this year there were a lot more vendors than in previous years, which is both good and bad.

Garden Club President Marty Kendall said the Garden Gala is almost like an old-time village fair because individuals had the opportunity to see old neighbors as they walked around the park.

"It's a hometown kind of event," she said.

Kendell said this year's event featured everything from plants to clothing to information.

The event, Kendall said, offered more variety in everything, including the raffle prizes, which also consisted of items that men would enjoy.

Although the Garden Gala did not officially start until 9 a.m. Saturday, people began showing up around 8 a.m. to purchase their plants.

Vendors had the opportunity to set up their tables and tents Friday night at the park and Kendell said they provided lights around 6 a.m. Saturday, so they could continue to set up for the event.

"Very well organized," she said of this year's event.

The funds from Saturday's event will primarily benefit the Calusa Land Trust, CROW, PAWS and other Pine Island charities.



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