Every meeting we have snacks and drinks provided by members. Please feel free to bring something. We always welcome new treats!
If you can, bring a plant or two to be raffled. This really helps the club out. Please wrap plants in plastic bags so the carpet doesn't get ruined by loose dirt.
Bring a plant and take a plant for our member exchange table.
If you have something especially nice or rare, please point it out to Paul. We may want to put it in the auction.
August 15, 2018 - Preparing for your Winter Garden
Presenters From: Tree Amigos Growers
Tree Amigos Growers is an Organic nursery for vegetable, flower, culinary & medicinal herbs, perennial forest garden seedlings, and plants in Davie Florida. You may remember them from their last location several years ago when they were named Tree Huggers Farm, also in the western communities.
Preparing for your Winter Organic Garden It is almost that time for all the plants everyone wants to grow in their organic garden! As farmers, we believe the first, second, and third principle to organic gardening success is preparation, preparation, and preparation. How can you go wrong when you prepare properly? You've had the pleasure of growing a great summer time garden and now it is time to start looking ahead to what is next. Many summer plants will stay, and many summer plants will go. None the less, our winter season is around the corner and it is time to get ready. This class will cover topics such as what to plant, cover cropping, mulching, revitalizing, or even solarizing new areas or locations with heavy pests and disease. By following the concept of preparation, your friends and neighbors will be asking "How did you grow all of these veggies and why on earth do you keep sharing so much to us every week?”
July 18, 2018 - Introduction to Landscape Design
Presenter: Guillermo Salazar
July's speaker is Guillermo Salazar. His presentation will give a general overview of the field of Landscape design, touching on different important aspects like definitions of the art of landscape design, and the history of landscape design. He will also discuss the different elements and basic principles that should always be present and incorporated when trying to achieve a cohesive and harmonious garden in South Florida.
Guillermo Salazar was born in Miami and grew up in El Salvador, Central America, as a child of a landscape contractor and nursery owner Father and an interior and floral designer Mother, Guillermo was able to develop his natural design ability and appreciation for plants and flowers even before attending college. Later he followed his dream of becoming a professional landscape designer in Florida, receiving his degree in Landscape Design & Management, later he received a Master’s in Science in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Florida. As a 9 year-old living in Central America Guillermo found tropical plants and orchids were very attractive plants living in this tropical environment and he started collecting them. During his college years back in Florida, he learned the importance of protecting natural resources especially native plants and orchids in nature. He is an American Orchid Society speaker; board member of several orchid and plant societies in South Florida. A Florida Master Gardener, Guillermo has worked for several years as a professional Landscape Designer in private, municipal and governmental capacities in the South Florida area. He currently works as a private landscape designer & consultant in South Florida, Landscape Plan reviewer & Inspector for City of Hollywood and Horticulture & Orchidology Instructor for Fairchild Botanic Gardens in Miami and Adjunct Faculty for the Landscape Technology Department for Miami Dade College. His work entails reviewing all construction projects for the City to ensure landscape code and tree compensation for removed trees are in place, ensuring existing trees are protected creating a functional & environmentally conscious approach to design. He has published several articles on home gardening, design and orchid articles for South Florida and international magazines. His credentials include: ISA certified Arborist, Certified Landscape Inspector and Certified Horticulturist. His true passion as a collector are orchids, succulents and cactus species from all over the world. In his spare time, Guillermo is a breeder of pedigree Persian and Himalayan cats, enjoys gardening & exploring tropical regions of the world.
June 20, 2018 - Exotic Orchids 101
Presenter: Mac Rivenbark
Our June Speaker is someone many of us know from multiple Plant Fairs and from our shared friendships and memberships in the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society. Mac Rivenbark, of Mac's Orchids is going to teach us the basics of what we really need to know to be successful with growing orchids. He will also bring a wide assortment of interesting plants that will do well in our South Florida weather. In "Exotic Orchids 101", Mac will provide culture and growing advise as well as answering any questions we might have.
Mac and his wife, Helen Rivenbark, started their orchid business over 17 years ago after many fascinating trips to the Philippines. With extensive study, Mac is becoming an expert in Philippine and other Asian orchid species and currently grows and blooms over 300 types. He also served our country in the U.S. Marine Corps and he was the Past President of the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society. Mac enjoys giving lectures and educating others about orchids. Come see this interesting and exciting lecture.
