Heathcote Botanical Gardens

At Florida’s Heathcote Botanical Gardens, you can discover 30 different species of bonsai represented in the 10,000 square foot James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery with over 100 trees ranging from a Silver Buttonwood bonsai (estimated to be 200 years old) to a unique, twin-trunk Jaboticaba bonsai.

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All of the bonsai trees are native to the region and come from the Bahamas, Brazil and Madagascar.

These trees were a gift to Heathcote from the late James J. Smith – an internationally renowned bonsai master who was admired by many bonsai students and artists.

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James J. Smith became an internationally recognized expert on bonsai after learning from some of the most famous bonsai masters in the world. Today, the bonsais are carefully cared for by Tom Kehoe, who was undoubtedly Smith’s most devoted bonsai art student.

For the second year in a row, Heathcote’s Tiger Bark Ficus Bonsai (also known as the Golden Gate Ficus) will be featured at Disney Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival from March through June in the World Showcase Japanese Pavilion where over one million visitors will attend the festival highlighting the name and location of the garden.

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Other gardens at Heathcote include a Japanese garden, Reflection Garden, Rainforest Display, Native Plants Garden, Herb Garden, Children’s Garden plus a Palm & Cycad Walk. Experience Heathcote via a self-guided tour map (groups can schedule guided tours). Visit Heathcote online for details.

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St. Lucie

St. Lucie is home to the historic city of Fort Pierce, a vibrant city of Port St. Lucie with gorgeous beaches, 120 miles southeast of Orlando and 115 miles north of Miami.

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The area offers an array of things to do including beach time, championship golf, nature adventures, a thriving arts and cultural scene, world class fishing and unique attractions.

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