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.