May 16, 2018 - In Search of the Blue Amaryllis
Presenter: Dr. Alan Meerow
At our May 16th meeting, Dr. Alan Meerow will be giving a presentation on one of his collecting trips. He has quite an impressive Bio. Dr. Alan W. Meerow is a Senior Research Geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service at the National Germplasm Repository in Miami, Florida, and an honorary member of the Montgomery Botanical Center. He was formerly Professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center. He received a B.S. degree in botany and environmental horticulture from the University of California at Davis and his M.S. and Ph. D from the University of Florida in horticultural science and botany. He has published over 200 scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, 4 books, numerous book chapters, and over 100 extension and trade magazine articles. He has been recognized by the Florida
Nurserymen and Growers Association as Horticultural Writer of the Year in 1990, and Educator of the Year in 1991. He was named 1998 recipient of the International Bulb Society’s William Herbert Medal in recognition of his work on Amaryllidaceae. In 2005 he received the Peter H. Raven Award of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists in recognition of his scientific outreach to the public, and the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration in 2017 from the National Tropical Botanical Garden. He is the author of "Betrock's Guide to Landscape Palms", “Betrock’s Cold Hardy Palms”, "Betrock’s Landscape Palms”, and, with Timothy K. Broschat, "Betrock's Reference Guide to Florida Landscape Plants", and “Ornamental Palm Horticulture” (University Press of Florida). Dr. Meerow works on the genetics and systematics of tropical ornamentals and has introduced numerous tropical ornamentals from around the world for possible introduction to the trade. Dr. Meerow is an internationally recognized authority on the amaryllis family and has published numerous scientific papers on the taxonomy and phylogeny of that group. Meerow is widely recognized for his expertise in the horticulture of ornamental palms, and has authored or co-authored books and book chapters, refereed journal articles, and cooperative extension bulletins on this subject. He is also internationally recognized as a leader in the population genetic study of cycads, and molecular systematics of palms.
April 18, 2018 - Rare Plant Auction
Presenter: Peter Kouchalakos
From: PCK Orchids & Exotic Plants
There will be something a little different for our group, at our April Meeting. We will have a Rare Plant Auction as it's been on our radar for years. Practically every plant society in South Florida does one. It's fun and very educational. We have Peter Kouchalakos as our auctioneer for the night. Peter is a fascinating and lively guy who is kind of famous in South Florida for being the auctioneer at Rare Plant Auctions. He actually has a following, and some of you may remember him from our February 2017 meeting when he gave a presentation on Tillandsias.
Peter is a law school graduate who found his true calling in growing and teaching others to successfully grow orchids and other exotic plants. He specializes in Phaius, Spathoglottis, Epidendrom, Oncidium, and Tillandsia and he is the owner of PCK Orchids and Exotic Plants, which is south of Miami. For the auction we are getting plants from nurseries all over South Florida, which will go for anywhere from $5 to perhaps hundreds of dollars. Just because it's rare does not mean it has to be expensive. We're excited to have someone of Peter's caliber do our first Rare Plant Auction!
March 21, 2018 - Jazzing up your Shade Garden
Presenter: Laure Carafello Hristov
Laure Carafello Hristov is the owner of My Garden Connection in Palm Beach County. She was certified as a Master Gardener in 2009, and graduated in 2013 from Palm Beach State College as a Landscape and Horticulture Professional. She is certified by the National Garden Clubs as a Landscape Design Consultant. Laure specializes in rare and hard to find plants. Her home has been on many garden tours by clubs and groups in Palm Beach County. She teaches classes and seminars at Mounts Botanical Garden. Of course, she will be bringing plants for sale!
February 21, 2018 - Bromeliads: The Gurus United
Presenters: Joe Libertucci & Jeff Hutchinson
Joe Libertucci and Jeff Hutchinson are both 20+ year members of the Bromeliad Society of the Palm Beaches. They are two of the most knowledgeable and entertaining bromeliad experts you will ever hear. Joe’s home and garden has been on Mounts Botanical Garden’s annual “Connoisseur’s Garden Tour” several times. These two guys have amazing chemistry between them when they speak to groups.
January 17, 2018 - Planting to Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees, & Other Pollinators
Presenters From: Alexander Landscaping & Plant Farm
Alexander Landscaping & Plant Farm is a family owned and operated business in Davie, Florida. The Tozzie Family - Bryan & Luana, and their daughters Alyssa, Amber, & Abigail - started the business in 1981, when Broward County was still a sleepy farming community.
Our mission is to help you create an environment that is both pleasing to the eye and ecologically sound. We believe in the use of native and appropriate non-invasive native plants in the landscape for beauty and practicality. Also, we promote and use natural pest control methods to lower and reduce the toxins emitted on the plants and environment. Maintaining a pesticide free environment is important to us and all pollinators that contribute to our food supply.
November 15, 2017 - Growing Quality Cryptanthus
Presenter: Stephen L. Hoppin
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Steve Hoppin moved with his family to Fort Lauderdale in 1962. For the past 50 plus years, Steve’s passions have included showing horses, keeping marine tropical fish and raising, exhibiting and judging exotic birds. He has been involved with horticulture for over 35 years, and in 2001 he became seriously interested in bromeliads.
Steve is a member of the Bromeliad Society International, the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society (where he has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and the Board of Directors), and Cryptanthus Society (four terms as President).
He is an active BSI Accredited Master Bromeliad Judge. He has judged and exhibited at World Bromeliad Conferences, International Cryptanthus Shows and BSI Affiliates’ Shows throughout the
United States. In “Growing Quality Cryptanthus,” Steve will review the genus, various species, cultivars and hybrids, as-well-as share specific techniques for growing quality Cryptanthus. He will offer limited numbers of Cryptanthus for sale.
