Annual tours highlight Key West Gardens

Horticulture enthusiasts can explore seven of Key West’s beautiful private gardens on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, during annual tours presented by the Key West Garden Club.

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both days, tour participants can venture beyond the walls and palisades surrounding the featured homes of the Key West neighborhood known as the Meadows.

The seven stops, all within a five-minute walk of each other, include large and small gardens with exotic palms, tall ancient champion trees, water features and pools, serene settings, tropical plants and orchids. The tour also includes an edible garden.

Garden Club guides will be present at each location, sharing detailed information with tour participants about on-site plants and other items.

In addition, four brief presentations will be offered during each day’s tour. Topics include orchid care and mounting, massive trees and exotic palms, landscaping and garden edibles.

Tour tickets are $25 per person if purchased in advance at www.keywestgardenclub.com or at the West Martello Tower, the garden club’s Atlantic Oceanfront headquarters at 1100 Atlantic Blvd. On tour days, tickets must be available onsite for $30 per person.

Since the 1950s, the nonprofit Key West Garden Club has tended and planted a garden at the ruins of the Civil War-era West Martello Tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All plants are donated and cared for by club members and volunteers.

Today, West Martello is the backdrop for orchids and bromeliads, mature fruit trees, native plants, a butterfly garden, a prehistoric garden, and a peace and beauty park. a maze, among other attractions.

The garden is open free of charge from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except public holidays.

Information on visits and ticketing: www.keywestgardenclub.com. ¦

About Charles Holmes

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