Flower power: Fort Laud­erdale Garden Club’s ‘Se­cret Garden Tour’ funds youth gar­den­ing pro­grams

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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.

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