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SFPS Spring Garden Tour - May 4th, 2019 - S. Florida: Fairchild, Matheson Hammock, Two Private Gardens (secret)

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SFPS Spring Garden Tour

Today, I became aware of the South Florida Palm Society's upcoming Spring Garden Tour. I figured the notification and the related information should be posted here on Palmtalk. It sounds as if there will be a large attendance. In addition to the South Florida Palm Society membership, they are expecting attendees from the Palm Beach Palm & Cycad Society and the Tropical Flowering Tree Society.


The following is from the society's homepage: Link: http://www.southfloridapalmsociety.org/index.shtml

The South Florida Palm Society is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate information about and encourage interest in palms and the use of these plants.  The South Florida Palm Society uses its funds to help support local botanical gardens, individual scientific research expeditions or projects, conservation and planting projects and educational efforts.

Upcoming Activities

May 4, 2019: A Spring Garden Tour, will begin at 9:30 am at Fairchild Botanical Garden. For details, click here. (displayed below) Members and non-members are invited. Please reserve by Apr 30,

June 3, 2019. General Meeting at the Corbin Building at Fairchild, beginning at 7:00 pm. Auction of donated palms followed by a presentation. Speaker to be announced.



Following the click here seen above leads you to the event page: Link: https://www.southfloridapalmsociety.org/2019gardentour.shtml

Spring Garden Tour, May 4 from 9:30 am to 3:15 pm.

We will be enjoying a two-part, combined event, with members of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society (TFTS) and the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society (PBPCS). More plant people than you can shake a stick at!

The event will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019. We will gather and check-in at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (main, north entrance) at 9:30 am.

Part One: Organized by the PBPCS, this portion of the day's program is a tour of the Montgomery Palmetum at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, where Fairchild Director of Collections Dr. Brett Jestrow will narrate.
While I'm sure many of you have seen the Montgomery Palmetum at FTBG before, this is an opportunity to see it with narration from FTBG's expert, and contributing questions and comments from your fellow palm enthusiasts.
We will ride the FTBG tram as part of the tour, space available.

Part Two: After the FTBG tour we'll begin the SFPS portion of the day's program, which has three activities, all included in the price of the SFPS tour:

1. A picnic lunch, immediately next door at Matheson Hammock Park. We can simply walk there, no need to move your cars, as the picnic area is about 50 yards from the FTBG entrance.
IMPORTANT! We will need strong volunteers to move picnic tables together for the picnic! This would be best accomplished between 9:30 and 10:00 am, before the FTBG Palmetum tour begins. Please let me know if you can help.
2. Private garden number one. This is an excellent garden, highly recommended by all who have seen it.
3. Private garden number two. Another excellent garden, this one includes a Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica) planted in 2002!

The addresses and location maps to the private gardens will be revealed / handed out that day, just before each garden tour, in scavenger-hunt style. This is done on purpose, as a courtesy to the homeowners, because in the past some folks jumped the gun and showed up at the locations before the homeowners were ready to receive guests.

Tentative Itinerary:

9:30 am: Gather for check-in, buying SFPS Tour Tickets, assisting with moving tables, etc. Mingle freely and converse with many palm aficionados until the tour begins.
10:00 am: Part One begins with the FTBG tour of its Palmetum. Ooh and awe.
12:00 noon: Part Two begins with the SFPS picnic. Consume freely. Eat, drink and be merry. Socialize with your fellow palm nerds.
1:15 pm: The address and location maps to Private Garden Number One are handed out, and the group begins its drive to that location. (approx 16 minute drive time)
1:35 pm: The group arrives at Private Garden Number One, the tour begins. Glee and joy.
2:10 pm: The address and location maps to Private Garden Number Two are handed out, and the group begins its drive to that location. (approx 10 minute drive time)
2:25 pm: The group arrives at Private Garden Number Two, the tour begins. Wow and other synonyms for happy exclamation.
3:15 pm: The tour ends. Drive home safely, feeling validated as a true palm nerd, in a euphoric state after having seen such resplendent and bucolic beauty.


Part One: Fairchild will charge their usual admission fee of $25 for adults, $12 for students, $18 for seniors (over 65). If you are a Fairchild member, you get in free. You can join Fairchild on the spot. (PBPCS members - I've heard you have some special arrangement. Your people will let you know about that.)
Part Two: The South Florida Palm Society portion of the tour is free for SFPS members, $10 for non-members. That includes the picnic lunch. If one wishes to join the SFPS on the spot, annual memberships are $25, $40 for families. Individuals under age 40 pay only $1 (with proof of age).


It is very important that we have an accurate head count for Part Two, the SFPS portion of this event. Please let me know by April 30, 2019 if you're coming to Part Two, whether you're an SFPS member or not (we have to know how much water to put in the soup): ElvisCruz@mac.com

Anticipating Possible Questions:

Do I have to attend the Fairchild portion? I've already seen it, and / or I don't want to pay to get into Fairchild.
No, you can show up for the picnic and private garden tours, at 12:00 noon.

I am a member of TFTS or PBPCS. Do I still have to pay for the picnic and private garden tours?
Yes. It is $10 for the picnic and private garden tours, and only SFPS members get in free (It is included with their SFPS membership, and you can join that day.)

I don't want to eat at the picnic, I only want to take the garden tours. Do I still have to pay $10?
Yes, the $10 includes the picnic and the two private garden tours. You can participate in whichever of the three you like.

Is the picnic pot luck? Am I supposed to bring a dish to share?
No, the picnic is not pot luck, it will be complete, including beverages, but if you are a kind-hearted person who wants to bring a dish to share you certainly may.

I don't like the SFPS. I think you guys are snotty and nerdy. Can I just do the FTBG tour and then leave?
We are not snotty! Yes, of course, you can do either or both parts of the day's events.

Please remember to RSVP, ElvisCruz@mac.com

Please volunteer if you can to help move picnic tables, starting at 9:30 am.

Have a very Happy Palm Sunday!

Happy Palming,

Elvis Cruz
2019 president,
South Florida Palm Society







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A note on the garden tour... it was amazing and very well organized. The first segment, the tour of Fairchild was fun. I had not seen the grounds (during the day) in a couple years. The tram ride was familiar and enlightening at the same time. There were at least 70 people... possibly more during this part of the day. It was hard to count as we were not all on the tram at one time. The Palm House was cool as always, some new items along with the long time residents. A partial walking tour was brief and mostly covered the distance back to lunch on foot. The lunch spread was excellent, it was easy to prepare and fit the need.

Both of the private gardens were new to me. They were palm havens and held a lot of other surprises. A good time was had for sure, as the attendance remained steady throughout the day. I took a ton of photos and will need to process them at some point.

It is not everyday you can see two Double Coconut Palms, in two different locations while on the same tour.


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