Although Saturday morning started with dense fog and overcast skies, by late morning it was sunny and warm. Cars were lined up on Pine Island Road from the four corners well beyond the water company for the 13th Annual Pine Island Garden Gala at Phillip's Park.
There was a large variety of plants, artwork, jewelry, yard accessories and clothing. Visitors were making purchases of orchids, native plants, bromeliads, rain barrels, topiaries, bird houses, herbs, seeds and pottery. There were also fruit trees, micro-greens and vegetables available for purchase.
During the day there were well over 100 raffle prizes, including a dinner for six prepared by Andy's Seafood; a two-night stay at Tarpon Lodge; a flight over the island by Kingfisher; a Tropic Star Cruise for two; a paddling tour by Pine Island Paradise; artwork from Wild Child Gallery; a living plant table by Diane Cook; a plant chair by Diane Maher; exquisite needle art by Gretchen Bennett; and artwork by Shirley Glenn, Dot Birmingham and Marty Kendall.
There were also raffles of gift certificates and donations from Red's, Low Key Tiki, Two Fish Inn, Great Licks, Carl's Auto, St. James Auto, Island Center Auto, Ragged Ass, Frill's, Lazy Flamingo, Earth and Spirit, Beacon of Hope, Sandy Hook, Angles, Island Visions, Woody's, Pizza Bella, Tropical Hair Gallery, Paisley Parrot and Potters Workshop.
"We have a great event this year. We have 64 vendors and 59 sites here today," event co-organizer John Kendall said. "This year we have a great diversity represented and all of it represents Pine Island. The music of Frank Tuma has been wonderful and everything has just been great.
"We've had demonstrations on growing worms, environmentally friendly and healthy gardening plus a wonderful Bonsai demonstration," he continued.
"I just went around thanking all of the vendors and several said that this has been the best year ever," Marty Kendall said.
Dan Fischer is a Pine Island resident and wood carver.
"I was inspired to work with wood from my father," Fischer said.
He had a series of tiny shoes carved by his father on display. The smallest was about the size of a child's fingernail.
"This has been a great day so far, and we still have a couple of hours left," Fischer said. "I had several bird houses I built before moving to the Island several years ago and I sold half of them in a few hours."
"I'm not here because I need the money," Fischer said. "I call myself the 'Poor Man's Carver' and I want my art to be affordable to the average person. I do this because it gives me joy and the people that take my work home joy. I only do events that are for a good cause because it helps them raise money."