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St. Johns Botanical Garden - Hastings, FL - Coming Soon!

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kinzyjr

For those who haven't been to this garden for either of tours or for a personal showing, you're missing out.  Luckily, not for long.  The new botanical garden is slated to open in Fall 2022.

For those familiar with the thread in the Travel Logs regarding Dr. John Rossi's Garden tour for the joint CFPACS + FCPCS meeting, you know how wonderful this garden was the first time.  Now, the private garden is taking the next step and will become a botanical garden and nature preserve.

CFPACS and FCPCS had their Joint Holiday Meeting this weekend and were treated to a preview of coming attractions.  Currently, the garden is home to over 300 species of palms and over 50 species of cycads.  The garden also includes an area of "untouched" Florida, with tons of Sabal minor, Sabal palmetto and Serenoa repens under deciduous hardwoods.

You can see the new website here: https://www.stjohnsbotanicalgarden.org/

Here are a few photos from the meeting/preview:

Getting the site ready:

20211204_095703_SettingTheTables.jpg

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The original entrance:

20211204_100140_OriginalEntrance.jpg

The new entrance:

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Welcome sign:

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New plant tags:

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20211204_100324_Trio_of_Palms.jpg

A Bizzie and Beccariophoenix near one of the old Agave gardens:

20211204_100437_Bismarckia_Agave_garden.jpg

Where we parked three years ago is now tons of understory plants:

20211204_100454_OldParkingArea.jpg

Staging area for the auction plants:

20211204_100816_AuctionPlantsStartingToPileUp.jpg

Getting the membership booth set up:

20211204_100835_MorePlants.jpg

The work truck:

20211204_100859_LogoWorkTruck.jpg

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kinzyjr

One of my favorites spots in the garden - Tiki Key.  This is a small, man-made island themed like the Florida Keys.

20211204_101052_TikiKey_01.jpg

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20211204_101345_TikiKey_09.jpg

20211204_144230_TikiKey_10.jpg

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kinzyjr

This garden has a LOT of palms and other plants from arid areas:

20211204_101020_AridGarden.jpg

Brahea armata 'Super Silver'

20211204_101446_Washingtonia_filifera.jpg

A lot of stone to make an arid garden:

20211204_101505_Cacti_Agaves.jpg

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A 3/4 Jubaea X Butia hybrid:

20211204_142309_ThreeFourthsJubaea.jpg

The holy grail for Florida - Jubaea chilensis

20211204_144019_Jubaea_chilensis.jpg

Nannorrhops ritchiana:

20211204_144114_Nannorrhops.jpg

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kinzyjr

Everyone enjoyed the tour, auction, and sales.  Plus, you can't beat BBQ for lunch:

20211204_103821_TheTour_01.jpg

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20211204_125442_AuctionTime.jpg

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kinzyjr

Some other photos showing various areas of the garden:

20211204_100935_Cabin_Pygmies.jpg

The entrance to Tiki Key:

20211204_101030_Beccariophoenix.jpg

The pond with fountain:

20211204_101056_Fountain.jpg

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An old style plant tag:

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20211204_101300_Washingtonia_robusta.jpg

Got to keep the wabbits away:

20211204_101458_CagedPalm.jpg

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Back in the nature preserve section:

20211204_143018_DeepCreek.jpg

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If you put your hand on the right spot, a secret door is supposed to open...

20211204_144241_Livistona_australis.jpg

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D. Morrowii

It’ll be neat to see that garden evolve. That entrance sure had a lot of mini bling planted along it! I guess we will have to wait and see what they do with the back 40. 
heres a couple pics I took - A. tuckeri H. indica and S. schizophylla 

3A7F6B6D-26A4-4462-848A-9880D902644C.jpeg

1B277378-ED0E-467A-9A41-A1750B470ABB.jpeg

9CC22D11-2C9E-47C9-A466-AC6AE2E8F8DD.jpeg

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Lou-StAugFL

Amazing garden in my home county.  Sure enjoyed seeing all the work Dr. Rossi and his team have accomplished.  It is a beautiful site.

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Cindy Adair

Lovely photos of an amazing garden! Thanks so much for posting!

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hbernstein

Sorry to be contrary, but it seems to be planted with no regard for the existing native landscape.  Northern Florida is a very beautiful place. The landscape is inherently lovely. It doesn't benefit from random splashes of tropicals. This garden seems to work better in areas that were completely cleared and planted from scratch. 

I understand that, potentially, there can be as many different garden concepts as there are garden designers. If it was me, I would garden with a light hand on the site, be more careful in choosing complementary plantings, and work on developing a strongly focused horticultural master plan.  

Just sayin'

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kinzyjr

Some additional photos shared by the St. Johns Botanical Garden volunteers:

A few famous PalmTalkers on tour:

20211204_Tour_04.jpg

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20211204_Tour_01.jpg

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20211204_Tour_03.jpg

Auction photos:

20211204_Auction_01.jpg

20211204_Auction_02.jpg

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kinzyjr

Just had some additional photos come in this morning:

Folks inspection auction items for diamonds in the rough:

20211204_2_AuctionInspection_00.jpg

The CFPACS Table:

20211204_2_CFPACS_Table_00.jpg

Gathering for the tour:

20211204_2_TheGathering_00.jpg

Starting the Tour:

20211204_2_StartingTheTour_00.jpg

"So we get to take one of these home, right?"

20211204_2_Tour_00.jpg

"You know, this never gets damaged and it's rated for zone 3a..."

20211204_2_Tour_01.jpg

Showing the plants growing under canopy:

20211204_2_Tour_03.jpg

Folks checking out the informational plaques and tags:

20211204_2_Tour_04.jpg

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D. Morrowii

I can vouch that the Cocos mettalica is zone 3A. They do pretty well in Antarctica although they are susceptible to rusting :)

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Palmarum
Just now, D. Morrowii said:

I can vouch that the Cocos mettalica is zone 3A. They do pretty well in Antarctica although they are susceptible to rusting :)

Lol... I have seen some interesting metal palm replicas over the years and often wonder if I would get one or not. If it was a extreme sale or a 'take it or it's going to scrap' situation then I would have to... probably. Add lights to it, if it didn't have them already.. and put it out on holidays. If it looked realistic then I would leave it out all year. I would craft detachable metal inflorescences that I would apply on and off during the year to really mess with people's minds...

---

Thanks for the photos above, it was a great and chilly PRA by the looks of it. I hope they do more events there in the future.

Ryan

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D. Morrowii
1 hour ago, Palmarum said:

Lol... I have seen some interesting metal palm replicas over the years and often wonder if I would get one or not. If it was a extreme sale or a 'take it or it's going to scrap' situation then I would have to... probably. Add lights to it, if it didn't have them already.. and put it out on holidays. If it looked realistic then I would leave it out all year. I would craft detachable metal inflorescences that I would apply on and off during the year to really mess with people's minds...

---

Thanks for the photos above, it was a great and chilly PRA by the looks of it. I hope they do more events there in the future.

Ryan

I like the detachable inflorescence idea! Maybe addition trunk sections and fronds to really keep your neighbors guessing. 

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