October 18, 2017 - Adventures in Botanical Travel
Presenter: Mick Mittermeir
Mick Mittemeier is a 25-year-old tropical epiphyte collector and adventure traveller. He is the only plant lover in a family of conservationists, scientists and nature photographers. His family’s extensive involvement with organizations like National Geographic and Conservation International has lead to a life of travel, where he has explored 78 countries on all seven continents. His fascination with Bromeliads, Orchids, Ferns and Aroids has led to a more specialized kind of exploration in search of rare plant species in high biodiversity hotspots areas. This passion for plants and adventure has taken him across the globe from the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia to the Savannahs of Southern Africa and even to some of the most unexplored corners of Amazonia.
September 20, 2017 - Growing Vegetables in South Florida
Presenter: Gabriela Gallardo & Haylee Madfis
From: Terra Farm
Gabriela Gallardo and Haylee Madfis are the daughters of Michael Madfis, who started Fort Lauderdale Vegetables, now called Terra Farm. Michael wanted to grow food right where it is eaten. His daughters promote community building through decentralized farming.
August 16, 2017 - Think Beyond the Hedge
Presenter: Howard Tonkin
From: Urban Habitat
Planting in the urban environment
Specializing in endangered and Florida native plants
Reducing water usage, and improving water drainage
Reducing your carbon footprint in the garden
Howard Tonkin is the owner of Urban Habitat. Its mission is to create “habitats in urban environments to sustain species of plants and wildlife that otherwise face extinction. We specialize in rare and endangered species and biodiversity in all residential, commercial and municipal landscapes.”
July 19, 2017 - Gertrude Jekyll
Presenter: Victor Lazzari
British horticulturist, garden designer, artist, and writer
From: Jungle Gym FL
Victor Lazzari is a landscape designer and certified personal trainer, originally from the hilly farm country of Maryland. A Florida resident since 2007, Victor holds a BA in Landscape Design from U-MD, a MA in Landscape Architecture (FIU), a Masters Certificate in Agroecology (FIU) and a licensed PT certification through NFPT. His small company, “JungleGymFL,” offers either landscape design or personal training services all over the tri-county area. Victor specializes in English-inspired herbaceous plantings, which have been his lifelong passion. He currently resides in Oakland Park with his fiancé Brian and their two kids: egomaniacal cat Scotty, and sycophantic black lab Tyson.
June 21, 2017 - Palms of Cuba
Presenter: Paul Craft
From: Horticultural Consultant
Paul Craft is the co-author of The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms. He is a horticultiral consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the nursery, landscaping, and landscape design industry. Paul was the founding president of the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society and has been active in the International Palm Society, serving as its president for two terms. For more on Paul’s passion for palms, go to www.PalmNutPages.com.
May 17, 2017 - Ambassadors to Florida
Presenter: Rick Leitner
A true native of South Florida, Rick will promote the top 25 Ambassadors to Florida: Native trees, palms, shrubs, and ground covers. An enthusiastic gardener, Rick is enthusiastic about the use of going “even more green” by incorporating tried and true Florida natives into the landscape. Rick, a member of EPGC, has spoken to the club before regarding photography in the garden and colourful plant marriages. His talks are always informative and engaging!
April 19, 2017 - The Art of Landscape Lighting
Presenter: Elizabeth Sperry
From: D’ Asign Source Botanicals
Elizabeth Sperry received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ohio State University but found herself drawn to the garden. She worked for nurseries in Ohio and Michigan, then pursued her love for plants in Chicago at the College of Lake County. Elizabeth moved to Florida in 2010 and continued her horticulture degree at Palm Beach State College. She has been the grower/ manager for seven years at D’ Asign Source Botanicals. Elizabeth’s knowledge and love for both art and plants made lighting come naturally. She has done half-a-million dollar and thousand-dollar lighting jobs giving her extensive knowledge for anyone and everyone to incorporate landscape lighting.
March 15, 2017 - Ecuador: Bromeliads in Paradise
Presenter: Guillermo Rivera
From: Plant Expeditions
Ecuador offers an incredible variety of habitats: dessert, coast, Andes, Amazon forest, Pacific forest. There is a cornucopia of bromeliads: Tillandsia Vriesea, Griggea, Pitcairnia, Puya, Guzmania, are among some of them with many species. The presentation will cover the entire country.
Born in Argentina, Guillermo is the owner of Plant Expeditions (formerly South America Nature Tours), a company dedicated to organizing mainly botanical tours for the last 15 years, throughout South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador), Mexico, South Africa, Madagascar, and Namibia with emphasis on bromeliads, cacti, and orchids.
February 15, 2017 - Tillandsias in the Landscape & New Hybrids
Presenter: Peter Kouchalakos
From: PCK Orchids & Exotic Plants
Peter Kouchalakos studied law before deciding he was more interested in orchids and other exotic plants such as Phaius, Spathoglottis, Epidendrom, and Tillandsias. He is the owner of PCK Orchids and Exotic Plants. We’re looking to having Peter with us who will be also selling some of his plants.
January 18, 2017 - Exploring the Spice Islands in the Footsteps of David Fairchild
Presenter: Chad Husby, Ph.D.
