One of my readers recently visited Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville. I was jealous. A need to maintain a frugal lifestyle prohibited my visiting Kanapaha, 60 miles away. As usual, I got on the WWW to look for local botanical gardens. One that came up was the Palm and Cyad Arboretum at Florida State College (the old FCCJ) South Campus.
My friend “Grins” agreed to go with me. I must call her Grins because she doesn’t want to be identified here. Nobody ever wants to admit they know me or, God forbid, actually go out in public with me. Sigh. Story of my life.
You can actually see the Palm and Cyad Arboretum across the lake as you enter South Campus. The information I found on the web located it near Building G but it is actually behind Building C which faces the lake from its other side. It is not a large garden by any stretch of the imagination but it has two observation decks or you can walk in the garden. It rained on me all the way to her side of town and during our visit so my photos are not great. You can find good photos and plant identifiers at Wikipedia.
We also stopped in the Earthworks nursery on Beach Boulevard which was just as interesting, maybe more so, because it had a wide variety of nursery plants, pavers throughout, fountains, and two ponds. I couldn’t resist a green and white dwarf Snowbush. It seems to be missing the pink that was in the regular sized Snowbush I once owned.
Unable to resist a visit to the Lowes near Grins’ home, I found the prices on their Down-and-Out-but-Not-Quite-Dead Table to be much higher than on my side of town but I still walked off with a red leaf canna lily. Had one of those once, too, but it disappeared.
You will be pleased that I managed to maintain a semblance of normality while out with Grins but right there at the end fate intervened. Returning to Grins’ house, I saw some lovely, deep purple flowers on the right-hand side of the road. Grins missed them and I decided she just had to see them so I made a couple of U-turns to return to them. She suggested I pull off onto the narrow right-of-way and it seemed a prudent idea but I crossed my fingers, hopeful that I was not pulling into an invisible swamp due to all the recent rain. Craning our necks to the right to see the flowers, we agreed they were passion flowers that had escaped from a homeowner’s yard to cover everything within fifteen feet, either way. Suddenly, we heard the familiar “whoooop” of a police siren and snapped our necks back to the road. The two words that flew through my mind are, of course, not printable. I just knew we were going to be hauled off to the glamour slammer for sitting in the right-of-way for no apparent reason. As luck would have it, the policeman assumed we were broke down, which gave us a reason for sitting there. I had to admit to him that we were just looking at the flowers. He nodded and drove off, probably deciding that a couple of crazy old women looking at flowers might turn his day into a nightmare. I think it was nice of him to check on us, though, don’t you?