The final stop for our Fall Meeting was a private garden in SW FL. Ownership was generous with free plants and seeds galore. There was a formal tour of the garden and we were allowed to freely explore the area, picking up seeds, seedlings and cuttings along the way. Among the giveaways were Foxy Lady seedlings, variegated versions of old favorites like Rhapidophyllum hystrix, cuttings from rare cacti and succulents. The garden also featured a Brahea armata; a very tough grow in SW FL. With stone walking paths, dense foliage, plenty of rare palms and some desert flora mixed in, the garden really did have a rain forest feel. In this case, I think the garden speaks for itself.
The second portion of the fall meeting took place at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Ft. Myers, FL. The properties house a wide variety of palms, cycads, bamboos, and other gems. Several of the plants are either the largest or nearly the largest either regionally or globally.
Royal palms as you approach the entrance on McGregor Ave.
The crosswalk and entrance to the estates:
An enormous banyan tree. The gentleman taking a picture in front of the tree is 6 feet tall.
A statue of Edison by the Banyan tree.
A sign detailing the size of the Banyan.
A palm garden recently put in by the parking lot with bottles, spindles, etc.
One of my personal favorites... the Kapok tree:
A path straight to the dock:
An Arenga engleri. The staff complained that even the fragrance of the flowers would cause irritation. Usually handling the fruit is the issue.
The largest Archontophoenix alexandrae (middle):
Believe it or not, this is not a palm...