Gardening Classes and Talks offered at Edison and Ford Winter Estates | News, Sports, Jobs

In recent years, gardening has become even more popular as people spend time at home with their families. Edison and Ford Winter Estates offers several year-round opportunities for residents and guests to learn about gardening in Florida. Garden Talks are held once a month throughout the year (most months) and cover a wide range of topics from growing orchids to pruning techniques. Gardening classes take place during the winter and spring months and delve deeper into gardening solutions.

An Introduction to Florida Gardening Parts I and II will be offered in January. These classes are helpful for anyone new to Florida or new to gardening in the Sunshine State, as the amount of sunlight and rain, as well as the soil structure, are very different than what many people are used to in the northern states. The courses build on the monthly Garden Talks and offer a deeper insight into different areas of gardening. Taught by horticulture specialist Karen Maxwell, each class focuses on aspects of gardening specific to Southwest Florida.

Upcoming garden courses:

Introduction to Florida Gardening Part I

January 18 (1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.) or January 22 (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Part I of this two-part course provides a foundation in how plants work, their nomenclature, and an understanding of unique weather patterns and unusual soils unique to Florida Zone 10. native plants and how to recognize invasive plants. Palm trees are also discussed and the class spends the last 20 minutes in the Palmetum. Cost: $35 for Edison-Ford members; $50 non-members.

Introduction to Florida Gardening Part II

25 January (1:30-3:30 p.m.) or 29 January (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

In Part II, participants will be introduced to the concepts of “Florida Friendly Gardening”, including learning the proper use of fertilizers and soil amendments. Crops have unique pests and their identification is addressed along with the use of chemical or biological controls as recommended in the Green Industries Best Management Practices concepts. Weed detection and diseases will also be covered, along with a discussion of choosing plants for a Florida landscape, followed by a question and answer session. The last 20 minutes of class takes place in the butterfly garden. Cost: $35 for Edison-Ford members; $50 non-members.

Participants should bring a notebook, pen and drinking water. For the outdoor part, a hat, sunscreen and good hiking shoes are recommended. Each class includes handouts, a recommended reading list, and additional resources to help the Florida gardener succeed. Although not required, participation in Part I will be beneficial in understanding the content covered in Part II.

Pre-registration is required and limited to 25 participants. Classes are held in an air-conditioned and accessible classroom at the Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council and Berne Davis Gardens, located across from the Edison Ford parking lot (at Larchmont). At the end of the course, each participant will receive a 20% discount voucher for plant purchases in the Garden Shoppe. Register online at

Next garden talk:

Philodendrons and Aroids

March 19, 10 a.m

Various types of philodendrons and aroids, which include common houseplants, are discussed, as well as the care and cultivation of these plants. Attendees will receive a voucher for 20% off plant purchases from the Garden Shoppe. The interviews usually last around 1.5 hours. Guests should wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat, and bring drinking water.

Tickets for the lecture are $10 for Edison Ford members or $15 for non-members. Registration is only possible at the door. Visit for more information.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates is located at 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

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