The Arcadia Garden Club met March 3 at the clubhouse with 29 members and three guests attending—Charlotte Allen, Mary Ruckle and Broncoynn Ligon. Jeanne Lloyd received a spirited birthday song for her 90th birthday.

Marilyn Eigsti, aquatic plant expert from Sarasota, presented a revealing slide presentation and other visuals on the subject of aquatic plant identification and use in southwest Florida. Eigsti is owner of Wonderful Water Lilies, a registered nursery specializing in pond plants.

The first rule of pond plants, Eigsti reported, is that you do not need a pond to have aquatic plants. Pond/aquatic plants include water lilies, lotus, marginal/bog plants such as lizard’s tail, papyrus, water poppy and butterfly ginger. Containers—and a new concept, grow bags—are great alternatives to ponds for housing these plants. To grow water lilies, for example, follow these steps: Place about one inch of topsoil (not potting soil) in a three-gallon pot without holes, add fertilizer (slow six-month release with a 13-13-13 composition was suggested), place more top soil in the pot, add water until absorbed and rest for 12-14 hours, compress soil to remove air, add 4-5 cups of cow manure and 1T of bone meal, make a mound of manure and bone meal, place water lily on the mound, distributing roots around the mound, fill the pot to within 1 inch with moist top soil, compressing soil carefully and not covering the area where the stems off the rooted area, and finally cover the top with small rocks or pea gravel.

Eigsti provided live examples of all plants identified during the presentation and provided a sample to each participant.

Members were reminded of the upcoming field trip to Oaks of Devonaire at the home of member Theresa Collins-Hill. See Arcadia Garden Club on Facebook (Arcadia, Florida Garden Club) for a photo tour of this exemplary landscaped area.

Nominating Committee reported the proposed new slate of officers: President-Lorraine Brauckhoff; First Vice-President-Odette Flanagan; Second Vice-President-Val Littlefield; Third Vice President-Evelyn Sasser; Recording Secretary-Theresa Collins-Hill; Correspondence Secretary-Carman Miranda; and Treasurer-Babs Ames. Election will be held at the April meeting.

Next meeting will be (Monday) April 1 at noon at 1005 W. Magnolia St., Arcadia. The speaker will be Gene McAvoy on “More Vegetable Gardening.” McAvoy is the President-Elect of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, Hendry County Extension director and the Regional Vegetable agent. The public is welcome to attend as guest of the club. For more information about AGC and its activities, go to www.facebook.com/ArcadiaFloridaGardenClub and click the “Like” button. To receive a meeting information or if you are interested in being a presenter, send an email to: gardenclubarcadia@gmail.com.

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