Wednesday, October 21, 2015



Media contact: Brooke LeMaire
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
305-667-1651, ext. 3392

Halloween decorations made from plant material by Bev Murphy adorn Fairchild


Coral Gables, FL, October 22, 2015 Talented artist and longtime volunteer Bev Murphy is bringing her incredible handmade Halloween decorations to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden this fall. Fun and friendly witches and ghosts created with a uniquely South Florida twist are dotted throughout the Garden’s 83 acres. What makes these decorations stand out among the rest? They are all created using repurposed plant material collected during the year.


“It begins with my love of nature and the beautiful shapes I see,” Mrs. Murphy said about her creative process. She uses materials from Fairchild, the Montgomery Foundation, and yard trimmings around South Florida neighborhoods. When she sees a discarded palm frond, she thinks of how she can breathe new life into it.

Dozens of colorful, eye-popping decorations adorn the landscapes. Witches made from royal palm leaves scale the walls of the Garden House, characters made from coconuts peek out from the bushes, and botanical bats hang from the ceilings. Even two little ghosts in the Rainforest are going fishing with bamboo rods!


The art also highlights the transient qualities of nature. “When the witches start to crack and decay, it’s time to say goodbye,” Mrs. Murphy said. “I will be sad, but at the same time, happy knowing they brought a smile to some faces.”


The decorations are on view every day from now until November 1. Visitors can also see them during Friendly Creatures of the Night on October 29 and Howl-O-Ween on October 30. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. 


Mrs. Murphy and her husband, Dr. William Murphy, have contributed thousands of volunteer hours to Fairchild during their many years of service. They have provided countless services to the Garden, including bringing the rare Dutch Waterpoorter street organ – a true delight for all ages – to the Ramble & Fall Garden Festival every year.


About Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Established in 1938 and comprising 83 acres in Miami, Fla., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. The world-renowned plant collections feature palms, cycads, orchids, tropical fruit trees and more. Fairchild has the largest education program of any metropolitan area, reaching more than 200,000 schoolchildren each year with environmental programs like The Fairchild Challenge. It aims to inspire a greater knowledge and love for plants and gardening so that all can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the tropical world. Special events include Chocolate, Mango, and Orchid Festivals in addition to an annual art exhibition, concerts, plant sales and more.