Happy Leap Year Day!
How rapid the advancement of time! Weren’t we celebrating Christmas two minutes ago?!
Realizing how FAST time passes, lends a certain legitimacy to the incessant documenting we bloggers do. Reliving the day, focusing on what we did/saw/thought, then placing our best and brightest ideas where others may one day find them: this has been humanity’s best defense against time since cave dwellers scratched the first pictures on a wall. Not always terribly earth shattering these tableaus, but frozen in time nevertheless. See this day? This scene? It mattered to us! Stop! Look!
Yesterday my master gardener class had a day worth scratching on the wall. We took a field trip to a most amazing place:
The UF Indian River Research and Education Center opened in 1947 with only one scientist and a small laboratory. Today it is an internationally known education facility doing cutting edge research on citrus and other plant diseases. We were there for citrus and palm lectures as well as hands-on learning in the teaching and demonstration gardens. Of the 225 species planted there, approximately 62% are native to Florida, with the remaining 38% being non-invasive yet highly adaptable to native conditions. Here is the first plant we saw, at the building’s entrance:
This late winter bloomer is a woody vine called Petrea volubilis, aka Queen’s Wreath. Talk about a royal welcome! Then we walked through the building to a butterfly garden accessed via a spectacular arborway of Cracker Roses:
Here is the sign describing the purpose of the waystation:
We soon learned not only migrating monarchs stop here!
The state butterfly of Florida, the Zebra Longwing, swirled everywhere around us!
The next garden was more open:
I particularly liked the way this bed was outlined:
Such a creative touch! Colorful glass jars, inverted side-by-side, made prisms of the afternoon sun.
This area was packed with so many specimens yet didn’t feel crowded:
A beautiful bamboo walking trail led to a euphorbia I’d never seen before:
and to another connecting arbor, soon to be covered with these:
We passed through to a large open field area,
and a rose cultivation area near the science buildings
Scratch on the Wall Part 2, coming soon!
Untll next time…..