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Garden Club hosts March in the Park today

By Staff | Mar 9, 2013

The fifth annual March in the Park will feature a variety of plants and garden accessories for sale, along with some free demonstrations and speakers.

Hosted by the Garden Club of Cape Coral, the event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, March 9, at Jaycee Park. Parking and admission are free.

“March in the Park is our once-a-year big fund-raiser,” Ginny Huffer, co-president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral, said Wednesday.

“If you have any interest at all in plants, we have low-growing ground cover to palms – if you want houseplants, there’ll be houseplants,” she said.

Approximately 50 vendors will have an array of plants available that include palms, shrubs, fruit trees, natives, flowering butterfly plants and herbs.

The club is even a vendor, with about 500 plants from its members.

“Just a large variety of different types,” Ria Benton, the chairperson for March in the Park and a member of the garden club, said Wednesday.

Garden art also will be available for purchase, such as handmade baskets, glass garden reflectors, hand-painted pots, tire planters and more.

According to Huffer, the event hosted about 40 vendors last year. She estimated that the turnout was between 2,500 and 3,000 people.

“So, each year it has gotten bigger,” she said.

“We’re hoping for more this year, of course,” Huffer said.

There will be a speaker or demonstration every hour. The schedule is:

n 9 a.m.: Lee County Master Gardeners on planting the right plant in the right place.

n 10 a.m.: Paula Novander, from the Garden Club of Cape Coral, on how to put together a floral design.

n 11 a.m.: Debbie Hughes, from the Edison Ford Winter Estates, on growing and using herbs in the South.

n Noon: Sherie Bieiler, from the Garden Club of Cape Coral, on attracting butterflies to a yard.

n 1 p.m.: Rachael Singletary, from Pine Forest Fruit and Flower Farm, on worm castings and fertilizer.

n 2 p.m.: Ann Sherwood-Palmer, from the Garden Club of Cape Coral, on what kind of vegetables can be grown in the Cape.

Benton noted that there will be master gardeners available throughout the event, along with club members and vendors, to answer any questions.

“It broadens the appeal,” she said. “It’s not just going into a lot and seeing some plants for sale.”

Free vendor space is even provided to other organizations, such as the University of Florida, to help distribute garden-related information.

“We want to try and help educate the public,” Huffer said.

For the first time this year, March in the Park will offer a “Kids Corner.”

“There will be a few hands-on activities were children can actually plant something or make something to take home with them,” Benton said.

There will be a raffle, with prizes drawn throughout the day. The raffle tickets are $1 a piece or $5 for six tickets. The prizes will include:

n First place: Hand-painted rain barrel made by a club member.

n Second place: Wheelbarrow filled with plants and gardening items.

n Third Place: Tickets to the Royal Palm Dinner Theater.

n Fourth place: Gift basket, with Edison Ford Winter Estates tickets.

n Fifth place: Tickets to the Cultural Park Theatre.

n Sixth place: Gift basket from the Cape Coral Historical Society.

Winners need not be present to claim their prize.

Benton added that other vendor items will be handed out.

All proceeds from March in the Park help the club achieve its goals.

“The money raised goes to the objectives of the garden club,” Huffer said.

“We work at the butterfly garden at the Cape Coral Library and the Rose Garden at the Historical Museum and the City Hall garden,” she said.

The club also sponsors local children for Camp Wekiva, a summer camp.

“They teach the kids about nature, and it’s all earth orientated,” Huffer said. “They learn how to recycle, how to give back to the earth.”

In addition, the club provides local high school students with monetary awards. Last year, five students each received $200 for schooling.

“(Those) who go on to further their education in horticultural or environmental sciences,” she said of who can apply for the award.

March in the Park also will feature live music and food vendors, including The Back Stage Eatery, Chicago Pizza, Seeds of Light, and Ice Ssscreamin.

For more information, visit online: www.gardenclubofcapecoral.com, or contact Ginny Huffer at (239) 257-2654 or huffmom5@aol.com

Jaycee Park is located at 4125 S.E. 20th Place.