From: Fairchild Botanic Garden
Chad Husby, Ph.D., is Fairchild’s Botanical Horticulturist. His work focuses on international plant exploration to enhance the Garden’s collections and to find worthy new plants to share with the public. In addition, he collaborates with the science and education programs at the Garden. He received his undergraduate degree from Alma College, a Master of Applied Statistics from Ohio State University, a Master’s in Horticulture from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. in Biology from Florida International University.
November 16, 2016 - Tips on Indoor & Container Plants
Presenter: Matthew Lang
From: The Plant Boat
Born and raised in South Florida, Matthew Lang has always been passionate about working with plants. Specializing in creating an atmosphere for a modern landscape, his work truly reflects the perfection within his quality craftsmanship. Planting above ground is his true passion.
October 19, 2016 - Container Growing Fruits & Vegetables in South Florida
Presenter: Murray Corman
From: Garden of Delights
Murray Corman is the owner of Garden of Delights, a plant nursery that specializes in tropical and subtropical fruit trees and palms. Murray, who earned a BS in Agricultural Economics at Clemson University, is a member of the Broward County Farm Service Agency.
Please be sure to check out Garden of Delights’ website at https://mygardenofdelights.com.
September 21, 2016 - Speaking of Orchids
Presenter: Paul Price
A seventh generation Floridian whose family has been firmly rooted in agriculture since 1885, Paul Price bought his first orchid in 1995. He has worked for a retail nursery in Vero Beach and for Odoms Orchids in Fort Pierce. Since starting his own service for orchid care, Paul notes, “I have mounted well over 4000 orchids into the landscape for different clients.”
August 17, 2016 - Ponds in the Garden
Presenter: Dr. Jeff
From: Pond Doctors
Dr. Murray retired as a foot/ankle surgeon eleven years ago and started Pond Doctors when he realized that there were plenty of aquarium maintenance companies but no one focusing on just fish/koi ponds. Pond Doctors focus on the life support aspect of fish ponds since “it’s all about water quality.”
July 20, 2016 - Bromeliads of the World
Presenter: Dennis Cathcart
Dennis Cathcart, a lifelong Florida resident, established Tropiflora in 1976. One of his favorite activities (still) is exploring new plant varieties. He has made over 100 collecting trips to more than twenty-seven countries from the Caribbean and Latin American to South East Asia, Africa and Madagascar. Tropiflora hosts two festivals each year with the spring festival the first weekend of April and fall festival the first weekend of October.
June 15, 2016 - Find the Right Plant for Difficult Situations
Presenter: Bruce Mcalpin
Originally from Ohio Bruce did undergraduate work in Duquesne University and graduate work at Duke for his masters and PhD. After college he worked at the famous Wilson Botanical Garden in Costa Rica and then at New York Botanical Gardens and Selby Botanical Gardens. He then moved to Miami and taught Botany and Horticulture at MDC for 18 years. After retiring from Miami Dade College Dr. Mcalpin now spends full-time in his hobby garden in La Belle, Florida.
Finding the correct plant for the right place demands expertise and training in gardening. Mcalpin will use his 60 years of hard learned knowledge to make your job easier to find the right plant for a difficult situation.
May 18, 2016 - Plants & Palms of Thailand
Presenter: Jeff Searle
From: Searle Brothers Nursery
Jeff has a Broward County nursery specializing in exotic palms from around the world as well as many landscape plants and ornamentals. The nursery is well known for spring and fall plant sales that draw many types of plant collectors. Jeff is also known from Palm sales at local plant fairs and botanical gardens as a grower and seller of rare palms and many people got their first (fill in the blank) from him.
Jeff is active on Palm Talk, the International Palm Society, and personal trips to look for palms. His talk for the Equality Park Garden Club will feature the best collection of palms in the world that he saw and photographed at Nong Nooch gardens in Thailand during a palm society trip. Jeff will bring plants for sale so check your gardens for a spot you might want a nice palm.
April 20, 2016 - Finding Florida Friendly Plants
Presenter: Jesse Durko
From: Jesse Durko's Nursery
Originally from Princeton, New Jersey Jesse Durko worked as the Horticulture Director at Flamingo Gardens before opening “Jesse Durko’s Nursery” in 1990. The goal, “to improve the world through horticulture.” Since then you’ve seen “Landscape Design by Jesse Durko” throughout South Florida properties. Our very first speaker in 2010 returns to us for our six-year anniversary! Jesse has been around the world and is ready to share his passion on plants with us.
March 16, 2016 - Recent Collecting Trips
Presenter: Jason Lopez
From: Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Jason is a true Florida plantsman and gardener having been born and raised in Miami to parents who loved plants and spent every weekend in the garden. He has been a life-long member at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables, where he is now the Living Collection Manager. In addition to his academic work, Jason has also been in the landscaping business 16 years now. It can be added that Jason takes great pictures and travels to interesting places to see plants so this is a talk that everyone will enjoy.
He will be speaking about and showing pictures from his recent collecting trip (this January) to Great Inagua, Bahamas, where he searched for Coccothrinax inaguensis and a bunch of other plants.
