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2014 Miami Biennal Feedback


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The Biennial Committee would like to get some feedback from you about the recent Miami Biennial, so here's your chance to sound off. Good, bad, indifferent, the only way we can

improve the experience is to hear what you liked, disliked or just take the opportunity to offer suggestions.

Get as detailed as you want down to the food, accommodation, transportation, garden tours, lectures, logistics and planning, or anything else.

Personally, my experience exceeded all expectations and I had a great time. A week well spent and the palms and people? They were both spectacular.



Hilo, Hawaii

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I thought overall, the Miami Biennial went very well and actually exceeded my expectations in more ways than one. First off, I can't remember another group of attendees that were more friendly, and more sociable than any other biennial that I have attended in the past. Maybe some of this could be contributed to a smaller crowd than average. But walking amongst others for countless hours, I didn't hear one negative remark. Not one! And most of you know me as a social "butterfly". Lol.

I thought it was very well organized by the tour company, and noticed Rebecca and Ingrid at our side every moment. With warm smiles, they were eager to help at any time. I thought the hotel food was good, and the box lunches better than I expected. Never did find out what exactly Rosemary's Baby ( sandwich name) was. Sounded a little weird to me, and others. The coordination of the two busses seemed to be pretty good for the week, a few wrong turns, but that's to be expected. From what I noticed, we arrived at most of our destinations at, or before our scheduled times. That's a good thing. The one thing missing on the bus was, usually at these biennials we have one of the tour guides talking on the microphone explaining where were going next, some of the local history of the area and interesting info, pertaing to the culture, etc. This was missing and a few people noticed. The only two things that I though there could of been some improvement on was, the opening cocktail hour around poolside was pretty lame and seemed to be disorganized. It was boring and seemed to be lightly attended. The other was the Fairwell Dinner, there was no entertainment what so ever, even the tables I thought should of had flower arraingments on them, therefore pretty blab looking. All in all, I was very impressed with the itinerary and how the entire week ran smoothly. I sincerely think that personally for me, you get out of a biennial from what you put into a biennial. It was great to see old friends, but I came away meeting and talking in length to 4 or 5 new ones. And too me, this is the greatest thing you get out of these.

I for one would like to thank all those involed in putting this together. It's no easy matter! I would give it a 5 Star ranking.

  • Upvote 1

Searle Brothers Nursery Inc.

and The Rainforest Collection.

Southwest Ranches,Fl.

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Well put. The palms and the gardens are always fantastic at the biennials, but it's the efforts of the organizers and the attendees that make for such a great experience

burt repine

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My continuance in this wonderful endeavour always goes back to the friendliness of the people who are in it. I have spoken about this before in regard to my association with my Australian and Brisbane palm societies. Once again, the 2014 biennial proved this as the main factor of my enjoyment, naturally the palms are high priority but boy, you folk were great.

I concur with Jeff Searle on the bus travelling, let's see someone representative of the area with microphone to spruik a little on where we are, where we are going and just some fun banter, but be careful not to over do it. More history of the places would be good.

I loved the biennial, you should be proud, all of you involved. I was proud being here.

Happy Gardening



Queensland, Australia.

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I have to say, as a "newbie" and arriving a bit late, I still think the Biennial was amazing! For years I have been reading about these Biennials and always wanted to go but either was short on time and/or funds. To finally meet people I had only read about was great! What was even more terrific was just how friendly, warm, helpfull and down-to-earth I found everyone. From Kim Cyr answering all my endless email questions about my transportation situation, to having members introduce me to others, to the great Key West tour from the Searles, to Jeff himself showing me around his home garden and chatting with me...the week was terrific! Yes, there were a few small times I noticed a bit of confusion...when we first arrived at Fairchild (get off the bus, get on the bus lol) but that was minor. I thought the Miami and Key West accomodations were very nice, The food was delicious and gardens simply amazing!! Several times during those tours I thought my head was going to explode from seeing all those incredible Palms! Although I'm not sure I will be able to make the next Biennial, I cherish the time I spent with the Palm Society and the new friendships I made. Overall, great job!!

Jeff Bielski

New Jersey

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  • 4 weeks later...

I enjoyed every minute and greatly appreciate all the hard work by everyone! I'm ready for 2016 already!

Thank you all!

Cindy Adair

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I arrived one day late due to a grandson's graduation but the rest of the time was most enjoyable. Great people and wonderful gardens. One suggestion for future biennials might be to give a quick basic explanation in Spanish (since there are so many Spanish speaking members now) at end of day and on the buses, as to times to meet and where we are going and what we will be seeing. The Farewell dinner was good but lacked much of any entertainment until at the very end the group from Spain came up with some quick music and songs. Previous Biennials all had a musical group to entertain and dancing was a big attraction for many. Otherwise everything was great!

Hawaii Island (Big Island), leeward coast, 19 degrees N. latitude, south Kona mauka at approx. 380m (1,250 ft.) and about 1.6 km (1-mile) upslope from ocean.


No record of a hurricane passing over this island (yet!).  

Summer maximum rainfall - variable averaging 900-1150mm (35-45") - Perfect drainage on black volcanic rocky soil.  

Nice sunsets!

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I had a great time at the Miami Biennial, and could not fault it generally. My only suggestions would be:

1. As previously mentioned, the bus trips could have been made more interesting with a local guide to give us some history etc. Most of the people on our bus all fell asleep regularly...not a bad thing, but there wasn't much else to do apart from check out the scenery...which although it was interesting would have been better with a little commentary.

2. I preferred the Key West accommodation as it was better for socialising with outdoor bar area etc. Not that it is absolutely essential, but there were a couple of evenings at the Marriott where everything was closed up early and most people gave up and went back to their rooms early. Some of us did venture out to a local bar, but it would have been more attractive to others if it was kept 'in-house'.

I have only been to one other Biennial (Thailand) so can not compare to others. I didn't expect the cold towels and icecreams like in Nong Nooch... :) The actual places we visited were all top notch and did Florida proud.

I know how much work goes into organising an event like this and everyone involved did an awesome job!


Gold Coast, Queensland Latitude 28S. Mild, Humid Subtropical climate. Rainfall - not consistent enough!

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