Gardening with Natives Open Forum by Carolyn Gregsak

The Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society presented its first meeting of the season on October 9 at Lemon Bay Park in Englewood. More than two-dozen guests were in attendance at the Open Forum, a framework for an interactive, question/discussion session, between the audience and 4-person panel, concerning gardening with native plants in this area of SW Florida. Several first-time attendees were present and we look forward to seeing them throughout the coming season.

   The panel consisted of four members of the Mangrove Chapter: Bonnie Moore, Linda Wilson, Al Squires, and Gail Finney. Several questions, submitted prior to the meeting, brought the audience and panel into the full spirit of discussion and debate. Some of the most enthusiastic debate revolved around planting non-native plants with native plants, soil composition, and soil amendments.

   Meeting adjournment at eight o’clock seemed to arrive too soon, and many guests lingered to share their comments. Members are looking forward to the Open Forum becoming an annual tradition, starting off each new season at the October meetings.


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