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 June, 2012

Edison Ford Gardens at Taste of Lee SATURDAY

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 29th

The colors are beautiful, now come see up  close and personal all of the Mangoes grown at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

The 5th Annual Taste of Lee/Tropical Fruit Festival on Saturday, June 30th from 9:00AM – 2:00PM at the First Baptist Church in downtown Fort Myers, 1735 Second Street.  It is sponsored by the University of Florida Lee County Extension and the Caloosa Rare Fruit Exchange.

Admission is $1 for tastings of the fruits.  Many vendors will be available selling fruit, trees, herbs, etc. including the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe.

2012 Herb of the Year is the Rose.  Here at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates we grow Old Garden Roses from Mina Edison’s era.  Who would like to learn how to use Rose Petals to make a myriad of food goodies?   Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist at the Edison Ford,  will be teaching a class on how to make Rose Petal Syrup as well as other herbal beverages at the Taste of Lee on Saturday June 30th at 11:15AM at the First Baptist Church in downtown Fort Myers.

Click here for the full lineup of speakers at the 2012 Taste of Lee.

Old fashioned roses Available in Edison Ford Garden Shoppe

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 22nd

A new assortment of old fashioned roses are available in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe.  Like the yellow rose, St. Patrick, in the photo, there are several varieties of old roses being grown successfully in the gardens of the Edison and Ford estates that do well in a tropical climate like Southwest Florida.

Horticulturalists Debbie Hughes and Todd Roy are available to answer your rose gardening questions and offer care tips when you stop by the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe or call us at (239) 334-7419.

Admission is always free to the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe and parking is nearby.


Huge Palmyra Palm Frond

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 15th

We were trimming yesterday on the Edison & Ford properties for stormscaping.

This is the Palmyra palm from Africa.  How do you like the size of that frond? It is well over 10 feet tall.

The palm was encroaching on the Pine trees otherwise we don’t cut green fronds – only dead ones.

Do you have questions about stormscaping?  Our horticulturists are here to answer questions about pruning and trimming for hurricane season.  Stop by the Garden Shoppe, leave a comment, or give us a call at (239) 334-7419.

Celebrate by Planting a Tree & Help Preserve the Edison and Ford Gardens

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 13th

About a century ago, the Edison and Ford families planted hundreds of interesting plants and trees in the gardens of their estates in Fort Myers.  Today, we call these ‘heritage trees and plants,’ and they are an important living part of the history and the legacy of the site.  Preservationists call this the ‘cultural landscape,’ and we feel equally that it is important to preserve and continue the ‘old Florida’ landscape for generations to come.

For the past six years, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates has been reintroducing these important old trees in a project we call the ’sistering’ which means we are introducing new young plants along side our maturing older plants to keep the landscape the same. We have had a number of individuals, families, organizations and clubs that want to help with this ongoing project.  The tree planting ceremony at Edison Ford is also a meaningful way to commemorate a marriage, to celebrate a birth of a child, to honor an important family member or to acknowledge an event.

Recently the members of the Periwinkle Garden Club planted a flowering tree in memory of a club member and gathered at the Edison Estate.  Mina Edison was a member of the Periwinkle Garden Club many years ago, and the Periwinkle members continue to be very active at Edison Ford.

The list of heritage plants for the sister tree project is available on the Edison Ford website at or by calling the Edison & Ford Winter Estates  at 239-334-7419.

Mangoes Mangoes MANGOES!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 13th

One of the historical features of both the Edison and Ford estates throughout their history has always been the flourishing mango trees.  In fact, in Edison’s day, they dubbed the line of mangoes along the fence line as “Orchid Lane” because they discovered that the mango trees located there also loved to have orchids fastened to their rough bark.

The trees of Edison and Ford’s time, were mostly the old variety of ‘turpentine mangoes’ but newer varieties such as the prized Hayden Mango were added over the years.

Today, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates boasts dozens of varieties throughout the gardens and offers them up for purchase in the Garden Shoppe, the Museum Stores and at the City of Fort Myers Farmer’s Market (in summer, the first Thursday of the month).

Visitors are still cautioned not to pick the fruit as some people have allergic reactions.  Stop by the Edison Ford and check out the varieties for sale.

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