General Meetings, Scholarships

2014 January General Meeting

Article written by Donna Ditges; Photos by Donna Ditges

The January General Meeting held at Windermere Town Hall was well attended. We had a full agenda with a wonderful presentation by Merle DeLand, Vice President of Tampa Bay Begonia Society and a visit from the UCF students who received WGC’s horticultural scholarship.

Presentation: Begonias

If you missed this meeting, you missed some great information on Begonias. Merle DeLand told us everything we need to know about begonias and  sold several different varieties for $5 each. Some valuable tips I learned is that they thrive in humidity, cooler temperatures and they must not have wet feet. They don’t like our hot summers, but they will do well outside if placed next to a pond waterfall or fountain and in shade, of course.


After the presentation, members enjoyed a short break with refreshments provided by members Denise Harbin, Carol Wolfe & Carolyn Gross.

Bonus Presentation:
Next, the recipients of the Windermere Garden Club Horticultural Scholarship, Sheila Scolano and Jules NeSmith, told us about their studies and projects. They were accompanied by their advisor, Amy Alexander. After the meeting, members of WGC took the students out to lunch at Westerly’s Restaurant in Metro West.


General Meetings

2013 September 12 General Meeting

Written by Donna Ditges

Our first meeting of the 2013-2014 year kicked off with our usual first speaker, Tom MacCubbin, Florida Gardening Expert and host of many Central Florida shows and articles.  See links to Tom’s websites at the end of this post as well as photos provided by Club Photographer, Donna Ditges.

Hostesses Cannon Stoffel, Bonnie Baum and Peggy Collins provided wonderful snacks of deviled eggs, sandwiches, orange cake, fruit and coffee, juice and tea.  Thank you, Ladies.  It was delicious and above-and-beyond.

PROGRAM:  Tom’s topic today was  ”Eco-Friendly Treatment of Garden Pests and Diseases,” accompanied by a very informative handout “September in the Garden 2013” (click here to download as a pdf).  He also added a trivia contest and gave several door prizes for correct answers.  The winners of the door prizes were Angela Withers (gardening book), Carol Wolfe (garden hat), Joan Prasky (flower pot of goodies) and Anne Theiss (garden theme notecards).

50/50 DRAWING:  This month we had a plant from the hostess table entered into the drawing.  An arrangement for give away is not a requirement of hostessing; this was an unexpected addition.

  • Tanya Chesire won the 50/50 drawing and
  • Joan Prasky won the beautiful bromeliad hostess centerpiece.

SMART PHONE APP FOR THE GARDEN TIP:  Vice President, Jill Thompson, had a very interesting tip for us.  There is an app for smartphones that will help you with your gardening. It is called “Beesmart”.  Just search on your smartphone for the app.  It will help you decide on plants for your garden, i.e., search your zip code, then amount of light, then amount of water, then shrub, tree or plant; then flowering, etc.  You get the idea.  GREAT TIP JILL!


  1. Joan Prasky and Maureen Tuber will be hosting a one day flower arranging class.  Details have not been decided yet.  Check the website often for the latest developments.
  2. Beginning October 2013, everyone is encouraged to bring their plant cuttings or new plants they have started to the monthly meetings.  These plants will be left at the front door for anyone to take.  We suggest leaving a $1 donation that will go to the Garden Club.  There is no requirement to bring a plant to exchange … there are plenty of members who have more than enough they would rather give away than throw away.  You know how we gardeners are.
  3. Request that you bring any plastic nursery pots to the meetings.  Many members need them to start new plants.

Visit Tom MacCubbin online at:


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Club Business, General Meetings

2013 March General Meeting

The Windermere Garden Club meeting today was mostly discussing our annual Crazy Card Party (“CCP”) planning. The CCP is be held on March 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM at the Windermere Town Hall.

Officers were elected for the 2013-2014 season. The officers are as follows:
President – Peggy Collins
1st Vice President – Jill Thompson
2nd Vice President – Maureen Tuber
Treasurer – Maryann “Dale” Boardman
Recording Secretary – Clare Durante
Corresponding Secretary – Jackie Rapport

General Meetings, Scholarships

2013 January 10 General Meeting

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Windermere Garden Club met at Windermere Town Hall on January 10, 2013 at 10:00 am.  Our program opened with speeches from the UF Environmental Horticulture students WGC sponsors every year and their advisor, Amy Alexander.   This year we are sponsoring two new students, as our previous students, Cody Monroe and Gina DeFalco, have graduated.  Amy updated us on what Cody and Gina have been doing.  Amy then introduced our two new students, Sheila Scalaro and Jules NeSmith, who told us about their horticultural studies, dreams and goals.  After the meeting, a few WGC members took the girls out to lunch.

