Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nancy's Secret Garden - Another Endangered Species

Before I entirely leave Key West for the Spring, I want to tell you about Nancy's Secret Garden. See it while you can and save it if you will! This incredible spot in Key West's Old Town is the last wooded acre on the island. It is how the buccaneers, pirates, wreckers and early settlers found it - lush, tropical and magical.

It's a little tough to find, at the end of a lane off Simonton that looks more like a driveway than a street - but if you don't look for it now, you may never find it. Key West's tropical, exotic botanical rainforest is in danger of being broken up. Author, artist and garden owner Nancy Forrester needs garden lovers to step in and donate money to pay off back taxes and the mortgage.

Visit the virtual garden for more information on how you can help save the garden.

I took the photos below just a few weeks ago. Bromeliads are a passion of mine. Did you know that they only bloom once? If you know the proper names of any of these, I would be grateful if you could let me know. I will add captions.

There are other plants -- and some very colorful and talkative residents, such as this gorgeous Macaw. These birds have a lot to say. Someone should teach them to say, "Save The Garden!" There is a Mana project set up to help raise funds.

This special spot also has a cottage rental - a studio with kitchen that is perfect for two people in a historic cottage. For travelers who are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, your stay supports Nancy’s cause, the preservation of the last wooded acre of land in high density in “Old Town” Key West.

The spot is very popular for weddings. While many brides choose to get married on the beach, weddings in the lush tropical gardens of are also extremely popular for nuptials.

Cycads are another interest of mine, and this one (certozamia plumosa) has a most unusual twisted rachis at the tips of long, thin leaflets. Cycads have been around since the time of the Dinosaurs and have changed little in the last 100 million years! Often called 'living fossils' there are 70 living species.