Come Join the Fun!
February 17, 2016 - Successful Plant Marriages
Presenter: Rick Leitner
Rick Leitner, a fellow garden club member, will be speaking on "Successful Plant Marriages" at the Wednesday, 2/17/16 garden club meeting. A member of both the Palm Society and Croton Society Rick is an accomplished plantsman who has an incredible garden, This world traveler is back for a limited one-night engagement much to the delight of those who have heard him speak before.
January 20, 2016 - The Universal Language of Gardening
Presenter: Allen Sistrunk
From: Mounts Botanical Garden
November 18, 2015 - Decorating Ideas for the Holidays!
Presenter: Patrick Huey
From: Flowers & Found Objects
October 21, 2015 - Easy Holiday Entertaining
Presenter: Penny & Jonny
From: 1th Street Annex
September 16, 2015 - Flower Due Goes Digital: A Wildflower Bouquet
Presenter: Chuck Mccartney
August 19, 2015 - Landscape Plants You've Never Heard of or Forgot
Presenter: David Bache
From: Boynton Botanicals
July 15, 2015 - Rare & Unusual Plant Collection
Presenter: Sid Gardino
From: Gardino Nursery
"How I ended up with one of the largest, private collections of rare and unusual plants in the country."
June 17, 2015 - Heliconias & Gingers
Presenter: Elizabeth Sperry
From: D'Asign Source Botanicals
December 16, 2020 - The Best Tropical Fruits to Grow in South Florida
Presentation: The Best Tropical Fruits to Grow in South Florida
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Noel's enthusiasm for tropical agriculture started while working at his grandfather’s
mountain coffee farm in Puerto Rico during school breaks from his university studies. Afterwards, he relocated to South Florida and has continued growing and
fruiting tropical fruits while working mainly in the pharmaceutical industry.
During his spare time, he also lectures throughout Florida and out of state about tropical
fruits, sustainable agriculture and green living. He has also traveled extensively
to botanical gardens, agricultural research stations, and private farms throughout the
U.S., Europe, Caribbean, and Central America.
Currently, at his home in Fort Lauderdale, he is growing and fruiting many species of
rare tropical fruits including Abiu, Breadfruit, Achachairu, Sapote, Jackfruit, Mango,
Coffee, Cacao, and many others.
September 19, 2018 - Palms for South Florida
Rick Leitner is an avid gardener, whose first love is palms. A member of the International Palm Society for over 30 years, Rick has explored many native palm habitats in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean and Hawaiian Islands.
His garden possesses over 45 Genera and some 275 species of palms along with tropical shrubs, orchids, and bromeliads.
His talk will be sharing his expertise of proven palms for South Florida, as well as spotting nutritional deficiencies- often seen in the fronds. Additionally, interesting points about palm health and growth will be discussed.
October 17, 2018 - Eating from what you are growing
At our August meeting the guys from Tree Amigos presented us with how to grow what you eat. At our October meeting Nina "Raw Chef" Kauder will present to us, “Eating from what you are growing”. Whether you grow your own, or buy it from the supermarket Chef Nina gives an informative and entertaining presentation on preparing our fresh produce.
Nina Kauder, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, former chef for Ambassadors to the United Nations, professional food tour guide in New York City, and master chocolatier. Chef Nina also has successful experience as a corporate event planner, and finally, as a local community organizer who has started vegan communities, and community gardens, all for non-profit organizations.
This chef-educator, remains perpetually passionate about homegrown, organic, and local, non-GMO food, and will make sure you know how to use every part of your produce–skin, rind, peel, pot for #zerowaste, sustainable living, all while you conquer kitchen fears. Her presentations are designed to elevate your skills, bringing you to confident cooking, shopping, and meal planning
November 14, 2018 - 100 Years of Broward Orchids
The year 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of Florida’s Broward County. To commemorate the centennial, native orchid enthusiast Chuck McCartney prepared a program giving us a look at all the orchids that have been reported as growing wild within the boundaries of the county. Some were historic and have disappeared in the wake of development, but a number still can be found in the isolated pockets of natural areas that remain in our highly suburbanized county.
Chuck McCartney is a third-generation Floridian raised in Homestead, with 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of his family’s presence in South Florida. Among the first flowers he remembers as a child growing up in southern Dade County were orchids, including several of our native species. Although trained as a high school English teacher, he spent most of his career in journalism, including 5 years with the publications of the American Orchid Society. He has lived in Hollywood since 1976 and retired in 2009 after nearly 19 years as a copy editor with the Broward Edition of the Miami Herald. He joined the Florida Native Plant Society in 1986 and in 2002 received the society’s Green Palmetto Award for his educational efforts. He writes and lectures often about native orchids and other wildflowers, and he has photographed most of the approximately 60 orchid species native to the southern end of the state. He also photographs orchids and wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians, where he has a summer home.
January 15, 2019 - Methods of Propagating Tropical Plants
Our January speaker is Joel Crippen, the Horticulturist at Mounts Botanical Garden. Mounts has been around for 40 years now. It has always had a good reputation, but since Joel became the Horticulturalist there, big things have happened and the gardens are more beautiful than ever.
