The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Day 2 Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Part 2

14 Comments

Oh, I wanted to save this part of our tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (see Day 1 and Day 2 Part 1) for Gardener Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens each month, because I have glorious blooms to share! I missed it by a day or two but I say, it’s never too late, and I know some of you will swoon over these blooms. Keep in mind I’m still struggling with this “island time affliction” and this tour was a couple of weeks ago! These past few days, I have also seen Redbuds in bloom, and holy Robin Batman! There are flocks of Robins all throughout the village here in Cedar Key. I think they’re stocking up on all the Cedar berries and coming soon to a garden near you folks in the North – now isn’t THAT exciting? I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am to be experiencing two Springs this year! I have been waking up to the dawn chorus – Robins, Red-winged Black Birds, Cardinals … it’s coming your way soon – just hang in there! I am certain it will be a most glorious Spring!

Continuing on our tour, we left the Bamboo Gardens and strolled along a wooded path through the Aroid Garden. Just what the heck is an Aroid??? I had to research that a bit = googling Aroid. This is what came up …

1. a plant of the arum family ( Araceae )

“Wikipedia: Araceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants in which flowers are borne on a type of inflorescence (cluster flower or branch arrangement) called a spadix. The spadix is usually accompanied by, and sometimes partially enclosed in, a spathe or leaf-like bract.”

Apparently the flowers are typically smelly – and not in a nice, fragrant way. Aroid-like plants that immediately come to my mind: Peace Lilies, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Corpse Flower and … Trilliums! (But don’t quote me on that. I didn’t spend nearly enough time researching Aroids.)

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Although it would explain why we came upon this beautiful drift of Wake Robin Trillium even though the sign read Devil’s Tongue (another type of Aroid, I’m assuming?) – I beg to differ. These sure look like Wake Robin Trillium to me – what about you? And I just ordered some Trilliums for my garden – so excited!

A small trickling stream runs through the Aroid Garden. So peaceful. Nice lush green.

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Let’s see that GREEN up close!

A place to rest up and a foreshadowing of the Hummingbird Garden?

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Continuing around a bend … BAM! The Spring Flower Garden – aaah, Magnolias! I love Magnolia blooms and I’m betting you do, too.

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Not much happening in the Hummingbird Garden – about what one would expect – lots of salvias, canna lily, plants that display red, tubular flowers but sadly not blooming. After that wondrous February spring fling, somewhat of a disappointment (as winter can be).

But then we entered the Rock Gardens which I have to say, really captured my eye – so many textures and strong forms – very appropriate for Pam at Digging’s Foliage Followup (not to mention some of those Aroid leaves pictured earlier)!

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I fell in love with this plant!

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I didn’t realize the gardens were built above this large lake, named Kanapaha. Aha! Now I get it. Yes, that is a lake where what looks like scrub or meadow. It’s a lake covered in vegetation.

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I’ve yet to see an actual Alligator here, but I’m betting this would be a good spot.

On our way to the Palm Hammock …

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The Palm Hammock and Cycads offered as much, if not more, texture and form as the rock gardens.

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My favorite was this Sago Palm. Just look at the texture of the trunk.

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I’ll conclude with some luscious blooms that you will never see in the Violet Fern Garden … Camellias! Camellias just aren’t hardy enough for my garden climate. The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosted a Camellia show. I didn’t attend but I still was able to enjoy these blooms in the Azalea Camellia Garden on our last visit.

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And some “Spring” Azaleas.

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Here’s what it looks like back home (thanks to my neighbor). Not only do I hope my garden hasn’t suffered any damage, but that my car will start! Not quite Spring yet there. Think I’ll be staying here just a bit longer.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

14 thoughts on “Day 2 Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Part 2

  1. Shazam! Now that’s some beautiful foliage. And flowers too. Looks like a great trip.

  2. ooh poor car! No space in the garage? Like us ;~((

  3. Now, I see what you were talking about on my blog-YIKES!!! I would stay a bit longer to give yourself some time to see an alligator-LOL:-)
    I enjoyed the tour + remind those Robins to not forget us all up North:-) They can’t stay there too long this spring-my fingers are crossed.
    Loved your tour + enjoyed the information about all the plants. we can’t grow magnolias up-they sure are pretty!

    • Robbie, we can’t grow Camellias but I’m certain we can grow Magnolias! There was a beautiful Magnolia tree at a house I rented in Maine – and Maine’s pretty gosh darn cold. By the way I received pictures of your Pin Oak! Oh my gosh I have been meaning to tell you – this *%#! Island time – what a beautiful tree. And so nice to have so many beautiful Oaks surrounding you. Thanks so much!

  4. Beautiful – so nice to see gardens in bloom. I love the texture of the palms. Today I visited one of the local college’s greenhouses and pretended I was in FL – it was 80 degrees and sweetly humid with the scent of orchids! About as close as I’m going to get. Thanks for sharing your tour with us. 🙂

  5. Beautiful blooms and aren’t you lucky to see them…and yes it looks like Wake Robin Trillium to me too. I must say it looks as though you have less snow than we do this year…enjoy the warm sunshine and blooms while you can!

  6. It’s lovely to see all those wonderful tropical textures and beautiful flowers (although those 28F temps probably turned the magnolia blossoms to brown mush). LOL, I had the same reaction as Donna to the photo of the snow-covered car in front of the garage: “not so much snow there”. 😉 . If you were at home this winter, 28 degrees would feel like a balmy spring day.

    • Ah Jean, yes, just about every day I check the weather at home and realize I murdered – tortured – all of my houseplants and that they are now dead. Although snow cover will insulate the ground temperature? I hope. The only way to know for sure is to return home. I haven’t any other regrets – I am happy to migrate every Winter from now on and will perfect it! If my car doesn’t look like much snow to you … oh boy! I am especially happy to have escaped this Winter! What will be the consequences, though. It’s almost just too good to be true yet I know lots of people do this all the time!

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