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Kanapaha Spring Festival, Gainesville, FL

Permanent Linkby RichardDevine on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:00 am

This past weekend was exciting – and very satisfying. Rita and I, and our daughter and grandchildren went to the Kanapaha Garden Festival in Gainesville, FL. This is an annual event at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens that draws thousands of gardeners to see all sorts of garden related offerings to embellish their homes. You can find all kinds of plants, from orchids to house plants to native plants to shrubs and perennials. There is also a great selection of tools and garden ornaments. Booths can also be found supplying all kinds of environmental and conservation information - and even some fine arts and crafts. One of the highlights is plant auction. And… there is plenty of good food.
We roam the booths every year in search of unusual plants for our garden. Our garden is pretty well filled up by now and we have to particularly choosy because there’s little space left – mostly just for perennials to tuck in here and there…unless we (usually I) find a plant that I just can’t live without. That happened Saturday. We had just arrived and stated looking through the first couple of setups and I noticed a woman nearby, clutching an instantly recognizable plant in her arms. My daughter, Tanja, and I rushed over to her and asked where she had gotten the plant. She pointed the way and we rushed over to the vendor. There we found it. Pieris japonica – Japanese Andromeda. Quite rare in this area. Nurseries just don’t carry this plant here in Florida. I had found two a number of years ago at this same festival and snapped them up then. They’ve been happily growing in my garden and have tripled in size. Doing very well. I love that plant. So, when I saw it I immediately bought two more.
Japanese Andromeda is an evergreen shrub that produces the loveliest racemes of white to pink bell shaped flowers in early spring – here in Florida. Then, the new growth, which can be anywhere from light green to pink to red, depending on variety, emerges everywhere on the plant, making a simply beautiful spring display.
Last edited by RichardDevine on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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