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Garden Club Gala attracts large crowd

February 21, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Pine Island Garden Club held its17th annual Garden Club Gala Saturday at Phillips Park. Cars lined Stringfellow Road and every side street within walking distance.

"An absolutely beautiful day and a great turnout," Garden Club Gala chairman Mary Reich said. "This is our main event and most important fundraiser for the Calusa Land Trust, CROW, the food pantry, Beacon of HOPE and PAWS."

Approximately 50 different vendors attended the event.

Article Photos

Lots of crafts, including 'Island Time' clocks, were on display at the gala.


"Some vendors take two spots. Our focus is obviously plants and growing in Southwest Florida," Reich said.

We have orchids, herbs, tropical plants, bonsai and lots of other Florida natives."

The events always includes master gardeners who answer questions and conduct numerous demonstrations, along with the almost bottomless resource of knowledge in the Garden Club members.

Authors DL Havlin, speaker, historian and writer of action-mystery novels, and Marty Kendall, who wrote "The Calusa and Their Plant World," were also on hand.

"As soon as this gala is over, we take about a month and start planning for the next one," Reich said. "This is my favorite Pine Island event because it's so grass roots and it feels like an old county fair. People want to know how to grow things here because it's so different from wherever they came from."

The purpose of the Pine island Garden Club is to aid in the protection and conservation of natural resources, encourage civic beauty and roadside beautification, stimulate the study of the fine art of gardening and cooperate with other agencies in furthering the interests of horticulture and conservation. The Garden Club meets on the third Thursday of each month except June, July, August and December at the Lutheran Church, 10360 Stringfellow Road, at 9:00 a.m.

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