Showing posts from 2020

How to tour Pinecrest Gardens like a pro: visit us in person or virtually!

Discover the hidden treasures of the On-Cell Tour at Pinecrest GardensDid you know we have a tour app?!
Surprise, we do! The app, called the On-Cell tour began as an audio tour to use as you stroll through The Garden. The stops highlight points of interest, including those of historical, cultural and ecological significance.  Since it's inception, the On-Cell Audio Tour has gone through a few makeovers and has come a long way.
In the past year, the On-Cell tour was re-written, re-recorded and completely re-done!
Even more excitingly, the most recent makeover was an effort to make the tour more accessible to people during Covid-19. We wanted to provide a way for people to enjoy The Gardens from the safety of their own homes. Now, the tour is accessible anywhere, anytime and includes some new features! (Check out the video below to see how easy it is to access from your phone)

Map of The Garden with OnCell tour stops listed below- pick up a map at the ticket booth!
No longer just audio, t…

At Home Activity: Fairy Gardens!

Over quarantine, many of us have had extra time on our hands. We've taken up the art of sour dough bread making, planted our own vegetable gardens, learned our neighborhoods on countless walks and spent hours working on adult coloring books. Or maybe that was just me....?

If you didn't go down a rabbit hole like I did, and you're looking for something to pass the time creatively, consider making your own fairy garden!  With the help of my ridiculously talented coworker Pilar, together we've been constructing miniature gardens and accessories out of nature scraps as a new display for the Learning Garden. I've made fairy gardens in the past, and I have always loved to include them in public spaces, because they are a fun way to engage people in the garden. It had been been years since I've made one, so this was a super fun reminder for me!
To build our Fairy Gardens, Pilar and I set out to find some workable sticks, branches and stones, and we got to work.  While…

Marigolds: A rekindled love affair, and why you need them in your home garden!

To me, Marigolds are one of those commonly planted, intro to gardening, not grown for the bouquet flowers. Every inch of my garden space is precious, so I don't dare let the marigold commoner occupy what could be used for something of higher value.  By value I mean....something I can eat. This season however, in a pinch I tossed some Marigold seeds into a raised bed, and was surprised by the prolific journey we had together. Now, I'm officially changing my opinion on these old classics, and digging up some dirt on their history to back it up

I love learning the history of plants, especially plants I'm currently growing.  Plants are, after all, what powered people. They were used for food, shelter, for barter and purchasing, cured ailments, celebrate life and death.  They are the sustaining connection between people and the land. And so, the Marigold is no exception, even with it's tangled origin story.

The Aztec people were the first known to grow Marigolds, with the rec…

How Pinecrest Gardens is Listening, Learning and Teaching Equality and Inclusion though Performing Arts

Pinecrest Gardens takes pride in being an organization centered on diversity and inclusion.

Our programs, performances and history shine a light on people of all races and abilities. Each day we strive be forward thinking reflect our community appropriately through our arts and programs. But we know, we can always do better. 

Given the current state of the country,it’s time to take an internal reflection and really delve into us.  Us as an organization, us as a community and us as example setters. 

Pinecrest Gardens isn't just a garden maintained by the city. Look deeper and you'll see that we are a cultural organization operating under a municipality.  As a department of local government, and a cultural arts garden, we have an opportunity to be leaders.  Being a leader in our community means bringing culture, programs, events for ALL, including those who are marginilized, and standing up for those who's voices need to be heard. 
Women, POC and the arts: It's no surprise th…

10 plants for your South Florida Summer Garden!

Yes! It's that time of year where we annual and veggie growers stand from our kitchen windows looking out at the dark sky and wonder how much more rain and abuse our gardens can really endure. The fact is that growing in South Florida can be extremely rewarding, AND brutal at the same time.  Our sometimes threatening climate can be stressful for many at home gardeners (flooding? pests? high night-time temperatures?) and unlike much of the rest of the continental U.S., the summer for us is not peak season for annuals.  The summer garden requires flexibility, and a grow-with-the-season attitude.

We're transitioning our own gardens at the moment, and over the summer I emphasize soil health, and garden versatility. At home, you have some leniency of what your gardens can look like, but in a public setting, we strive to make sure our gardens are functional, maintainable, and still attractive.

Here are a few summertime champions that I like to incorporate into my transitioning space…

Celebrating National Public Gardens Week- Why Public Gardens Matter

This week, we're celebrating National Public Gardens Week. Once per year, we recount and appreciate all of the aspects of public gardens that we love. While I, along with my coworkers are lucky enough to live this every day,  this year I thought it appropriate to take a deeper look at why we celebrate, and the history of Public Gardens.

The roots of Public Gardens are not near to us, rather they began in 16th century Italy.  Traced way back to the renaissance professors of botany and the faculty of medicine, by which plants were studied and used. The earliest public gardens were none other than medicinal gardens. Plants were a way of life, a token of health and a necessity.

Entry path to lower garden through Hardwood Hammock- Pinecrest Gardens
 While our society has changed greatly, and it's true most people don't look to plants for their medicinal properties with the advancement of modern medicine, plants are still celebrated. The purpose of botanical gardens changed from…

A Partnership: Growing Vertical part 2

In the second part of this posting, we will discus our vertical planters, and their benefits.

This Vertical Garden partnership was perfect for us for a few reasons.
First, we had run out of space in the beds and planter boxes, and we wanted to grow more! Secondly, we understood that the space along the fence is easily accessed, and wasn't currently being utilized. Thirdly, living walls are a perfect way to showcase how to grow even in a limited space, like on a balcony or patio. With planting upwards instead of outwards, you'll be able to take advantage of space for growing herbs, flowers, edibles or whatever you fancy!

Vertical gardens in background of photo with tactile panels

 Katie (see part 1 of growing vertical) purchased our garden panels with money that she raised from selling Girl Scout cookies and through donations she received by tabling at our Farmers Market. In addition to purchasing the panels themselves, Katie bought the equipment necessary for installation and…

A Partnership: Growing Vertical Part 1

Today we're delving into the story of our vertical gardening system in the Learning Garden!
The Learning and Sensory Garden is a place that is always changing. Whether it be what we're growing or changing features, we like to keep things exciting for the visitor experience. We're always exploring new ideas.

This winter, we were approached by The Labiste family, who are local residents and frequenters of Pinecrest Gardens. Their Daughter, Katie was beginning her Gold Award for Girl Scouts (the highest award achieved in Girl Scouts) and came to us with an idea.  Katie expressed that she has always wanted to help people, and that she thought that through this project she could make a difference.

Katie is a freshman at Miami Palmetto Senior high, a member of many clubs, plays tennis and guitar, and is active in Girl Scouts.

Pinecrest Gardens has a history with Girl Scouts in that we work closely with the Tropical Council to provide programs for girl scouts, as well as host gir…

At Home Activity: Flower Scavenger Hunt

Being quarantined doesn't mean we have to give up exploring! Today we've got something to connect you to nature and safely discover your neighborhood. 
It's been a stressful couple of weeks for everyone, especially for those with littles! So today,  I'm  bringing you an engaging activity that you can access easily and keep in your back pocket for those particularly interesting days indoors. 
Today, we're going on a flower scavenger hunt!  I use this basic flower scavenger hunt at The Garden with my groups, but it is so easy to modify for a specific time of year or age group. This hunt is great for kids from ages 5-12 and can work with any age with a little imagination. Use the hunt in your back yard or neighborhood. It's a great way to get kids outdoors moving and exploring. If you have binoculars or a magnifying glass on hand, that will make the hunt a little extra exciting. 
The hunt can be printed or found at the link at the bottom, for easy on-the-go access f…