A little history lesson about Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden - Part 2

Monday, December 15, 2008

Foundations The first 15 years saw the construction of its primary buildings and landscape features, including the Montgomery Palmetum, Bailey Palm Glade, Allee and Overlook, Vine Pergola, Amphitheatre, Gate House, Montgomery Library and Museum, 11 lakes, stone terracing walls, irrigation systems, Moos Sunken Garden, and Nell Montgomery Garden House auditorium. Later buildings included the Davis House (1953), Hawkes Laboratory (1960), Robbins Plant Science Building (1967), Rare Plant ...

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Come see our lowlands and enjoy the wonderful sculptures by Mark di Suvero

Monday, December 8, 2008

I have to go to the nursery in a few minutes to work with one of my volunteers. We propagate plants all year long for our three annual plant sales. Before I leave, I want to urge everyone to visit Fairchild during the next six months. This time of the year is cool, sunny and a great time to explore the habitat areas found in FTBG's lowlands. Our pine rockland area is full of plants native to this critically imperiled habitat. Our pines, palmettos, wildflowers, wild basil, American ...

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A little history lesson about Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden - Part 1

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

David Fairchild David Fairchild (1869-1954) was one of the greatest plant explorers of all time. At the age of 22, he created the Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction of the United States Department of Agriculture, and for the next 37 years, he traveled the world in search of plants of potential use to the American people. His far-reaching travels brought into cultivation in the U.S. many important plants, including mangos, alfalfa, nectarines, dates, horseradish, bamboos and ...

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We are getting ready to Ramble!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tomorrow is the first day of Fairchild's very special Ramble. We are getting ready. Our plants are up from the nursery and plant societies are filling their spaces with beautiful, interesting plants that need a good home! The Ramble is full of festivities: good food, music, art, special tours, gardening furniture, fun activities for children, antiques, old books, and plants, plants, plants. Check out the photo of the bougainvillea area. If you look carefully, you can see a pirate's flag ...

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Ramble has a very special plant sale

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The 2008 Ramble will be the 35th Ramble I've worked at and enjoyed since I began working at FTBG in 1973. In my first years here, when the Ramble was more of a rummage sale, with old clothes, furniture, and other "recycled" merchandise, only Fairchild-grown plants were sold. Beginning in 1980, with the new, gardening-focused Ramble, various plant societies began participating in the plant sale. Now the plant sale area in the palmetum is filled with plants grown and brought in by 14 plant...

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We have a new weather station at Fairchild!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

With thanks to the generosity of Caroline Lewis, Director of our education department, a weather station was purchased. It was installed on the roof of the Garden House in mid-September. The console with weather information obtained from the weather station is in the Hawke's Lab. The station keeps records on rainfall, temperature, wind speeds, relative humidity, barometric pressure and other weather data. In the future we will place this information on the FTBG website. You might be ...

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A Limpkin in the garden!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This morning while I was walking near Glade Lake, I was delighted to see a limpkin walking along the shoreline!  It was hunting snails for his breakfast perhaps.  Fairchild is actually a great place to see birds.  A few days ago, I saw two white-crowned pigeons in the Keys Coastal Habitat.  Next time you visit, remember to look at the plants....and the birds!...

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My Favorite Hedge - Simpson's Stopper

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Many people have Ficus benjamina, which can quickly become a huge tree, hedges which require regular pruning and now there is a whitefly which is killing it in south Florida. My favorite hedge is Myrcianthes fragrans, Simpson's stopper, which is a native of hammocks of south Florida and Tropical America. This shrub or small tree grows to 20 feet tall. It makes a great hedge and is a low maintenance alternative to the commonly used ficus hedge. Simpson's stopper's silvery gray to warm brown ...

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We have another cannonball tree blooming in Fairchild.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In May, 1992 we received seeds of Couroupita guianensis from Venezuela. The seeds were in our greenhouse when Hurricane Andrew hit just a few months later. It survived Andrew's wrath and was planted in plot 18 in June 1994. The young tree had to be moved to plot 45 due to the Visitors' Center construction in 1999. In late October, 2005, Hurricane Wilma blew it down. It was quickly propped up and voila, is now in bloom for the first time! It's first 16 years have not been easy, but now that ...

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For The Love of Mangos India, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fairchild Tropical Fruit Program ventures back to the ancestral home of the mango - India. Our mango team Dr. Richard J. Campbell and Noris Ledesma the Curators of Tropical Fruit went to the monsoonal plains in search of the secrets of the king of tropical fruit. For 2 weeks in May, 'Alphonso', 'Kesar', and 'Dusehri' will become daily fare, treasured for their sweet, complexity of fruitiness and Indian spice. Nowhere on earth is the mango more cherished, or more integral to the people and ...

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