Horticulture Students, Sheila Scalaro & Jules NeSmith with Advisor, Amy Alexander
Horticulture Students, Sheila Scalaro & Jules NeSmith with Advisor, Amy Alexander

Previous President, Peggy Collins, introduced her great-granddaughter, Cameron Gellhouse, who has attended Camp Wekiva several times.  WGC sponsors a few students to attend Camp Wekiva every summer and Cameron has been one of the recipients.  She spoke about her experiences with Camp Wekiva and told some entertaining stories about primitive camping and the critters they “ran” into.

Peggy Collins and her great granddaughter, Cameron
Peggy Collins and her great granddaughter, Cameron, Camp Wekiva attendee

Planning for the Crazy Card Party in March has already begun.  WGC reminds members to save their small tissue boxes to donate for table decorations and start thinking about items you can contribute to raffle baskets, door prizes and the silent auction.

Photos courtesy of Webmaster and Club Photographer, Donna Ditges.

General Meetings

2012 December Christmas Luncheon

Member, Barbara B., as Mrs. Claus at Nehrling Gardens event
Member, Barbara B., as Mrs. Claus at Nehrling Gardens event

The Windermere Garden Club December General Meeting was informal and held at Westerly Restaurant at Metro West Golf Club. The food was delicious and lots of comraderie with friends was enjoyed by all. Enjoy the photos courtesy of Club Photographer, Donna Ditges. Click on photo to enlarge.

Arbor Day, Articles

Windermere Celebrates 20 Years as Tree City USA with Arbor Day Events

By Theresa Schretzmann-Myers
Windermere Tree Board

Windermere celebrates its 20th Anniversary as a Tree City USA  with the annual Arbor Day Ceremony Thursday, January 17th, 10am and the 9th Annual Windermere Treebute Arbor Day Festival, Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 10am-4pm at 512  Main Street .  The family friendly Windermere Treebute Arbor Day Festivalhelps fund Windermere’s Urban Forestry program with proceeds from the festival used to purchase and plant new trees each year by Tree Board volunteers and local residents.

The events are sponsored by Windermere Tree Board, Tree Climbing Concepts Training Team Inc. (TCCTT) and Windermere Garden Club who share a unique partnership in public tree education programs, tree arboriculture and safety programs and tree planting projects which support Windermere’s Urban Forestry program.  There is no cost for admission. 

Take a tree home to plant with your children and create a living legacy for future generations.  Florida Native hardwoods such as Long Leaf Pine, Magnolia, Sugarberry, Oak, Cypress , Loblolly Bay , Holly, Red Maple, Hickory , Cedar, Black Gum, Red Bay  and Sycamore are available for adoption and sale to diversify our Urban Forest which consists mostly of Oak species. 

For those who have mature trees, understory and flowering trees are offered such as Red Bud, Fringe Tree, Dogwoods, Chickasaw Plum, Simpson’s Stopper, Tabebuia and historic Camellias.  For edible landscaping, mulberry, citrus trees, apple, peach, pear, loquat, plum and Florida  blueberries are also available.

Figure 1: Tree Adoption and Sales at Treebute
Figure 1: Tree Adoption and Sales at Treebute

Windermere Tree Board and arborists supply public tree education utilizing the “Ask the Arborist Booth” where residents can get advice from ISA Certified Arborists regarding the “Right Tree for the Right Place ”in their yards.  IFIS Orange County Extension is also available for horticultural and pest control questions.   

Figure 2: Ask the Arborist Table at Treebute
Figure 2: Ask the Arborist Table at Treebute

A Kids Tree Climb is available where kids can experience the beauty of trees up high while climbing in a safety harness, helmet and safety glasses in Windermere’s beautiful tree canopy.  For more tree education, Smokey Bear from Florida Forestry Division is present with forestry books and information.  “Enchanted Walk-Abouts” with naturalist John Springer teach children and adults how to see trees and nature with new eyes.   

