Winter-Newsletter-2019

Message from the President
What a wonderful “Season” we have had at the Garden Club this year!
We have been blessed with a fabulous group of positive hard

working volunteers
every Monday, who have collectively made the gardens the best they have ever
been!
Everywhere there are beautiful blooms, delicious fragrances; and lots of happy
butterflies, birds and bees enjoying it all!
Propagation ha
s
been selling o
ur gorgeous plant
s
continually, much to the delight
of many of our visitors who want to take something home with them.
Our orchid collection has doubled in size, creating many “WOW
s”
from our
visitors and members alike

check out the amazing photographs w
hich Lynne
Bentley

Kemp has been posting on our Facebook page every week!
We’ve hosted The Duchess of Rutland, who told us all about her magnificent home at Belvoir Castle and the
recently found, “lost” garden plans by Capability Brown; the Key West Commun
ity Orchestra gave a charming
concert in the gardens as part of the island

wide “Tribute to Wood” Festival; and we have had an excellent series
of member meetings with great speakers every first Thursday of the month.
Thank you all for helping to make the
Key West Garden Club an exceptional one; full of positive energy, serving
our community and providing a broad education of tropical horticulture for everyone.
Rosi
President
Winter Luncheon
Our luncheon,
held at the Hyatt Centric, was such a beautiful setting! A good time was had by all. Thanks to the
members who turned out.
Floral Design
had some unique and interesting arrangements these past few months. Thank you to the Floral
Design crew who keep adding
l
ovely
creations
to gaze at.
Guerilla Gardening
Marlyn Brita, Shelli Chase, Celeste Fehlig, Rosi Ware and Janet Borch helped o
ut with the new Duval Street
closure by adding plants to three of the planters in the 600 block of Duval. It appears that the closure of Duval St
has been a success so far. These members added to the beautification of the street. The shopkeepers will keep
watering the planters.
Unsung Hero
Since 2001, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys has been hosting the annual Unsung Heroes event to
recognize the tireless
efforts of our
community’s volunteers.
Each Monroe County
501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization is invited to
nominate one Unsung
Hero to recognize that
individual’s unpaid
contributions over the past
year. Each Unsung Hero
is presented with a
certificate of appreciation
at our celebratory
luncheon on January 25th.
Our hero this year was
Mar
tin
Petersilia,
who
worked exceedingly hard
during the summer and fall months to make sure the gardens do well. Martin has since
had to leave the Keys
b
ut we appreciate all that he has done for the Club.
Garden Tours
A big thank you to Mary Olson for h
e
ading up our Garden Tours this
winter
and
to
Rosi Ware for finding the gardens. We sold around 780 tickets and
were financially quite successful.
Plant ID and mapping was led by Kitty Somerville. We used some of the new
galvanized plant ID signs and they were placed strategically in som
e of the
gardens. Visitors appreciated that extra info.
Our host gardens were very welcoming and cooperative for the tours, both
prior to and during the tour days. head docents did an outstanding job of
helping their docents as well as guests enjoy the gar
dens to the fullest.
Jane Dawkins, the owner of the garden at 2026 Staples Ave, graciously and
generously hosted a fabulous After Party on Saturday evening following the
closing of the tours. All homeowners
,
head docents and docents were invited.
About 45
people were able to attend a lovely event with canapes and
beverages. Thank you, Jane!
Kids and Fountains
Everyone enjoys the Gardens. These kids had a
great time wandering around one beautiful
morning and ended up at the fountain to rest and
stick their hands in the water and splash each
other (of course)!
Fun Fact:
One of our visors was purchased for
the head gardener to the Royal Family in Oslo,
Norway!
Salt Ponds
Nature
W
alk
Christa Varacalli
and
Mary Brady
organized a plant
identification walk in
Little Hamaca Park
in Key West. It was a
lovely morning and
we learned a lot
about native plants
and mangroves. The
Nature Trail at Little
Hamaca is so pretty
and quiet: it has
a
boardwalk and
footpa
th winding through a mangrove forest, salt flats, and transitional and hardwood hammock communities.
Mary and Christa did a fantastic job with preparation and presentation.
In the Fran Ford White Crown Pigeon Preserve we learned about poisonwood trees (do
n’t touch!!), the food for
white crown pigeons.
Wood
C
oncert
The Key West Community Orchestra, with
its 13

member homage to wooden violins
and cellos, performed
at the Key West
Garden Club during the Studios of Key
West’s
Tribute to Wood
month. This
enchanting evening performance was held in
the gardens and it was perfect. The music
was delightful, the birds sang
along,
and the
weather cooperated
.
Their
performa
nce of
Leonard Cohen’s
Hallelujah
was exceptional.
We had an audience of over 60 and it was so
nice to have them perf
orm
next to our wood
sculpture

Burning Spirit”
carved by Perry
Arnold.
Monday
M
orning
S
ession
s
Hazel Hans
explained the
differences in
native palms:
Thrinax morisii
and Thrinax
radiata among
them.
Rosi Ware gave
out information
about our cactus garden by the
white gazebo.
Brain Cactus
is a great hiding
spot for
small
iguanas and is
very
difficult to cut back.
Many
thanks to the brave volunteers
who did that job
!
Sharon Thomas and
the
propagation
crew
showed
members how to propagate
rosemar
y. Trailing and upright
forms were used. Heavenly
smells.
Succul
e
nt Gardens
Sharon
Lieberman, who is a master at succulent gardens,
gave a lecture at the Marathon Garden Club. It was well
received and well attended. Sharon donated one of her
creations to the 50/50 raffle at the Marathon Club and she
also sold some of her other garden dis
hes. Sharon has really
neat ideas for her plants. Some of Sharon’s gardens can be
found in our Plants for Sale area of the courtyard. They need
bright light, water once a week, and make sure there is good
drainage.
Party!!
They say all work and no play…. Well, we
do
know how to play. Mimosas, Darren Robert’s scones and Patti
Rodriguez’ muffins. We are lucky gardeners
!
Knitting and
O
rchids
There is a
group of
knitters who
regularly
spend time in
the gardens.
They create
n
ew pieces
while
surrounded by
our plants and
orchids
. Beauty is inspiring.
Hard Work and
G
reat
R
esults
On the hill by the gazebo our volunteers
k
eep the plants thinned and
watered
.
Th
e
G
aillardia
pulchella
or “
Indian
blanketflower
” are
flourishing on the path by the fence overlooking the beach
.
I
t is like a seaside meadow.
The lower photo is of Kitty Somerville’s
cats. She is a “grower”!!
Volunteer
T
hank
Y
ou
L
unch.
Mary Olson and Lou
Ann Steely headed up the
thank you
for our volunteers. Pulled pork and chicken sliders and
all sorts of wonderful salads, side dishes and
great deserts rounded up the meal. We have
wonderful cooks!!!
Rosi pointed out how the only way the gardens
could look
so gorgeous is the hard work and
dedication that our volunteers put into all
projects.
Happy Spring
If you are leaving to go back North, safe travels and don’t forget us.
Spread the word about our beautiful site by liking our facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/gardeninafort/
and sharing on social media.
Thank you for photos from Lynne Bentley

Kemp, Kitty Somerville, Sue Sullivan and Robin Robinson.
Thank you to Christa Varacalli for proofing.
Editor, Sue Sullivan

Winter-Newsletter-2019