Destin Garden Club looking to grow: Got a green thumb? Sign up today! (PHOTOS)

Laura Hall, Gardens with Annie
Destin Garden Club officers L-R Linda Timothy, Carol Boden, Katie Voss,Rosemary Waski, Daisy Pfoertner, Janet Rappazini, Donna Stuart

The Destin Garden Club is an interesting and exciting group of women interested in gardens, luncheons, plant swapping and keeping the gardens at The Destin Library green and gorgeous. President Carol Boden presides and members come from all over Okaloosa County and neighboring areas. The club meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month except July and August at The Destin Library at 9:30 a.m.  Dues for 2013 are $35.  New members joining October through December will have their membership dues covered all the way through 2014.

Entering the library, I find a beautiful table set to my left that carries enough food for Pharoah’s army. I wonder if they do this all the time.  I find shrimp, fresh watermelon pieces, strawberries and blueberries and brownies — and much more.  Member, Carol Tyler, has created a stunning tiered centerpiece using fresh potted flowers. 

In the large meeting room of the library, I find two tables set up. At the first table members sign in and receive a free ticket in the hopes of winning one of the beautiful crates of fall mums donated by Home Depot and Lowes. The second table is a 50/50 table, a fundraiser, where all purchased tickets go into a pot. Tickets cost $1 each or $5 for ten. A winning ticket is drawn and the winner receives 50 percent of the pot and the club gets the remaining 50 percent to help toward new landscaping for the library.

September’s program is a PowerPoint presentation by Okaloosa Master Gardener Karen Kirk-Williams. Her presentation highlights plant recommendations to create beautiful fall color in our own Destin gardens.

 Some of her recommendations for our area include alyssum, flowering kale, “red butterfly” pentas and Mexican tarragon, which is anise scented with edible flowers. Fennel and parsley will be enjoyed by the swallowtail butterflies as they pass through town.  Pineapple sage has edible pineapple scented blooms and leaves, and our ever durable pansies and violas will last through all the cold winter months.

“The cool weather that is coming provides a good time to plant for next year as it gives your new plants and trees time to concentrate their energy on growing roots rather than top growth,” Karen says.

 Plant now for next year the Cape Plumbago, which likes full to part sun and has a long blooming season that extends close to year round. You can also plant narcissus and daffodils now for a show in the early spring of 2014. Recommended daffodils that do well in the Florida Panhandle are Carlton, Fortune, Thalia and Silver Chimes.

Plans are already underway for The Island Garden Club of Okaloosa Island and The Destin Garden Club to join together for a bus trip to the Mobile 2014 Festival of Flowers.  This is a March horticultural extravaganza acknowledged as the premier flower and garden event of the greater Gulf Coast.  This event is one you don’t want to miss.

For more information on the Destin Garden Club, call Carol Boden at 424-3979