31 January 2020
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Nature lovers can tour the lush and lovely gardens surrounding four private Key West homes Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-29, during the once-a-year tours presented by the Key West Garden Club.
Set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, the exclusive tours give attendees a rare chance to discover examples of the plant-filled outdoor living areas central to the island’s easygoing, nature-oriented lifestyle.
Featured gardens, all within a 10-minute walking distance from each other in the exclusive Casa Marina/White Street area, were chosen to spotlight their unusual plants and landscaping. Locations are 1225 South St., 1101 Casa Marina Court, 1131 Johnson St. and 1028 Flagler Ave.
Garden Club docents are to be on hand at each stop, sharing detailed information with tour participants about the plants on display and other horticultural insights. In addition, each day a 10 a.m. talk is to be presented at the Johnson Street garden and a 2 p.m. talk is scheduled at the South Street location.
Tickets for the tours are $25 per person and can be purchased in advance at keywestgardenclub.com  or at  the club’s headquarters at West Martello Tower, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at 1100 Atlantic Blvd. On tour days, tickets can be purchased at the featured locations. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
The not-for-profit club has maintained and planted the garden in the ruins of the Civil War–era West Martello fort, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, since the 1950s. All plants are donated and cared for by club members and volunteers.
Today, the fort’s brick arches are the backdrop for elements including spectacular orchids and bromeliads, mature fruit trees, indigenous plants, a colorful butterfly garden, a white perfume garden, a prehistoric garden and a dramatic pool and fountain.
The site is open free of charge from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except major holidays.
Tour information and garden locations: keywestgardenclub.com or 305-294-3210
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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