Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The serenity of gardens and the art of bonsai

Amy Dahan, Adina Lerhman, Robin Hicks-Connors,
Patrick Giacobee and Gary Guertin on location at
Heathcote Gardens, Fort Pierce, Florida.
Lately it seems that Talkin’ Tourism has been spending lots of time "in the bush."  But this time, the bush was  the beauty and serenity of Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Host Gary Guertin shared with listeners that on his recent visits to The Retreat in Nassau, Bahamas (headquarters for the Bahamas National Trust) and Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre (also located in Nassau), it was fascinating to walk the garden paths, which led from one “room” to another. In Radio Man's (Gary's island name) words: "You could pretend that you were anywhere in the tropical world!"  With co-host Robin Hicks-Connors (aka History Lady) back on the show, the radio duo enjoyed walking colorful gardens from around the world in along Florida's Treasure Coast.

Leading the botanical charged episode was Amy Dahan, the director of  Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Amy is passionate about what she does, and she shared the colorful history of the gardens, illustrating with words how it evolved into what it is today. Laying claim to fame for one of the largest bonsai collections in the world by a single bonsai master, James J. Smith, Heathcote’s bonsai curator, Patrick Giacobbe dazzled the show's hosts with his knowledge of the art of bonsai gardening. If you listened in, you learned along with Gary and Robin that the art is indeed “bonsai” not “banzai,” as in Banzai Pipeline.

Adina Lerhman, Heathcote education coordinator brought back shades of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s with her knowledge and passion for all things organic. Yes, Heathcote has a Community Garden but what is done with the produce? Is tilling the soil bad? If yes, why? Even if you are not a plant fan, you should find the answers to these questions pretty interesting.

Bahamas Updates were covered, along with some great Treasure Coast activities, including  the Martin County 5th Annual Reef Builders Fishing Tournament and Lionfish Round Up, as well as the Hobe Sound B-B-Q festival.

Last but not least, the show had an unexpected caller, who was involved with Heathcote Nursery back in the earliest of days. Normally call-ins aren't taken, but this was an exception. Benjamin made the show with his first-hand recollection of working with the nursery and the Crimmins family, who founded the nursery many years ago. Many thanks to Benjamin for calling in.

For a look at Heathcote Botanical Gardens, be sure to check out this week's photo album, which is below!

For your listening pleasure, here's the audio file of this episode.

See you on Friday for another edutaining edition of Talkin' Tourism.

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