The monthly Arcadia Garden Club meeting was Oct. 1 at the local clubhouse, with 26 members and five guests attending. It opened with an informative program on fairy and miniature gardens. Dolly Tomalinas, a Port Charlotte Florida Master Gardener, presented the unfamiliar topic to the group via a slideshow, handouts, and a question-and-answer period.

The website www.lushlittlelandscapes.com provides a good definition of both types of gardens. A miniature garden is just that: everything that we’d normally see in a garden but pint-sized ... in exact detail. Adult-sized benches are miniaturized, for instance, made—or look like they’re made—from the same materials that we make our benches. Fairy gardens use nature, on the other hand, to make miniature worlds—a patch of leaves becomes a roof, bark becomes the outside of a house, a tree hollow becomes an implied dwelling when a door is attached, or a mushroom becomes a table and a stack of pebbles becomes a seat.

Speaker Tomalinas, with a smile, informed the group of the “magical” powers of a fairy garden. She explained how children love to see characters from a story turned into a fantasy land in “grandmother’s garden.” Miniature gardens are a way to keep nature in your world when space is limited. Themes for both gardens include fairy tales, holidays, special events, nature, prehistoric and Legos. Location can vary from the outside ground, to containers inside and outside, even table centerpieces.

For more information on these topics, Tomalinas recommends: Fairy Gardening 101 by Fiona McDonald and Miniature Gardens by Katie Elzer-Peters.

Following the presentation, attendees enjoyed a “fill your plate with great food” buffet. In addition to the speaker, Dolly Tomalinas, Bill and Suzanne Wilk, Kinga Cookie, Helen Robertson, Linda Ellis, Sandy Krost and David Arquijo were introduced as club guests.

President Evelyn Sasser reported that the club would be working with other groups to restore the Blue Star Memorial marker on SR/Highway 17. The Blue Star Memorial marker in Arcadia was placed there April 22, 1977, by the Arcadia Garden Club. Over time the marker has deteriorated and must be totally restored. The estimated cost will be approximately $1,200 to remove, restore and return the marker to its original standard. Funds raised by the upcoming plant sale will be used to restore the marker.

The garden club's plant sale will be (Friday) Nov. 2 and (Saturday) Nov. 3, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information about the plant sale and club activities, go to: www.facebook.com/arcadiafloridagardenclub and click the “Like” button, or send an email to gardenclubarcadia@gmail.com.

Our next meeting is Nov. 5 starting at 12 p.m., 1005 W. Magnolia St., Arcadia. Presenter Mike Rhodes speaks on “More Invasive Plants Gone Wild.”

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