KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Horticulture buffs can discover the restored Fort West Martello Gardens Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, during a unique guided tour and plant sale presented by the Key West Garden Club.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., both days, attendees can explore the oceanfront site at 1100 Atlantic Blvd. that has been the garden club’s headquarters for more than a half-century. The bricks and archways of the Civil War-–era fort are the backdrop for spectacular orchids and bromeliads, stands of black bamboo, indigenous plants, a peace garden and a dramatic new pool and fountain in addition to many other attractions.
Volunteers are to provide insights and information about specific areas of the lushly landscaped site, including those renewed and restored by club members after last September’s Hurricane Irma. Tour participants can learn about the plants in butterfly and fragrant gardens and an intriguing prehistoric garden, among others.
As well as celebrating the new incarnation of the West Martello Gardens, the weekend features a plant sale for those who want to renew their own gardens. Highlights are to include orchids from Soroa Orchids, herbs, native and exotic plants, garden club merchandise and orchid fertilizer balls that facilitate care of the lovely perennials.
Admission and parking for the plant sale are free. Tickets for the guided tour, which includes light refreshments, are available for a $5 donation per person.
The not-for-profit club has maintained and planted the garden at Fort West Martello, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, since the 1950s. All plants are cared for by club members and volunteers.
The garden site is Americans with Disabilities Act accessible and open free of charge from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except major holidays.
Event information: keywestgardenclub.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY