Calusa Garden Club plant sale to feature Staghorn ferns

Tree stump with staghorn ferns.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island will host its Third Annual Plant and Thanksgiving Arrangement Sale on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The event features over 150 plants grown by members and beautiful fresh floral arrangements perfect for Thanksgiving. This year, as luck would have it, the sale will feature over 35 exotic staghorn ferns, large and small, in addition to Charlette Roman’s wonderful orchids and hundreds of other healthy plants ready to plant in a landscape or display as décor in a home.

Tree stump with staghorn ferns.

The good luck for Calusa Garden Club of acquiring over 35 staghorn ferns was due to a local couple, Diane and Dennis Charvat, who purchased a home on Isles of Capri.  The Charvat’s new home’s front yard contained a large mahogany tree stump on which a multitude of staghorn ferns were growing. In August, Diane Charvat sent an Email to Calusa Garden Club asking if its members would like to have the staghorn ferns because the Charvats planned to re-landscape their new home.

Kimberly Korb Porter, president of Calusa Garden Club, sprang into action. She recruited Janice Engel, a garden club member whose staghorn ferns are a prominent feature of her garden, and they went to look at the ferns.  Since mahogany is a very hard wood, Porter and Engel were unable to remove most of the ferns.

Then Porter returned with Debbie Kuhlman, Roger Kuhlman, and David Ponder, and armed with a large curved tree saw, they got to work. Their combined efforts yielded over 35 fantastic staghorn ferns. The original mahogany tree stump adorned with multiple staghorn ferns is shown in a photo. In another photo, Debbie Kuhlman and Kelly Ponder show some of the smaller healthy ferns.

Tree stump with staghorn ferns.

Porter and Kuhlman worked to find temporary homes for the staghorn ferns. Several members volunteered to keep some

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Calusa Garden Club members prepare for plant sale

Calusa Garden Club members are preparing their plants and practicing their floral design skills for the club’s Third Annual Plant and Thanksgiving Arrangement Sale on Tuesday, Nov. 21.  The event features over 150 plants grown by members and beautiful fresh floral arrangements perfect for Thanksgiving.

On Oct. 24, garden club members Marianne Foley, Kathy Stark, Nanette Baumgardner and Sara Wolf worked under the poinciana tree at Calusa Park to clean out the huge stand of Aechmea blanchetiana bromeliads.

The overgrown thicket of plants was unsightly, and the plants did not flourish in the shade of the poinciana tree. Foley had received approval from the Parks and Recreation Department of Marco Island to remove the plants and harvest some of the healthy ones. Therefore, the gardeners picked out some of the healthiest plants to sell at the plant sale on Nov. 21. The photos show the workers and the large group of plants.

Garden Club President Kimberly Korb Porter and First Vice-President Nancy Adams have also been working on separating and repotting plants for the plant sale. All the plants sold by the garden club have been grown by members with loving care. Porter and Adams are pictured with some of the plants they are repotting, including some miniature agave, a lovely smaller agave-like plant with green and white stripes on the leaves.

On Oct. 23, the club held a floral design workshop with a lesson on vertical designs with tropical flowers. The photos show Marsha Riss and Sue Oldershaw with their tropical vertical floral designs. At the Plant and Thanksgiving Arrangement Sale, the club will offer fresh floral designs with a Thanksgiving theme that will be lovely in the buyer’s home, whether on the buyer’s dining table, lanai, kitchen island, or buffet.

The sale will take place from 10 a.m.

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