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

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

Archive for September, 2015

Edison Ford Community Garden Season Begins in October

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 22nd

     The Community Garden is ready to start again for the season. We have been growing sweet potatoes which we started harvesting, and a few brave gardeners have kept up their gardens during the summer.

The beds are already being taken at our new prices for the October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016 season. New this year is a yearly fee to make it easier. Visit our Web site to download the form for garden plot registration.

To help you become more successful in growing your garden, Garden Talk on October 10th will have Karen Harty of “Grow a Gardener” speaking about vegetable gardening in Southwest Florida. As always a 20% gift certificate is given to all participants in the Garden Talk.

Community Garden 1 Community Garden 2

Edison Ford Butterfly Garden

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 16th

Eastern black swallowtail croppedThis is a female Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes astarius), newly emerged from the chrysalis. She was one of a large number of caterpillars feeding on our dill and parsley in the Edison Ford gardens back in late June and early July. Unlike some of our local butterflies which normally remain in the pupa form for only around ten days, swallowtails often wait months before emerging as an adult butterfly.

Eastern Black Swallowtail larvae feed on a variety of items of the Apiacae family commonly found in herb gardens, including parsley, dill, fennel, coriander, and carrots. Mock Bishop’s Weed is a native to our area and is usually found in wetland areas, providing a native host for these beautiful creatures. Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) also grows well locally as a Edison Ford Butterfly gardenperennial and will serve as a host for the Eastern Black Swallowtail, as well as the Giant Swallowtail. Care should be used when handling rue as some people report skin irritation from contact with the foliage.

If you missed our September garden talk on pollinator gardens you can stop by anytime to see our butterfly garden and talk to our garden experts about options for your garden. Our gardens and garden shoppe are open seven days a week from 9:00am to 5:30pm.


Moonlight Garden Tour on September 27th

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 8th

Cereus3     The gardens and estates of the Edison and Ford families are especially beautiful by moonlight. Many flowers just bloom in the evening and are visited by nighttime insects and pollinators. Because the September 27-28 Harvest Moon is also a “supermoon” it will appear even larger than usual and produce higher tides. Weather permitting, there is a fall Harvest Moon on September 27 which rises around dusk.

Harvest Moon is just a name but it was used by farmers to kick off the season for gathering the vegetables and getting ready for winter. It’s the name for the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon most often falls in September but sometimes will fall in early October. Nature is particularly cooperative around the time of the autumn equinox to make the full moonrises unique around this time.

On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. When a full moon happens close to the autumnal equinox, the moon (at mid-temperate latitudes) rises only about 30 to 35 minutes later daily for several days before and after the full Harvest Moon. Why? The reason is that the ecliptic – or the moon’s orbital path – makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon around the time of the autumn equinox. The narrow angle of the ecliptic results in a shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the full Harvest Moon.

The Moonlight Garden walk will be led by Edison Ford horticulturists. Participants are urged to bring cameras and telescopes.

Call Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Registrar, to register at 239-334-7419. Cost: Edison Ford or Calusa Science Center Members $10; $40 non-members. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pinchers Marina Room downstairs at The Marina at Edison Ford.

Garden Talk: Learn about Pollinator Gardens

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 3rd
  • September 12, 10:00 a.m. – Meet at the Information Booth

Pollinator Logo      Edison Ford Gardens has become a partner with the National Pollinator Garden Network called “Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.” Pollinators including bees, butterflies, bats, and birds are needed to continue the food chain and wildlife corridors. The challenges mission includes growing sustainably without pesticides, encouraging planting pollinator gardens in the communities, supporting pollinator friendly businesses, spreading the word and educating about pollinators, and visiting gardens for ideas.

Edison Ford has been growing plants to attract pollinators since Edison built his home, nurtured his gardens, and initiated research for a domestic source of rubber along the Caloosahatchee River. Many of the trees, shrubs, perennials, and edible plants were dependent on pollination to continue reproduction of their species. The Garden Shoppe at Edison Ford has created a specific butterfly/bee garden for all of the community to learn from.

Join Horticulturists Janice Schmidt and Debbie Hughes to learn how to grow specific host/nectar plants for the pollinators in your garden. We will unveil our new Educational Butterfly Sign and the Certification of our Butterfly Garden through the North American Butterfly Association.

Participants will receive a 20% discount for use on purchases made in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $10.