Sanibel Moorings Resort faces the Gulf of Mexico on Sanibel Island. On December 15, 2014, the Estero Island Garden Club visited the Botanical Gardens, which are woven all around the pathways and buildings of the beach-side resort. We saw hundreds of native plants and non-invasive tropical species, including bromeliads, cacti, hibiscus, orchids, palms, fruits, and cycads spread out over six acres. The resident gardener, Anita Force Marshall, welcomed us and gave us a tour of the grounds and described her philosophy of wildlife gardening, which she referred to as “organized chaos.” Gardens planted for the benefit of wildlife always include host plants as food sources, do not use poisonous chemicals for pest control, and predominantly feature native species. The plantings in a wildlife garden will also require less maintenance and have more resilience than a garden less in harmony with nature.
Pergola/bench with Diane and Katie
This is the starting point of the garden tour.
Becky with blue birdbath surrounded by purple gerber daisies
Garden Club members at the beginning of the tour
Blooms of a Pink Tassel Tree
The pink tassel tree
Look closely at the hundreds of “tassels” which have not yet bloomed. The tree blooms seasonally for a month and a half, starting around December 15. Each bloom lasts about a week. This tree must be a magnificent sight when it is in full bloom.
The common and botanical names of the tree
Aloe and yucca grouping
Distinctive fountain, tree and plantings
Master gardener Anita Force Marshall
The group standing under a Screw Pine tree
The Hong Kong Orchid tree
Close-up of a Hong Kong tree orchid
An “island” consisting of a number of different plants.
We are now on the beach-front side of the resort.
In the “island,” you can see prickly pear cactus, beach daisies, and canna lilies. Indian Hawthorn are behind the beach daisies.
Close-up of the canna lily
Close-up of the periwinkles in the “island”
An Audrette Agave and Sea Lavender
The Sea Lavender from the side
The Sea Lavender was new to most of us, but we all found it to be a very attractive bush.
Giant Crinum Lily
A Mahogany tree across the street
The buildings across East Gulf Drive are on a canal with boat docks.
Anita and fountain--all with bowls to hold water for birds
A Carambola (Star fruit) tree
Anita gave each of us a very large and perfect-looking carambola from this tree.
Garden club members and Sanibel Moorings sign
Carol, Diane and Katie in front of Cip’s Place Restaurant
Members and guests at our lunch table
A mural painted by Tim Macko in honor of famous Sanibel locals and visitors to Sanibel
Ruth Hunter, front and center, was an actress who played Daisey Mae in “Tobacco Road’ on Broadway.
The restaurant has a flyer that identifies each of the 60 faces in the mural. Among them are such personalities as Porter Goss, former Mayor of Sanibel and CIA Director, Willard Scott, weatherman, J.N. “Ding” Darling, Ann Morrow Lindberg, Thomas Edison, Ponce de Leon, Teddy Roosevelt, Maybelle Stamper, modernist painter and recluse, and Bob Rauschenberg.