Mounts Botanical Garden in Palm Beach will be hosting a Tropical Fruit Festival on Saturday, June 23rd, from 10:00am-3:00pm. Arrive early because the first 500 attendees will be able to sample fresh fruit. Whole Foods Market is sponsoring this popular event and will have a sampling table and Chef Allen Susser will be present and performing cooking demonstrations. Chef Allen has written several best selling cookbooks and is a recipient of the James Beard Award as Best Chef in the Southeast. Over 100 tropical fruits will be displayed and many will be for sale as will fruit trees so you can grow your own in your garden. There will also be other related displays and live music. The Palm Beach Chapter of the Rare Fruit Council International is a collaborator for this event and they have monthly meetings at Mounts with guest speakers in case you would like to learn more about the seemingly endless varieties of interesting tropical fruits which we are privileged to be able to grow in South Florida. Incorporating fruit trees in your South Florida Landscape gives you one more reason to venture into the garden. Where space is limited, we also design with fruiting vines such as Dragon Fruit and Passion Fruit or Bromeliads (Pineapples).
January 22 is Florida Arbor Day at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach from noon to 4:00pm. I prefer to think of this day as Tree Appreciation Day; a time to ponder the gifts trees give us and to learn more ways to give back to them and to our planet. Trees are the thankless providers of the Earth giving us and other creatures beauty, food, habitat, and oxygen. They control erosion, provide building materials and energy, cool our cities and save energy. Trees also provide healing therapy as evidenced by patients who have views of trees outside their windows healing faster and with fewer complications. Studies have also shown that trees aid concentration and reduce mental fatigue and that children show fewer symptoms of ADHD when they are exposed to trees and nature. What better reasons to attend this event and bring kids too?
The celebrity appearance will be Smokey the Bear from the Florida Forest Service with a message of fire prevention. Woodsy Owl from the United States Forest Service has not confirmed yet but still sends his messages “Give a hoot- don’t pollute! and “Lend a hand- care for the land!” The Palm Beach County Library will also provide Storytime in the Garden. There will be other activities and exhibits throughout the garden from various environmental organizations as well as guided garden tours of the impressive tree collection at Mounts.
If you are inspired by the ceremonial tree planting at the event to add a new tree to your own landscape, you can claim your free seedling or purchase larger trees or plants from the nursery. The event is free to members or $5 for non-members.
On Saturday, August 20th, 2011, members of the Palm Beach Chapter of the Native Plant Society will be at Mounts Botanical Garden from 9:00am-12:00 noon to inspire people to use Florida native plants in their yards. Horticulturalists will discuss various native plant species including their growth requirements such as lighting, water, and soil preferences. They will also explain the benefits of utilizing native plants in landscape design for luring and sustaining wildlife as well as reducing watering, mowing, fertilization and pest control needs. There will also be a guided walk in the native plant demonstration garden as well as native plants available for purchase.
Florida wildflowers are currently being planted throughout the medians along highways statewide. This program reduces the amount of long-term maintenance and provides havens for butterflies and wildlife. There are even License Plates dedicated to the funding of this program. Special seed mixes have been developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture to create large fields of wildflowers along the roadside. The swaths of waving colors provide a magnificent vista during a long drive. These seed packets can be purchased directly from the site.
Botanical Visions recently won a “Florida Friendly” award for a project we designed and installed in Delray Beach. The entire back yard was covered in grass so we removed sweeping beds along the perimeter and replaced it with many different species of native and wildlife attracting plants. It is always fascinating to see how quickly birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators arrive to feed and find shelter. The activity of the birds and insects adds a whole new dimension of movement to the garden. I found myself mesmerized for a while gazing at the dragonflies, and other creatures as they flew from flower to flower, coming in and out of view. When you incorporate native plants and attract these new creatures, you’ll find a whole new reason to escape the bustle of daily life to regenerate your spirit by spending time in your garden.