Joel's presentation will show us the easiest and most successful ways to propagate many of the tropical plants that we all know and love.
Don't forget that from now till November our regular meetings will be held the third Tuesday of each month. This months meeting is January 15th.
February 19, 2019 - A Talk on Indoor & Outdoor Shade Plants
Our January speaker is Scott Abrahamson, a horticultural landscaper and maintenance expert with decades of experience. Scott will give a talk on shade plants in a variety of situation. From indoors to patios, from balconies to in the ground, you will learn how easy it is to care for and maintain shade plants in South Florida.
Scott will be showing a variety of plants and ways to display them.
About Scott Abrahamson
Scott grew up on a farm in Illinois and that upbringing is where his Green Thumb started to develop. Soon he turned to a career as a Landscape Gardener full time. His first job at age 16 was at the Geneva Illinois Greenhouse growing bedding plants and cut flowers.
Scott attended Dupage Horticulture School in Dupage IL., in connection with the Ball Seed Co. One year college.
Deciding to go south he moved to Naples, FL where he worked as a landscape helper at Naples Beach Club hotel and golf course.
He continued his career working in retail garden centers and guest houses after moving east to Fort Lauderdale and a sub-tropical environment. Scott worked for Royal Palms and Cabanas guest house.
Finally, he began his own business with WSA Landscaping Inc., almost 19 years ago and he has been in horticultural landscaping and maintenance ever since.
March 19, 2019 - Exploring for Plants in Thailand
From December to early January 2018, Chad Husby and Brett Jestrow of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden explored the markets, nurseries, and gardens of Thailand in search of promising new introductions for South Florida horticulture. In addition, they explored some of southern and northern Thailand's spectacular natural areas. This presentation will chronicle selected highlights of the trip, the plants found, and the rationale for plant exploration in the 21st century.
Dr. Chad Husby is Botanical Horticulturist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. His main focus is finding, cultivating, and propagating new plants to enhance horticulture and botanical collections. He focuses on plant groups that have not received adequate attention, from conifers and ferns to foliage, flowering trees, and unusual fruits. Chad also enjoys educating students and the public about plant exploration, horticulture, and botany. His scientific research ranges from plant ecophysiology and horticulture to conservation and systematics.
April 16, 2019 - Rare and Unusual Plant Auction
The month of April each year brings us the Equality Garden Club's Rare and Unusual Plant Auction. Our own Rick Leitner will be the Auctioneer this year. Dozens of unique plants and garden items from more than 50 growers and vendors throughout South Florida will be presented for you to bid on Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m.
The plants will be available at 6:30 for your preview. There will be several knowledgeable people answering your questions about individual plants during this 1/2 hour as there is no time for answering questions during the auctions dizzying pace. As always, please don't think you won't be able to afford anything.
There will be some plants that will sell for $5.00 and some that will go in the $50.00 range.
There will be something for everyone!
May 21, 2019 - Insects in the Landscape: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Dr. Mannion will discuss pests of ornamental plants in our landscapes, their management, as well as the problem we have with invasive pests.
Catharine Mannion is a Professor and Extension Specialist with the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center. She has been with the University of Florida for 18 years. She is responsible for developing a research and extension program on integrated pest management of ornamental plants with an emphasis on invasive pests.
Dr. Mannion's research has focused on the biology and management of several introduced pests such as whiteflies, scales, thrips, and weevils in both the landscape and in production. She received a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from University of California, an M.S. degree in Entomology from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida.
June 18, 2019 - Learn Composting
Learn how to turn food scraps and yard clippings into rich compost within a couple of months rather than a full year or more.
David Stack has been an avid gardener most of his life. His fascination with horticulture and plant propagation began as a child growing up on a small farm in Southern California. While in high school, he took summer jobs propagating plants and grafting kiwi. When his father built a greenhouse David spent much of his spare time in his father's greenhouse, basically taking it over. When he moved to Fort Lauderdale it wasn't long before he realized South Florida gardening is vastly different mainly when it comes to growing food. David quickly embarrassed the Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening when a Master Gardener friend lent him the book.
July 16, 2019 - Growing Heliconia and Ginger Varieties, Including Edible Gingers
On July 16th our speaker will be John Goss from JG's Tropical Plants. He will speak on: "Growing Heliconia and Ginger varieties, including edible Gingers!"
Florida is subtropical, even the central areas, so why not let your yard reflect your climate?
JG’s Tropical Plants offers a stunning collection of colorful Heliconia and Gingers.
A resident of Florida for more than 40 years, owner John treks the jungles of Central America to locate new and unique plants that thrive in our similar Florida climate.
Plants are started from seed and rhizomes and are carefully grown under John’s watchful eyes prior to being offered to the public.
Familiar with the needs and growth habits of each variety, John looks forward to offering advice in plant selection and is glad to answer questions about enhancing your existing landscape.