Figure 3: Kids Tree Climb at Windermere Treebute
Figure 3: Kids Tree Climb at Windermere Treebute

Enjoy food trucks, arts and crafts vendors and live music while you watch the “Geezers in the Treezers” Tree Climbing Competition where Certified Arborists over age 40 compete in 5 different tree climbing competitions stressing advanced tree arboriculture skills and emergency rescue techniques.  Competitors come from the U.S. , Canada and Britain to compete in Windermere’s historic tree canopy. Arbor Day Ceremony and Tree Planting  Celebrating 20 years as a “Tree City USA”, the Windermere Arbor Day ceremony Thursday, January 17, 2013,10 am is coordinated by Windermere Garden Club and Windermere Tree Board with a Mayoral proclamation, Police color guard, children singing tree songs, planting the Arbor Day tree, tree education by arborists and refreshments.

Figure 4: Arbor Day Tree Planting in Windermere
Figure 4: Arbor Day Tree Planting in Windermere

Town Square trees and Main Street trees are pruned and mulched every Arbor Day by volunteer arborists and Windermere Tree Board volunteers.  

Figure 5: Arbor Day Tree Pruning along Main Street
Figure 5: Arbor Day Tree Pruning along Main Street

Tree Safety Training Seminar for arborists, tree workers, EMT’s, first responders and firemen is taught by TCCTT Arborists, Anchor Bridge Ropeworks and International Safety Components who underwrites the cost to teach SRT single rope technique safety training and emergency preparation, Friday, January 18, 2013, 8am-4pm, 512 Main Street, Windermere.  For more information and registration, contact Adam Jackson at (321) 303-9026 or Email 

Park Avenue and Windermere Elementary  School Tree Planting Projects

Windermere Tree Board wrote and was funded for a 2012 Urban Forestry grant for re-planting small-growing, “Right Trees in the Right Place ”near power lines on Park Avenue .  They replaced large Oaks destroyed by hurricanes.  Windemere Tree Board volunteers completed 300+ volunteer work & arboriculture hours at Butler Bay  Recreation Center  Park clean-ups.  Windermere Tree Board volunteers also completed 50+ volunteer tree planting and tree education hours at Windermere  Elementary School as “Partners in Education” with students and staff.

For more info contact or call 407-579-4621

Figure 6: Tree Safety Training Seminar
Figure 6: Tree Safety Training Seminar


General Meetings

2012 October 11 General Meeting

The Windermere Garden Club general meeting was held at Windermere Town Hall on October 11, 2012.  Our guest speaker, Dena Wild, Master Gardener, gave a very informative presentation on Cool Weather Herbs.  TIP:  Did you know you can lay a piece of cardboard in the garden (the back of a cereal box will do) to catch pesty snails?  You must do “snail patrol” every morning. Dispose of the snails by scraping them into a bucket of soapy water to drown them.

We also had our bi-annual “White Elephant” Sale.  Members bring items from their homes to sell with proceeds going to the Garden Club for club projects.

Refreshments were provided by Joan Yancey, Clare Durante and Linda Gidel.

Photos below are provided by Donna Ditges.

Speaker, Dena Wild, Master Gardener
Dena Wild, Speaker and Connie Black, 1st Vice President
General Meetings

2012 September 13 General Meeting

The 2012-2013 first meeting of Windermere Garden Club was held on September 13, 2012 at our regular meeting place at Windermere Town Hall.  Tom MacCubbin, Florida Gardening Expert, was our guest speaker, and as always, gave a very entertaining and enlightening presentation with valuable gardening tips.

Member, Angela Withers won the door prize provided by Member, Teresa Myers.  Refreshments were provided by Members, Carolin Warren, Minora Hand and Elizabeth Rizzi.

All photos in the slideshow below are provided courtesy of 2nd Vice President, Maureen Tuber.

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Crazy Card Party & Luncheon

2012 Crazy Card Party

In March, the Windermere Garden Club hosted their annual Crazy Card Party with the theme “Spring Fling”.  This is our biggest fund raiser with proceeds going to our Scholarship Fund for two Agriculture students at University of Florida.

Please enjoy the photo montage courtesy of member, Donna Ditges, Photographer and owner of Foto Flix: