Monday, September 28, 2015

Nehrling Gardens

Located in Gotha, Florida, Nehrling Gardens was founded in 1885 by Dr. Henry Nehrling. It is Florida's first experimental botanical garden. Dr. Nehrling tested over 3000 tropical plants here and introduced 300 of them into Florida's landscape. Visitors can see many of the plants that Nehrling worked with.  Nehrling Gardens is on the National Register of Historic Gardens.

                                                 This site is the original plot for Dr. Nehling's experiments.
Access to the gardens is limited. They are open the first and second Saturday of the month from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. They are also open by appointment. If you choose the latter, they ask for a $5.00 donation. Otherwise, admission is free. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mounts Botanical Garden

Mounts Botanical Garden is a lovely thirteen acre garden located in West Palm Beach, Florida. It's the county's oldest and largest public garden. Visitors will see lush tropical trees, fruits, and plants native to Florida.

The nice thing about this garden, is that there are programs offered here year round. These include classes about caring for plants, cooking with plants, and making floral jewelry. If you visit, you'll have to see what's going on at the time you arrive.

There's also a nursery on the grounds from which you can purchase plants, in case you'd like to try making a garden of your own.

The garden is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Sunday from noon to 4:00 PM. They ask for a $5.00 donation. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ichimura Miami-Japan Garden

The Ichimura Miami-Japan Garden is located in Miami, Florida. This city friendship garden was begun in 1961, and features an eight foot high granite statue of Hotei, the smiling god of prosperity.
Visitors will also see Japanese stone lanterns, an arbor, a pond, three bridges and orchid trees.

Unfortunately, the garden doesn't seem to be well-maintained. The plants did not appear to be healthy, and the pond was covered with algae. Hopefully, in the future this garden will be better cared for.

The garden is open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. There is no cost for admission, but it does cost $10.00 to park your car. If you can find a free parking space, it's worth the visit to see the statue of Hotei.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Kampong Garden

Located on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Florida, "The Kampong" is the site of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.  It was once the home of David Fairchild, an avid plant collector who travelled the world looking for useful and beautiful plants. He named the garden, "Kampong," which is a Javanese word meaning, "village." The first plants he added to his garden came from Indonesia, hence, the name. The plant collections in the garden come from Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Visitors will enjoy seeing all the exotic plants, including an eighty-year-old, fifty ton Baobab tree from Tanzania.

The garden is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Visitors have an option of doing a self-guided tour, or one led by a tour guide. Admission for the self-guided tour is $15.00 for adults. Children under twelve are admitted free. The guided tour is $20.00 for adults, and $10.00 for children.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Avis Campbell Garden

Avis Campbell Garden, located in Montclaire, New Jersey, is a lovely well-kept secret. It is hidden in the back yard of the United Way building next to the Montclaire library. If you weren't paying attention, you wouldn't even know it was there. The garden is maintained by volunteers of the Garden Club of Montclaire. It contains a rose garden, herb garden and a walled English style garden with a small fountain in the center.

There are a few benches placed around the garden, so visitors can just relax and enjoy the scenery.

The gardens are open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Maclay State Gardens

The Maclay State Gardens, located in Tallahassee, Florida, were designed in 1923 by Alfred Maclay. It was his intention to have booms in winter and early spring, when he and his wife were in residence at their home on the property.  While there are activities year round, the best time to see the gardens is from January to April, with the peak time being early March.  Visitors will see oriental magnolias, a walled garden, a Secret Garden, an Azalea Hillside, and a reflection pool.  There are picnic benches on the grounds, and other activities such as canoeing, fishing, and hiking.   You can easily spend a full day there.

The gardens are open year round from dawn to dusk, but from January 1 through April 30, there is a special fee to view the Maclay house. That is open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. 

Before I go, I have to special things for you. On this blog, I don't post personal things about myself, so readers don't really get to know me that well. Here's something you might enjoy, though - my first skydive. You can find the link here. (It's unedited. If you want to save time, the jump begins at the 3:13 point.)

Second, to thank you for following me, I'm giving free downloads of my book, Ten Zany Birds. You can go to Smashwords and enter code, AF29X (expires 9-9-15).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Flamingo Gardens and Arboretum

Flamingo Gardens and Arboretum is located in Davies, Florida. It covers 60 acres, and contains citrus groves, subtropical forests, and plenty of flowery  gardens. One of the most interesting gardens is the Xeriscape garden. What's that, you ask? It's a garden that demonstrates the uses of various materials for a low maintenance, minimal irrigation garden. Those who don't exactly have a green thumb might appreciate this.

There's also a free-flight aviary and a lovely butterfly garden. Visitors can take a 1.5 mile narrated tram ride through the gardens and wetlands to see alligators, and of course, flamingos.

The gardens are open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The ticket box closes at 4:00 PM. Cost of admission is $19.95 for adults, and $12.95 for kids.