Fred Gilbert, 93, a resident of the Stratford Court senior community in Boca Raton has been a dedicated grower of orchids and member of the Boca Raton Orchid Society for the past 15 years. Gilbert and his wife Ginger have been Florida residents for the past 46 years.
“Seeing Stratford Court’s large areas of natural beauty, including gardens, trees and shrubs, and the pond with large koi fish, my ‘orchid eyes’ visualized the added beauty and drama of inserting cuttings of colorful orchids in the wide variety of palm and live oak trees on the grounds,” he said.
Gilbert proposed the idea to Patty Edge, director of resident services, who reacted enthusiastically to the suggestion. Gilbert enlisted a volunteer group of 25 members of the Boca Raton Orchid Society to plant cuttings on 50 trees around the community campus and the project was concluded in early May.
“I am delighted to enhance the beauty of Stratford Court’s landscaping by having our friends at Boca Raton Orchid Society add orchid cuttings to our trees,” Gilbert said.
Kathy Kersey, president of the Boca Raton Orchid Society, said, “Our members Jay Collins, Alan LaDuke, Bj Saul, Sheila Bell, Teresa O’Neil, Sally and Dennis Glick, Joyce Patterson, Maritza Graff, Donna Holt, Adrienne Levy, Patty and Dennis Hogan, and I, were delighted to provide our expertise to attach the plant cuttings to trees at Stratford Court. These varieties of orchids will beautify the area for Stratford Court residents when they blossom during October and November.”
Resident Maidie Schwartz expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “I watched the volunteers attach cuttings to several trees that day. Orchids are gorgeous when in full bloom. I look forward to seeing them this fall when they blossom.”