Miami, Florida – Viscaya

It is difficult to write about Viscaya without stringing superlatives together. Viscaya sits at the rim of Biscayne Bay. When you visit Viscaya you will enjoy the location, art, history, and the mist of the waves splashing the shoreline. I went to Viscaya to study and find design inspiration.

Boat Dock

The structural materials selected to design the gardens have an intentional weathered appearance. Some of my favorite structures are the water features. The boat dock is massive and amazing (photo 1).

Parterre Recessed Pool

Recessed at the rim of the parterre are shell shaped water features these pools have a cooling effect (photo 2).



Toad Fountain

Overlooking the parterre a toad fountain is centered on the steps connecting the home to the gardens (photo 3).

Yup, this basic garden maker has no problem rambling about the Viscaya gardens. Of course I took lots of pictures. This place is relaxing and inspiring. It is worth a visit.

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Looks coconuts!

My visit to Miami welcomed me with cool breezes with temps in the upper 80’s.  Very nice.   Why did this garden maker go to Miami for plant and design study?  For me it was all about tropicals for conservation and design use.



The Fairchild history is humbling story about people looking into the future and realizing the importance to creating a place for Cycads, Palms, and tropicals for study and preservation.

What to learn about Cycads, Palms, Orchids, and iguanas?  Spend a day at Fairchild.  For me one day was a great introduction because all that I knew before was not good enough.


Lecythidaceae – Wonder fragrant Cannonball tree!

Fairchild does a wonderful job educating visitors.  They offer free trams and walking tours.  Of course you can tour the grounds on your own.  If you choose to tour the grounds on your own pay attention to the gator sighting signs!