On Saturday, June 25th, 2011 Mounts Botanical Garden in collaboration with the Palm Beach Chapter of the Rare Fruit Council International will host a Tropical Fruit Festival from 10:00am-3:00pm at Mounts Botanical Garden. There will be cooking demonstrations by Chef Allen Susser, a tropical fruit display by Gene Joyner, and a Fruitscaping lecture by Dr. Jonathan Crane. There will also be live steel drum music, garden tours, and fruit trees for sale. The first 500 attendees can sample fruit so get there early! This event is made possible by the generous support from the Marge & Fritz Bell Tropical Fruit Project.
Chef Allen Susser is famous for using tropical fruits in his recipes. His cooking demonstration will surely be the most delicious reason to attend the event. The following is a quick recipe for Passion Fruit Syrup developed by Chef Allen Susser for Bon Appetit magazine. Enjoy!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup passion fruit pulp (from about 7 ripe passion fruits)
- Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low; simmer until syrup is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
For those of you too far from West Palm Beach to join us, please enjoy this video tour of the edible gardens by John from http://www.growingyourgreens.com
Here at Botanical Visions Landscape Design, we just love the tropical horticulture of South Florida. And that goes for Bamboo, too.
We also like to share great events going on locally, especially if they highlight the landscape of Miami to Palm Beach. This weekend, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden is holding a Bamboo Sale sponsored by the American Bamboo Society.
If you have never been to the Fairchild Gardens, you are in for a beautiful treat. I visited this year’s Orchid Festival and what an amazing show! There were endless kiosks of orchid growers and orchid growing accessories. The exotic colors were truly a sight to see. In addition to the orchids, there was also a food court of some of Miami’s best Food Trucks and a Spice area called World Spices.
After seeing the kinds of events that take place at the Fairchild, I am looking forward to going for an afternoon stroll to take a look at the bamboo.
In addition to the Bamboo Plant Sale, there is also a large area of the garden dedicated to the various Bamboo cultivars. Bamboo is so graceful in a garden and lends vertical structure to a landscape much like
columns would in architecture. In addition to the visual effect, bamboo has a unique sensory contribution in terms of sound. When you sit in the shade in silence, there is a calming rustling of the leaves in the wind and a clacking of the stalks that is rather soothing. The best varieties are “clumping” and will not take over your garden. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants around and are quite effective as a nice way of creating privacy from your neighbors. They probably will enjoy your landscape sensibility, too!
Here are the details, if you’d like to join us for the event:
When: Saturday, June 11, 2011 – Sunday, June 12, 2011 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Where: Garden House
While waiting to give a lecture to the Greater Palm Beach Rose Society, I could not help myself and revert back to a boy and go looking for insects at the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach this week. My eye immediately caught the flutter of wings over by the Native Coontie Zamia pumila beds and to my surprise they where loaded with Atala Butterflies in every stage of development. Please understand my excitement is shared by every Lepidopterist and native plant lover due to the fact that this beautiful butterfly was almost eliminated in South Florida due to development. However, due to the heavy push of the Native Plant Societies and landscape designers and architects to use native Coontie in our designs the Atala butterfly has rebounded remarkably.
The Atala butterfly, Eumaeus atala, is one of the hairstreak butterflies native to South Florida as well as the Bahamas and Cuba. It is fantastic that future generations will have the chance to see this beautiful little butterfly due to the amazing grass roots movement to save a very special, very local, true Florida native.
Here is a 17 second video of the Atala Butterfly that we found on YouTube:
Looking for something fun to do in South Florida tonight? Boca Raton’s Mizner Park Amphitheater has a frequent line-up of outdoor entertainment events.
Upcoming events will include the Boca Ballet, Concerts and various festivals.
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful tropical environment and there are events year-round that we can enjoy outside. These civic parks and landscapes are designed to be wonderful places to enjoy our communities.
Stay tuned, we will be bringing you more and more news about events and fun things to do outside in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach.
For a quick preview of tonight’s flick, check out this YouTube video: