Mina Edison Botanical Library
The Mina Edison Botanical Library houses many books and magazines dealing with all aspects of gardening and floral design for the pleasure of members.
The Fort Myers – Lee County Garden Council, Inc. meeting rooms are used by several area clubs to hold meetings, picnics and other club related special events.
A speaker’s bureau is available for club programs. In addition, we have a PowerPoint presentation about the council which can be used at events.
Our Junior Gardener Program assists a local elementary school with a butterfly garden. In addition, we sponsor youth events. In 2011-2012 the FMLCGC:
- Sponsored a summer camp experience at Wekiva, a residential nature camp for 3rd to 8th grade students sponsored by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC).
- Sponsored a summer camp experience at the Edison Ford Winter Estates for a local child.
- Contributed to the Bonita Springs Middle Odyssey of the Mind program, which stimulates young minds towards the spirit of adventure, question and interpretation of the world as they see it.
- Contributed to LARC, Inc. to assist in providing gardening opportunities for their clients. This effort was championed by Debbie Wyatt-Stotter, First Vice President.
In addition to sponsoring the library, providing resources to local groups, hosting the Berne Davis Gardens, establishing a speakers bureau and sponsoring special events, educational activities are incorporated into the regular activities of the FMLCGC.
At each of our five general membership meetings, we have a standing agenda item to present floral designs and explain the design to attendees. Winnie Stone, Floral Design chair for the Garden Council, leads this effort.
At each of our five general membership meetings we have a standing agenda item to present horticulture specimens and discuss their growing habits, their botanical names, and their uses to attendees. We added this item this year. Suzy Valentine, Horticulture Chair for the Garden Council, leads this effort.
Published 5 editions of the Courier, the Garden Council newsletter, which is sent to all members. Articles on upcoming events, gardening subjects, and current activities of the Garden Council are included. This is produced by volunteer Paula Novander, a member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral and Potpourri Designers and the librarian of the Mina Edison Botanical Library.
Designed a brochure and handout to distribute at Garden Council public events to encourage membership in member clubs and societies. The Edison Ford Winter Estates, an Affiliate member of the Garden Council, has offered to make these available at their Information Booth.
Participated in efforts to protect our Southwest Florida water quality through the FFGC. Bernadette Hamera represented the Garden Council with FFGC.
Volunteers began conducting tours on a regularly scheduled basis. Tours were conducted twice a month in April and May, 2012. We plan to increase these to once a week beginning in October and will be coordinating with the schedule for garden tours at the Edison Ford Winter Estates, who has offered to encourage their attendees to visit the Berne Davis Gardens too.
Three floral design classes will be held early in 2013 just in time to teach members much needed skills to participate in the Strolling Flower Show in February, the Art in Bloom, and the Garden Council Flower Show in March not to mention the myriad of club shows to be held in 2013.
Beautifying and Enhancing Public Parks
In 2011 – 2012, the FMLCGC:
- Planted a coconut palm at the historic Edison Ford Winter Estates on Arbor Day 2012 in honor of the past presidents of the Garden Council. The Malay coconut is part of a program to replace the original coconuts that lined the fence on McGregor Blvd. Joyce Comingore led this effort for the Garden Council and thanks goes to Chris Pendleton, CEO of the Estates, and Debbie Hughes.
- The Rose Society replanted the rose garden at the Berne Davis Gardens.
- The Plant It Pink garden in the Berne Davis Gardens was replanted and the third Susan G. Komen birdhouse was erected. Proceeds from the birdhouse sales go to fighting breast cancer.
- A gardener was hired to maintain the Berne Davis Gardens, which will supplement the efforts of our volunteers.
- Appointed a Garden Council past president, Debbie Hughes, to serve on the Botanic Garden Committee of Lakes Park.
- Added a pump to our recently installed water feature at the Berne Davis Gardens to aid in the elimination of duckweed.
- Collected funds from attendance at general meetings to send to Penny Pines, which will help with the replanting of trees in this area of Florida. Again, Joyce Comingore led this effort.
- New signs were erected to denote the location of the Berne Davis Gardens and Mina Edison Botanical Library. Berne even posed for a picture under one of them at our Open House!! Now that adds to the beauty of any place.
Partnerships and Community Involvement
We are most pleased with our growing involvement with the Edison Ford Winter Estates and Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation. The Garden Council also began a new partnership with the Eco-Living Center at Rutenberg Park. We began holding our general membership meetings there.
This summer we are exploring establishing a scholarship at Florida Gulf Coast University in the area of conservation, horticulture or another field related to Garden Council objectives.