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Re: Sunken Gardens

I like to see good labeling, too.  Sounds like these folks went the extra
mile.  I think if a public place can only do minimal labeling it should be
botanical names.  The rest is gravy.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "james singer" <jsinger@igc.org>
To: "Chat" <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2004 3:15 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Sunken Gardens

> I put the short one on a plane in Tampa this morning and on the way
> back detoured a bit to see Sunken Gardens, a 100-year-old commercial
> botanic garden. It is called "sunken" because it was established in the
> bottom of a drained lake, somewhat below grade.
> I have no idea how one drains a lake, especially in Florida.
> Most commercial gardens, I've found, are pretty dreadful. Sunken
> Gardens may be a cut above, kind of on a par with Cypress Gardens, but
> without the Belles and ski boats and cotton candy.
> I found most of the specimens--with the exception of two very nice
> spindle palms and a historic live oak [that was high on the gardens'
> bank and probably predates it]--rather ordinary. There was also a nice
> Bismarckia palm, but it was no more than 15 years old.
> What impressed me most about the place, I think, was the labeling. They
> have made good effort to label plants with botanic as well as common
> names and for some plants, such as the spindle palms, provide a bit of
> geopolitical information--about cold hardiness, natural distribution,
> and how they have become all but extinct in the wild.
> I also learned that logs of the sapodilla tree were used as rafters by
> Mayans and they [the rafters] are still sound. The sapodilla, for those
> who do not recognize it, is the tree whose sap is chicle, the gum that
> made Mr. Wriggly rich.
> Island Jim
> Southwest Florida
> Zone 10
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