Tropical Florida Gardens - What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Tropical Florida Gardens

What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Archive for May, 2012

Come See the New Addition To Our Garden: The Edison ‘Trials’ Garden

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 18th

Just as Thomas Edison created experimental botanical gardens related to his rubber research, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates has created an experimental botanical ‘Trials’ Garden to determine the sun tolerance and growth patterns for eight varieties of Coleus and seven Caladium species.

The Coleus is a tropical plant that was popular in Europe during the late 1800s and was a perfect choice for Victorian Gardens.  They were used by Mrs. Edison as a border or container plant providing beautiful foliage colors without flowers.

Dr. Henry Nehrling, who visited Mr. Edison at his Fort Myers estate, also created experimental gardens and introduced 300 new and beneficial plants to the Florida landscape including Caladiums.  There are now thousands of Caladium varieties that are grown for their long lasting and colorful foliage. They are available in many shades of red, pink, white and green.

The Trials Garden is located in the Edison Ford Heritage Garden next to the Museum and is free to the public.  All of the plants in the Trials Garden are available for purchase in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe, so you can grow them in your own Trials Garden in your home landscape.

It’s Almost Mango Season Here at the Edison Ford – Are You Ready?

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 16th

Todd Roy, Edison Ford Horticulturist & Garden Shoppe Manager

As I strolled through the garden Saturday I came across the first ripe Mango of the season.  The Southern Blush variety is an early season variety, but doesn’t disappoint on flavor.

The gardens at the Edison Ford contain over a dozen different varieties of Mangoes.  They range from early season to mid season to late season varieties like the Keitt Mango.  An early season favorite of mine is Bailey’s Marvel, a large Mango with great flavor, beautiful colors and very little fiber.  We also have a variety called Kent that is velvety smooth with no fiber and excellent flavor.  The local growers favor the Valencia Pride Mango, a large oblong shaped Mango with a sweet flavor.  If you’re a little tight on space, consider planting a dwarf variety like Pickering that can be kept at about six to eight feet tall.

Come down and visit our Garden Shoppe and see the many varieties of Mango and fruit trees we have available.  One of our horticulturists can explain some of the different Mango types and answer any questions you might have.

 If you’re looking for something to do with your mangoes, here’s a great recipe from my own kitchen:

Mango & Black Bean Salad

  • 1 15.8 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups mango, diced
  • 1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup red onion,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 seeded Jalapeno pepper, minced or hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:  Combine all ingredients, including beans in bowl. Toss and serve.

Related Edison Ford Blog Posts:  Mango Salsa Recipe, Mango Smoothie Recipe, Are All Mangoes Created Equal? Delicious Mango Varieties, Tips for Growing and Caring for Mango Trees, Tropical Fruit Trees That Grow Best in Southwest Florida