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Marshall to speak at April 1 gardening lecture

By Staff | Mar 22, 2010

The 43rd Master Gardener Lecture Series will be held on Thursday, April 1 starting at 10 a.m. at the Sanibel Public Library, located at 770 Dunlop Road.

The guest speaker wil be Anita Marshall, a certified Florida Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and Head Gardener and Designer of The Moorings, an almost seven-acre property on the east end of Sanibel, which had it’s beginning almost 40 years ago.

This property has had a succession of continous full-time gardeners (five in the past 40 years) and has resulted in a garden of eden on Sanibel. The first gardener was a PhD in botany and is still alive and retired in Ocala, Fla. Each of the full-time gardeners left an imprint and legacy of their interests andexpertise.

The Moorings property has some of the oldest, largest and finest specimens of both native vegetation and subtropical trees and shrubs on Sanibel. The plant material numbers in the thousands with over 40 species of palms, 50 types of fruit trees and hundreds of examples of flowering trees and shrubs.

In addition, there are butterfly gardens, bromeliads and many orchid plants which are almost 40 years old. The habitat focus of the many gardens attract wildlife such as birds, butterflies, marsh rabbits, armadillos and turtles. Nesting boxes are throughout the property to encourage native and migratory birds.

Marshall is co-organizer of the annual Southwest Florida Butterfly Conference at the University of Florida Extension and she writes a monthly column, “Habital Gardening,” for the Sebring Press and is a member of the Planning Commission of the Lakes Botanical Garden. She is a volunteer at the SCCF Native Nursery and a member of the Sanibel Vegetation Committee. Her most recent accomplishment was to gain certificaion of The Moorings as a botanical garden.

The meeting is open to the public, but free seating is limited so arriving early is suggested.