August 20, 2019 - Bats & Gardens: A Natural Connection
Bats & Gardens: A Natural Connection - This program discusses bat biology, lifestyle, and busts common myths and misconceptions while revealing the multitude of environmental services bats provide to gardeners and farmers. Includes discussions about the conservation status of bats and simple methods growers can use to encourage bat activity in fields and gardens.
Shari Blissett-Clark loves bats, and her life revolves around them! Shari is currently the President of the Florida Bat Conservancy and operates Bat Belfrys, a non-profit organization focused on bat house research and development. She builds and installs bat houses throughout Florida with the superhuman help of her husband John, aka Batman!
September 17, 2019 - Growing Roses in South Florida
Known for their strong, healthy and gorgeous roses, the Coolidges grow and sell a wide variety of roses that flourish well in the South Florida environment, including the popular and and hardy hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub, and climbers that are well suited for the hot and humid weather of our growing zone.
All roses are grown on their own root, or grafted onto fortuniana root stock.
If you would like to pre-order a selection of roses just give us a call at 561-313-0077 to discuss our availability.
We will also be bringing a supply of roses that will be available for purchase during our visit, as well as extra bags of our own custom blend fertilizer, crafted specifically for our area.
We are consulting rosarians for the American Rose Society and are happy to discuss your rose needs and answer any questions you may have. We may be reached at 561-31-8508 or firstname.lastname@example.org
October 15, 2019 - Proper Tree Pruning
Mike has been an ISA-certified arborist for 17 years and directs the county’s tree trimmer licensing, pesticide application and Green Industry Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) certification programs. In 2009, his extension program received the Outstanding Public Educational Program award from the Florida Urban Forestry Council (FUFC). In 2011, Mike was named FNGLA Outstanding Educator. In June of 2019 he received the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture’s Award for Excellence in Education. Mike is also a long-term ISA exam proctor and is an active member of the Landscape Inspectors Association of Florida (LIAF).
B.S. degree in Agronomy, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Weed Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
November 19, 2019 - Tropical Flowering Trees
Even with the land available, size does matter. Allowing every tree to grow to its full size would severely limit the quantity planted. There are many ways flowering trees can be added to your garden, even when space is a concern. Cultivar selection, grafting, selective pruning, and the use of growth regulators can all help make the most of the space you have.
A favorite tree of his is the Floss Silk tree. He will discuss his hybridization program for floss silk trees, goals of the project, and results that have been obtained so far. There will be White Fences hybrid floss silk trees distributed for free for those who would like to participate.
January 15, 2020 - Planting for Life – How to make your yard your bird feeder
Ann moved to Florida in the mid 80’s developing an interest in south Florida wildlife and ecology. She’s worked in sea turtle conservation for 30 years; tagging, measuring, excavating, rescuing & releasing green, leatherback and loggerhead hatchings disoriented by coastal lighting. She works as an ecological tour guide leading private tours throughout south Florida and the Greater Everglades System. She’s a regular lecturer for Road Scholar in Florida and encourages others to created backyard landscaping that supports songbirds and life.
February 19, 2020 - The Auckland New Zealand Botanical Garden
Collecting palms for over 25 years, along with the unusual tropical plants, his garden will be opened for the Spring Garden Tour on Saturday, February 22.
Having traveled to many countries, he seeks at least one experience in a botanical garden, forest, or private garden in all.
This month he will feature his travel log of one of the most amazing public botanical gardens ever visited: The Auckland New Zealand Botanical Garden. This interesting climate zone encompasses conifers to cold hardy palms to tropicals, set amongst inactive volcano ranges.
Leave your passport at home. This journey is pure botanical pleasure!
March 18, 2020 - Container Gardening on Balconies, Patios & Small Yards
Scott’s talk will be on pots and plants, tips and tricks to container gardening on balconies, patios and small yards. He has today plants for sale that are great for containers and easy to grow, along with a special surprise plant giveaway.
April 15, 2020 - CANCELLED
As we protect ourselves, we need to remember that social distance is not isolation; we have our friends, loved ones and neighbors to share our thoughts and concerns. We can and should maintain contact via our phones and through the internet (even the archaic form of letter writing). It’s a time to be thankful that we have the safety of our homes with many amenities that make our daily lives bearable.
Alone time need not be lonely…Stay in touch.
Take this opportunity to check out the Equality Garden Club’s newly redesigned web site. Share your observations and suggestions on how to make it even better.
Spend a few minutes being counted…Participate in the 2020 census. It’s a down payment for the future of our community as it affects all of us in so many ways.
Haul out those delightful books loaded with pictures and tantalizing garden ideas.
Besides binge TV remember the Spring migration of songbirds has just begun… focus on nature’s ever-recurring beauty.
Care for yourselves by caring for your oasis, whether a back yard, window, balcony or patio.
This is the perfect time to tend your plantings which will distract you from the barrage of unsettling news…. Your garden can be your safe zone, psychological and physical.
Go for long leisurely walks and enjoy the landscape that is your neighborhood.
May 20, 2020 - Victory Gardens - Growing Food in Our Summer Heat
While in high school, he took summer jobs propagating plants and grafting kiwi. When his father built a greenhouse David spent much of his spare time in his father's greenhouse, basically taking it over. He couldn’t wait to get home from school to get into the greenhouse.
