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November’s Garden of the Month award has been presented to Gene and Carol Roddenberry of 529 N. Sans Souci Ave. in DeLand. The Garden Club of DeLand recognizes the Roddenberrys’ exceptional efforts to enhance their landscape.

Luscious foliage and flowers combine with pollinator-friendly blooms to create a distinct tropical oasis atmosphere at the Roddenberrys’ home.

After retiring from the Brevard County school system as a principal, and moving to DeLand in 2015, Carol joined the Garden Club of DeLand. It was there that she learned more about gardening for pollinators, including bees and butterflies.


She joined the club’s new Milkweed Circle and volunteers on the butterfly squad, who certify Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries through the Monarch City USA program.

Naturally, the Roddenberrys’ garden is also a certified sanctuary. Butterflies and bees happily buzz and flitter about, grateful for the plentiful sources of nectar.

In 2019, Carol, affectionately known to her friends as C-Rod, graciously accepted the position of president of the Garden Club’s Rose Circle.

The Roddenberrys’ two-story Craftsman house, built in 1921, had a “blank canvas” landscape back in 2015. A large live oak tree in the backyard provided leaf litter throughout the years, enriching the soil as the leaves decomposed.

The Roddenberrys began installing pathways to delineate garden-bed space. Empty spaces soon sprang to life with an assortment of tropical beauties. Australian tree ferns, crotons, coleus, Pagoda flowers and ginger thrive in the dappled shade of the old oak tree. The tree additionally provides the benefit of a bit of frost protection from winter weather.

The Roddenberrys love collecting various ginger specimens. Gene estimates that they have more than a dozen species to date, including some rare varieties such as the variegated Hedychium “Dr. Moy.”

Gene also has a penchant for collecting orchids and hoyas, adding to the tropical feel. No herbicides or pesticides are sprayed on the property, as wildlife-habitat conservation is a top priority here.

Congratulations to Gene and Carol on their gardening success! You are the bee’s knees!



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