Bromeliads Add Colorhttps://efwefla.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/photo.jpg?w=225

Edison & Ford Winter Estates' Blog

Neoreglia 'Tres Colores'  Neoreglia ‘Tres Colores’

We disassembled our fabulous Bromelaid Christmas Tree for Holiday Nights at the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we now have planted them throughout the gardens.  The Neoreglias are a perfect ground cover for a semi-shaded spot adding a pop of color.  They will produce ‘pups’ or offsets to continue filling in an area.  There are many other bromeliads popular for the home gardener including the edible pineapples, and epiphytic tillandsias commonly called air plants.  Our Garden Shoppe, open everyday 9-5:30and we have them now

Buy One Get One Free.

photo

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Bromeliads Add Colorhttps://efwefla.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/photo.jpg?w=225

Edison & Ford Winter Estates' Blog

Neoreglia 'Tres Colores'  Neoreglia ‘Tres Colores’

We disassembled our fabulous Bromelaid Christmas Tree for Holiday Nights at the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we now have planted them throughout the gardens.  The Neoreglias are a perfect ground cover for a semi-shaded spot adding a pop of color.  They will produce ‘pups’ or offsets to continue filling in an area.  There are many other bromeliads popular for the home gardener including the edible pineapples, and epiphytic tillandsias commonly called air plants.  Our Garden Shoppe, open everyday 9-5:30and we have them now

Buy One Get One Free.

photo

View original post

Did you know sausages grow on trees?

Do sausages grow on trees? The Sausage Trees at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates have some growing now.

The sausages growing on our trees really aren’t sausages after all. They are actually just the fruit or seed pod formed by the Kigelia Africana, commonly known as the Sausage Tree.

Sausage Tree painting by Megan Kissinger - available in the Museum Store

The brownish colored woody fruit is very fibrous and inedible, however, in the tree’s native habitat the fruit is often eaten by animals such as: Baboons, Giraffes, Elephants, Monkeys and Hippopotami. The mature fruits can reach a length of two feet long and weigh nearly fifteen pounds.

Before the tree bears the sausage-like fruit, the tree blossoms with hundreds of large, four to five inch maroon trumpet shape flowers born on long pendulous stalks. The flowers are pollinated at night in the tree’s native land by nectar seeking bats, but the lack of these bats here in Florida results in very few flowers getting pollinated and thus, very few of the sausage like fruits are formed.

The tree is native to tropical areas of Africa and is a member of the Bignoniaceae family of flowering plants. The Sausage Trees is a medium to large size tree, ranging in height from thirty to fifty feet.

The tree grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates and can stand some frost and temperatures down to 28 degrees. The tree does well here in Southern Florida and makes a great shade or specimen tree for your landscape.

The sausage tree behind the ticket office is bearing sausages now.

If you are interested in learning more about the sausage tree or would like to buy one of your own, visit the Estates Garden Shoppe and let one of our horticulturists assist you.

Dwarf Poinciana: A Garden Showstopper

Have you ever wanted a Royal Poinciana Tree, but in a much smaller size? Consider our October plant of the month the Dwarf Poinciana for your next garden addition.

The Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is an evergreen shrub that can be trained and pruned into a small specimen tree in frost free climate zones.

In zones 8 and 9 it can be damaged by frost, but will return in the spring and quickly re-grow.  In the tropics it is also know as Peacock Flower or Pride of Barbados and can grow up to 15 feet tall and wide. In normal garden cultivation it will grow to about 8 to 10 feet tall and wide, but tolerates pruning in order to maintain shape and form.

The foliage is very fernlike and produces many showy flower blossoms that resemble those of the Royal Poinciana tree. The flower colors vary from the common red, orange and yellow variety, an all yellow variety and another with a pinkish rose coloration.


This is a great specimen to add to your garden. The Dwarf Poinciana can also be grown in a pot or container and brought inside if there is a threat of frost or freezing temperatures.

The Edison & Ford Estates Garden Shoppe is currently featuring the Dwarf Poinciana as our Plant of the Month and offering 20% off the purchase of a 6” potted Dwarf Poinciana in OCTOBER 2011.

New Staghorn Fern Joins Edison Ford Family

Our horticulturists recently went to Naples to pick up a donated stag horn fern. The plant was donated by the family of Kenneth and Ruth Ann Bruce and had been in their yard for well over thirty years. They are relocating and wanted the stag horn fern to have a great home here at the Edison Ford.

Thanks for the donation – we are happy to add a new member to our family!


Edison Ford Sunflower Project

In the spirit of Thomas Edison and his botanic research at his winter retreat in Fort Myers, Florida, Edison Ford horticulturists and volunteer Master Gardener Bob Soter are experimenting with sunflowers in the Edison Ford Organic Heritage Garden.


The project will determine which varieties of sunflowers will grow and thrive in southwest Florida.  Five varieties from the Edison era will be tested from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

Once the flowers bloom, visitors will have the opportunity to:

  • take a photo in the garden with the flowers
  • purchase the seeds and blooms at the Edison Ford Museum Store
  • and enroll in a workshop and learn tips and the results of the project

The sunflowers are expected to bloom in November.

To order heritage seeds from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Garden Shoppe, click here.

Happy Birthday Edison Ford Organic Heritage Garden!

The Edison Ford Organic Heritage Garden, located in the Edison Research Gardens, is officially one year old in October!

Throughout the year, the garden has produced a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables similar to ones grown over 100 years ago by the Edison and Ford families.  The garden had a successful summer harvest of peppers, okra, basil, long beans and several varieties of squash and eggplant.  Currently staff and volunteers are planting several varieties of tomatoes, broccoli radishes, arugula, peas, cabbage and lettuce for harvest in the fall.

Most of the plants are grown from seed in the Edison Ford Propagating Nursery with the support of Master Gardeners and horticulture volunteers. Visitors to the Edison Ford are encouraged to visit the garden and register for monthly “Edison Ford Garden Talks.

Edison Ford fruits and vegetables, as well as heirloom seeds, plants and garden supplies are available for purchase in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe and on Thursdays at the Fort Myers Downtown Farmers Market.