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 the ‘Garden Shoppe Events’ Category

Gardening for Butterflies

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 7th

Perhaps you’ve seen some butterflies in your garden and wondered how you could attract more of them. Debbie Hughes, senior horticulturist at Edison & Ford Winter Estates, will talk about butterflies that can be found here in Southwest Florida and which plants you need to attract them to your garden, at the next Garden Talk.

It’s important to know which butterflies already exist in and around your neighborhood. If you live in Southwest Florida, you are not going to be able to attract a butterfly that only resides in California. Once you learn which butterflies are in your area, you can concentrate on the plants that each one needs for survival.  

There are two categories of plants that every butterfly garden must have: host plants and nectar plants. Host plants are the ones that butterflies lay eggs on and the caterpillars (larval stage) eat. Nectar plants are simply plants that butterflies will visit for nectar. Both types of plants are essential for butterflies to exist.

Butterflies have very specific requirements for the host plant; some will only lay their eggs on one type of plant. Keep in mind that these plants will get eaten – sometimes every leaf on the plant will be devoured by very hungry caterpillars. Don’t worry, the plants can handle it and new leaves will form in a short amount of time.

Nectar requirements are not as specific. Some butterflies have favorite nectar sources, but generally, they will visit many different flowers for the sweet, energy-packed, sugary liquid. Some butterflies have color preferences, some like flying low across the yard and others like to fly high amongst tree tops. To attract a wide range of butterflies, it’s a good idea to offer a variety of flower colors and plants that grow at different heights, including ground covers, shrubs and trees. 

To learn about the butterflies of Southwest Florida and how to create a butterfly garden that they won’t be able to resist, come to the Garden Talk on June 9 at 10 a.m. at Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The cost of the workshop is $15 ($10 for Edison Ford members) and all participants will receive a 20% discount coupon for use toward Garden Shoppe purchases. Many different types of host and nectar plants will be available.

NEW at Edison Ford ~ Clara Ford Rose Garden

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 3rd
Rose garden at Fair Lane, the Fords' Michigan estate.

Rose garden at Fair Lane, the Fords’ Michigan estate.

Clara Bryant Ford, the wife of Henry Ford for 59 years, had a passion and love for roses. Fair Lane, the 1,300 acre Michigan estate of the Fords had more than 350 varieties of roses and 10,000 rose plants in their five acre garden.

 The historic rose garden at the Ford’s winter estate features antique and heirloom roses of the 1920s era, adapted to the southwest Florida climate. Mrs. Ford’s favorites were tea roses in shades of yellow and white. Alongside these other soft pastel colors of pink and peach have been added as accents. The rose garden is designed to be viewed and enjoyed from the front porch of their estate, or by a short stroll along the path leading to the Edison Ford Friendship Gate.

      The rose varieties are on Fortuniana Rootstock and are available through the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe located at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Call Edison Ford Historic Garden Manager, Steve Hottovy at 239-334-7419 to order roses.

      peggy campbellThe August Edison Ford Garden Talk, “Growing Roses in Southwest Florida” will be held on Saturday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. Hottovy will lead a tour of the Edison Ford Rose Collection and offer tips on planting, pruning and general care of roses.  More information will follow on this blog.   

     Funding for the Clara Ford Rose Garden was provided by Peggy Campbell, great niece of Clara Bryant Ford. Garden materials provided by Forestry Resources, Inc. and Nelson’s Florida Roses.

 yellow pink rose     Rose varieties in the Clara Ford Rose Garden include: Sunfare, Sunsprite, Belinda’s Dream, St. Patrick, Nightingale, Midas Touch, Flo Nelson, Mellow Yelloe, September Mourn, White Success, White Christmas, Love & Peace, Marilyn Monroe

ford house with rose garden

Left to right: Steve Hottovy, Historic Garden Manager; Sass Edwards, Board Chair; Ann and Tom Smoot, Charles Edison Fund; Bern Davis, Edison Ford Patron; Chris Pendleton, Edison Ford CEO

Left to right: Steve Hottovy, Historic Garden Manager; Sass Edwards, Board Chair; Ann and Tom Smoot, Charles Edison Fund; Bern Davis, Edison Ford Patron; Chris Pendleton, Edison Ford CEO