When he moved to Fort Lauderdale it wasn't long before he realized the many challenges South Florida has when it comes to growing food. David quickly embraced organic methods, as well as Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening when a Master Gardener friend lent him the book.
June 17, 2020 - Native & Invasive Vines Of Southeast Florida
August 19, 2020 - Amazing Orchids to Grow in South Florida
Watch our Recorded Live Broadcast
Presentation: Amazing Orchids to Grow in South Florida
Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
For tonight’s lecture Mac will gather and show some amazing orchid plants that grow great here in South Florida and explain where and how I have seen them grow the best. This lecture has a lot of information for beginners and more for experienced growers. Mac has gathered advice and information from many large orchid growers and hundreds of private growers. Mac will be available to answer questions at the end of this culture lecture as we all learn from one another. Mac has an assortment of great orchid species and hybrid plants for sale on his website - asianorchidsource.com
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2711161125782149/
September 16, 2020 - Aquatic Invasive Plants in South Florida
Watch our Recorded Live Broadcast
Presentation: Aquatic Invasive Plants in South Florida
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Kelli Gladding is a graduate from Rollins College with her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Currently, Kelli works with the University of Florida, IFAS, Center for Aquatic Invasive Plants (CAIP) as research biologist. She spent 5.5 years as a representative with SePRO Corporation providing technical support to aquatic plant applicators and managers throughout the State of Florida. Kelli also served as the Co-Chair for the East Central Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area for 7 years and served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society, 2015-2017 and the 2019 FAPMS President. From 2004-2014, she worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Invasive Plant Management Section as a Regional Biologist focused on managing aquatic invasive plants in the St. Johns River region.
Kelli has always enjoyed the outdoors since she was young and conserving the natural native environment is her passion. Kelli is also a mother of two, a 12- year old boy who enjoys soccer, kayaking and gaming and a 9- year old girl who loves swimming, singing and writing. When she isn’t busy with the kids, she spends time in the garden, fishing and boating.
Aquatic invasive plants have long plagued Florida’s waterways starting in the late 1800’s with the introduction of the water hyacinth. As with many non-native plant species, Hyacinths were introduced because of their beautiful flowers and ability to easily grow. Hyacinths were then “shared” for all to enjoy by placing them into the St. Johns River where they grew uncontrollable without having natural predators to keep the plant “in check”. Many lessons have been learned over the past 120+ years in managing this plant species along with new aquatic plant invaders. This presentation will review aquatic plant identification of invasive species along with native plant look-alikes. We will also discuss integrated pest management strategies currently in use and how you can help as citizen scientists to keep our waters healthy.
October 21, 2020 - Bat In My Florida Backyard
Watch our Recorded Live Broadcast
Presentation: Bat In My Florida Backyard
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Shari Blissett-Clark loves bats, and her life revolves around them! Shari is currently the President of the Florida Bat Conservancy and operates Bat Belfrys, a non-profit organization focused on bat house research and development. She builds and installs bat houses throughout Florida with the superhuman help of her husband John, aka Batman
Bats are fascinating mammals that play critical roles in the health and diversity of Florida's ecosystems. This program will expose the secret world of bats, dispel myths and misinformation, and reveal the superpowers that bats use to provide unparalleled benefits to mankind. We'll explore where bats live, what they eat, and their vast contributions to human health and medicine. And finally, we will discuss ways that homeowners can help bats survive and thrive in yards and neighborhoods.
November 18, 2020 - Gertrude Jekyll & The Arts & Crafts Movement
Watch our Recorded Live Broadcast
Presentation: Gertrude Jekyll & The Arts & Crafts Movement
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Victor Lazzari is a landscape designer originally from the hilly farm country of Maryland. A Florida resident since 2007, Victor holds a BA in Landscape Design from University of Maryland, an MA in Landscape Architecture from Florida International University, and a Masters Certificate in Agroecology also from FIU. His small company, JungleGymFL, offers landscape design, consultation and project management services all over the tri-county area. Victor specializes in English-inspired plantings that thrive in the challenging climate of South Florida, and is obsessively passionate about roses in particular. He is currently writing and self-publishing a book on the art and science of growing roses in South Florida. Victor currently resides in Oakland Park with his partner Brian and their two kids: Teddy, a young tuxedo kitten with dreams of world domination; and Tyson, a black lab mix with an unhealthy fixation on tennis balls.
"Gertrude Jekyll & The Arts & Crafts Movement" - Gertrude Jekyll was a famous landscape designer in Victorian England who single-handedly launched the Arts & Crafts Movement in landscape architecture, which raised the concept of cottage gardening to both a fine art and a recognized form of landscape architecture forever after. This presentation will explore her life and her work, and how the design principles she inaugurated can be applied to South Florida gardens.
July 15, 2020 - Florida Native Orchids and the Million Orchid Project (MOP)
Watch our Recorded Live Broadcast
Presentation: Florida Native Orchids and the Million Orchid Project (MOP)
Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/190077789098102/