Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Field Trip Reprt: Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens

On a recent trip to north central Florida, we visited a small botanical garden, the Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens, in Port Orange: go to: http://www.dunlawtonsugarmillgardens.org/
It is a little gem of a tropical garden, even in the winter! The most interesting plant to me was a very old live oak tree, called the Confederate Oak (see recent blog entry on live oaks). These can be huge trees, and in the right conditions, harbor many other plants on their large, near horizontal branches, from Spanish moss, to ferns, epiphytes, orchids, bromeliads and other plants, making them a plant nursery of sorts...and stunningly beautiful. This garden, started as a sugar, rice and cotton plantation, is rich in ferns, palms, and tropical flowering plants. Another memorable feature is an old stone and concrete wall that has been converted to a fern grotto. The garden also contains the sheltered ruins of the pre-Civil War era sugar mill.
The garden is free, though they do request a donation. It is on Old Sugar Mill Road in Port Orange, right in the middle of a neighborhood. iI opens at 8AM, but call for seasonally adjusted closing hours: 386-767-1735
If you are in the area, I recommend this lovely garden!

By the way, Wikipedia, source of all knowledge, has a listing of "significant" botanic gardens and arboreta in the US at:

Happy gardening!

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