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botanical gardens

i just got back from a bromeliad society show and sale at marie selby botanical garden. i'm not much of a bromeliad fan, so mostly i just wandered around at looked at the damage that our cold weather had caused this winter. most stuff looked okay except for some of the frost tender palms that are not planted in protected locations. i was surprised to see that the lignum vitae, which is definitely not hardy as far north as sarasota, looked unmolested and was blooming like mad.

also, the shaving brush tree [pseudobombax something or other] was in full bloom. this relative of the bombax blooms like the bombax--masses of red flower on the end of every bare branch and twig. but unlike the bombax, these flowers, as the common name implies, are fuzzy pink "brushes."

maybe i'll go up to the florida botanical garden tomorrow to see what's going on there. it's just north of st. pete, a couple of hours from here.

and one last thing about big public gardens. i guess all of you have heard by now that cypress gardens, florida's oldest theme park built on a botanical garden motif, is closing. tomorrow will be its last day. when the short one heard that, she said: "i wonder what they're going to do with all those big begonias?"

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