Due to a spontaneous trip to McKee Gardens in Vero Beach, FL, and an equally spontaneous purchase of a year-pass to the American Horticulture Reciprocal Admissions Membership spurred by a lovely and talkative older lady in the gift shop, I have tasked myself with a botanical quest for this year. My aim - to visit every single garden in the program and catalogue my experiences, begin to learn the names of Florida flora and fauna, and do all of this before the membership ends in one year.
As you can see from the map below, I have my work cut out for me:
As I check gardens off the list, I write a blog post with pictures, thoughts, and observations, and change the location's flower color from pink to blue.
I love Florida's ecology. The beautiful hardwood trees, non-native but still hauntingly beautiful Spanish moss, the vibrant flowers, the palms and dense brush. I am growing to appreciate snakes and bugs. I love spiders, and there are many here. Plus the wide variety of strikingly colored birds.
Florida is one of the most interesting and wild states I've visited. While it's a densely populated, uber-popular vacation and tourist location, there are still so many small, hidden-away towns and rural areas, places so swampy and dense with forest and brush that no one ventures in them, and a myriad of things great and small that will take great pleasure in eating you.
All that to say, there's no telling how adventurous this quest will become.
I hope you enjoy coming on the journey with me.