Flower power: Fort Lauderdale Garden Club’s ‘Secret Garden Tour’ funds youth gardening programs
The Fort Lauderdale Garden Club Inc. (FLGC) will present its annual “Secret Garden Tour of Fort Lauderdale” on Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Guests are invited to tour themed gardens and peek into homes in exclusive Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods. Gardens include lovely entryways, rare citrus, vegetables, roses and vistas. One stop on the tour includes the largest waterfront property in Broward County and other homes with inspiring fountains and sculptures. The flower garden at one of the properties will feature the FLGC’s “Garden Shoppe” with a variety of vendors displaying plants and gifts.
FLGC was founded in 1927 shortly after the 1926 Miami hurricane that plowed through South Florida, including the Fort Lauderdale area. Since then, the club has participated in projects to benefit the city, such as planting the Royal Palms along Las Olas Boulevard, which they began in the early years after the club was formed. Another project includes the club’s Youth Gardening Program, one of their most successful programs, which will feature a youth flower show, “Incredible Edibles” on March 12 and 13. Through these events students are awarded camperships, which provides an opportunity to attend Camp Wekiva, a week-long ecological/nature-based camp near Orlando. FLGC also provides scholarships for students to attend SEEK (Save the Earth’s Environment through Knowledge), a conference for students entering high school grades. The 2013 Youth Gardening Program is ongoing in 11 public and private Broward County schools, from pre-school to high school.
The club will also present their annual free and public Standard Flower Show, “Dancing in the Garden,” on April 5 and 6 at the garden center. Also, in time for Valentine’sDay the club will host “Fun with Flowers” on Feb. 9. Monthly meetings take place at the Glenn F. Bates Garden Center of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park at 10 a.m. on the second Friday of every month.
Members of the club maintain the rose garden at the Stranahan House, the sensory garden at the Lighthouse for the Blind and a blue star memorial marker on seventeenth street honoring veterans; they also participate in Habitat for Humanity landscaping, prison therapy andWorld Gardening.
Sponsors of this year’s “Secret Garden Tour” include: UBS, Meiners Foss Catania Group; Sentry Industries; and State Farm, Ted Hess Agency.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of the tour, if available, and can be purchased online or by sending a check to FLGC, PO Box, 4114, Fort Lauderdale, 33338. Tour entry packets can be picked up the day of the event by bringing a receipt or ticket to the reception area in the parking lot of Church by the Sea at 2700 Mayan Drive. The last entry to the garden is 2:30 p.m. and packets need to be picked up before 12:30 p.m.
Guests are responsible for their own transportation, and carpooling is encouraged. There will be trolley access to one of the gardens and because it is a walking tour, comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended and not all areas will be accessible to wheelchairs. Club members will greet guests at the entries, serving cookies and lemonade, ready to discuss plants and garden design.
Funds raised from ticket sales support the programs for children and adults, in an effort to inspire participation in nature.
For more information about the club and their events, visit www.flgc.org.
Maggie Dunn, left, and Pam Schrimsher
Elke Kurtz, left, and Rose Bechard-Butman
Irene Stange, left, Ann Schandelmayer and Tamara Pope
Becky Schuberth, left, Jacqueline Scott and Cindy Rieger
A Calamondin citrus tree grows in the garden of a home that will be featured in the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club’s "The Secret Garden Tour of Fort Lauderdale" for guests to view themed gardens Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sandy Lynch, left, and Patricia Roth in front of a key lime tree.