dimanche 18 août 2013

Gardens Across Miami

By Maria Cabrera

When a person mentions the city of Miami, the initial things that many folks recall are the gorgeous beaches and the colorful nightlife. Nonetheless there are more attractions available to those who would like to experience something unique during their trip to Miami. These are the various floral gardens in Miami, Miami public parks and nature preserves that will delight both travelers and locals.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

This is proving to be one of the flower gardens Miami is celebrated for, specifically its palms and various other tropical plants. The Windows to the Tropic section brings a real example of a rainforest to the visitor, with the plants, rainfall and humidity found in those areas. The plants range from local plants from Florida to rainforest species from South America. This garden also includes the Lisa D. Anness Butterfly Garden, that has plants used to attract over 30 different species of butterflies. Also incorporated in the Fairchild Gardens are the Arboretum and an area for succulents.

The Kampong

This garden is an oasis set in the Miami metropolitan area. Here, visitors can view many plants not usually found on our continent. These include the Sausage Tree, named for its long fruits, as well as a 100 year old Baobab tree from Tanzania. Collections include plants from the Caribbean, Southeast Far East and Central and South America. Due to the large range of plants here, many universities use this garden to improve their experience in their botany classes. If a visitor is searching for something unique, this is the one to visit.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

This garden, though a bit small, is packed with many examples of maximizing space with plant arrangements. Constructed in 1962, it is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Here, one will find a Japanese garden with collections of orchids. There are examples of vertical landscaping, occasionally commonly known as a living wall. Water is also a very important aspect here, and thus there are several water gardens. This is another example of the floral gardens Miami has to offer to its residents and visitors.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

The gardens and museum here have been honoured as a National Historic Landmark. The gardens are a mixture of French and Italian designs. They are comprised of outdoor areas or rooms with focal points like raised islands, elegant statues, fountains and a centrally located pool. The near dozen acres of gardens include sub tropical forests as well as a enormous Orchid Garden.

Fruit and Spice Park

This unique site, part of Miami public parks is located in the midst of gigantic areas of tropical farming. Here, one will find more than 500 differing kinds of exotic fruits, spices, nuts and herbs. These include 70 sorts of bamboo, 80 sorts of bananas as well as many variances of grapes and mangoes. There isn't any other garden of this type in the United States. Visitors are welcome, and can sample the fruits grown here that have fallen off plants naturally.

Parrot Jungle and Gardens

When walking through these gardens, one might forget that they are only a short way from a major city. The gardens, together with a lake, streams and waterfalls, are home to 1200 kinds of exotic plants such as bananas, orchids and bromeliads. Many tropical animals live in Parrot Jungle, for example native mammals, tropical birds and even some endangered baby apes. As well as the gardens and animal exhibits, a copy of the Everglades is also available. This exhibit utilizes the plant and animal life of the Everglades, including alligators.

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