garden of the month deland

What did a former New Yorker do when retiring to sunny DeLand? She brought along all her garden furniture, yard art and potted plants.

Maureen Miller-Calamo has jumped right into Florida gardening with a love of color and butterflies. A member of the Milkweed Circle of the Garden Club of DeLand, she gathers plants and ideas from meetings, garden tours and local nurseries.

Maureen and her husband, Bob, enjoy creating projects together, like rebuilding potting areas, and providing lighting for garden accents, water fountains and raised beds in their small but well-appointed garden.

“I love my potting area we made from salvaged pieces of my New York greenhouse that was destroyed in a storm. Bob is great with the techy projects; we can operate the lights and water features from our phone apps.”

How much time do you spend in the garden?

“At least an hour a day, unless I am doing a project, which can take longer. My husband and I enjoy projects,” Maureen said.


When Maureen and Bob were shopping for a new home in the area, butterflies caught Maureen’s attention and she knew where she wanted to be. Her garden includes larval plants like cassia, milkweed and passion vine, as well as nectar plants such as salvia, bottlebrush tree, coral honeysuckle, firecracker, impatiens, coleus, lantana and coreopsis.

The visitor’s eye is drawn up to lots of colorful hanging baskets with a variety of flowers cascading. A newly installed sabal palm is surrounded by colorful baskets and planters at different heights providing visual variety with lots of joyful garden art.

It’s amazing how many varieties of edible plants are grown in this small garden, including lemon and banana trees, blueberry, lettuces, green beans, cucumbers, parsley, fennel, basil and peppers for cooking.

“I enjoy watching them grow and picking the vegetables. I enjoy the process. I love it here; it’s smaller than the garden we had in New York. This is just the right size. I am drawn to color,” Maureen added.

Maureen is also an origami instructor. She takes her love of color from the origami patterns to her garden. Her gift for placing plants in colorful patterns has turned her garden into a work of art.

Congratulations to Maureen and Robert Calamo. This hidden jewel is at 404 Brookfield Terrace in Victoria Park.


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