In early 2012 the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation partnered with the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department to expand the Botanical Gardens by about 8,000 sq feet with a new Vinery.
fence was installed as a backdrop and aluminum Hubble trellises – unique three-dimensional
designs that turn vines into trees - were added. County staff also constructed a number of
small trellises made of vinyl lattice. We also
were able to install an 18-foot cement circle connecting the Vinery, the Palm Garden and
the Memorial Walkway.
After the logistics were taken care of came the fun part – choosing the types of vines
to populate our Vinery. We have begun with Alamanda, Mandavilla, Passion Flower,
Dutchman’s pipe vine, jasmine, Cape Honeysuckle, Thunbergia, Bleeding Heart, Orchid vine
and my favorite, the Gold Finger plant. Many more will be purchased this summer, with a
grand opening of our spectacular new Vinery in the late fall.
Currently the Vinery ends by a beautiful pond surrounded by native plants. The pond abuts
our P2000 Natural area. We are looking at the possibility of extending the boardwalk
through the natural area and adding a Children’s Trail stop in the Vinery.
In addition to all the work creating our Vinery, there has been a concentrated effort, under
the direction of County crew chief, to bring new and unusual
trees to the Gardens. We expanded the area around the pond at the end
of the Tropical Walk and planted a Royal Poinciana, a Yellow Poinciana and an Orange
Geiger next to our Orchid Tree. They’re looking very happy in their new home.
We didn’t stop there. After removing several old and overgrown ‘Awabuki’ Viburnums,
we planted a Yellow Geiger, a White Geiger, a Bridal Veil, a Vera Tree, a Milky Way, a Joy
Perfume and an Ylang-Ylang. We also found a special place for a beautiful Florida
mahogany and a Satinleaf Tree.
We are proud to say that all the trees are new to the Garden and many were paid for with funds
from our Tree Bank. For those of you who don’t know, the Tree Bank was created by the
Foundation many years ago to raise funds to purchase new and unusual trees and plants.