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Longboat neighbors team up on Twin Shores garden work

A volunteer committee spends time organizing, planting and watering various flowers and greenery each year.

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  • | 8:00 a.m. April 19, 2017
  • Longboat Key
  • Neighbors
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When the volunteer committee of Twin Shores Beach and Marina gathered for an appreciation lunch, Nancy Martin told them they should be called the Dirt Devils.

Not because they’re grimy or mean, but because they took dirt and made it into a colorful mosaic around their property at 3740 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The front is lined with large pots of pink wave petunias, and the center of the property sports a compact garden, carefully adorned with pastel Easter decorations. Another garden decorates the area near the docks, and along the clubhouse patio, pots of red geraniums and other flowers contrast against the sparkling blue water.

For the last 13 or so years, Nancy Martin and a volunteer committee have worked to landscape Twin Shores. She works alongside 10 or 12 neighbors who share the same goal of making their home beautiful.

Red geraniums and other vibrant plants sit in pots on the back patio of Twin Shores’ clubhouse.
Red geraniums and other vibrant plants sit in pots on the back patio of Twin Shores’ clubhouse.

“I was sort of brought up around it,” she said. “I found an interest, and they needed help when we moved here.”

Each year, the committee shares the duties of landscaping the property. From spreading mulch, to planting flowers and bushes, to watering the plants throughout the year, the landscape around Twin Shores is a team effort.

Before the work of Martin and the rest of the committee, there wasn’t much gardening being done. Martin knows the residents had the best of intentions, though.

“Initially, there wasn’t a lot, but the women who were here did the best they could,” she said. “There weren’t even really gardens down in that center area, and we added the gardens up front and a lot of landscaping by the condos. So everybody has worked very hard, and you can see each year how people are sort of trying to add to their mobiles.”

Martin’s favorite part about sprucing up the property is the camaraderie between the volunteers. Al and Dottye Van Iten, who take responsibility for the large pots at the front entrance of the community, shared similar ideas to Martin and said they wanted to help make Twin Shores an asset to the rest of the island. They didn’t want an asphalt yard.

“We have found it’s like a small neighborhood,” Al Van Iten said. “We wanted to do our part.”


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