Bonsai and Butterflies: A Visit to Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Want to see some beautiful flowers?  Heathcote Botanical Gardens is a ‘must see’ when you visit the Treasure Coast.

We decided we needed to see what all the fuss was about and weren’t disappointed.  Let’s go on a garden tour!


I expected the traditional botanical gardens fare during our visit, you know…lots of banana trees, exotic orchids and a few large jade and aloe plants.   I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Heathcote had so much more.



Heathcote is well known for the James J. Smith Bonsai Collection, the largest collection of tropical bonsai in the U.S.


This photo just doesn’t do the incredible complexity of this plant justice.  Click on the link above to see some better photos.  There were over 100 bonsai trees present in the garden.  Bonsai is truly an art form and James J. Smith is a Bonsai Master.  The Gardens offer quite a substantial educational program.  Fortunately, Bonsai is one of the courses available to the community.  I just might take a class sometime!


A meandering trail led to the Japanese Garden’s water lily pond.




There is, of course, a Tropical Garden.

I think this was Rob’s favorite place, full of palms and other plants that seem so exotic to those of us from the Great North Woods.  It’s much cooler under the shade of the palms.  Darkness made it hard to get good photos, so just sit a minute on the bench next to me and let’s just enjoy the reprieve from the heat together.


Of course I made friends with the Garden’s resident kitty.

He seemed to be having a slow-motion match with a tail-less lizard.

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Don’t despair.  The lizard was still there an hour later, sunning himself on the bricks, forgotten by the kitty.

The Butterfly Garden was true to it’s name.



I’m drawn to the blooms as much as the butterflies!

At this time of year, it seemed like everything was in bloom at the garden.





I hope you enjoyed this little virtual garden tour.  It sure was a pleasure bringing it to you!

To see virtual tours of the Garden, click here


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