The Gardens Newsletter


Last year in Atlanta, The National Garden Clubs Inc. Award of Excellence was presented by NGC President Renee Blaschke to Chris Pendleton, President & CEO of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, for her work in the dramatic transformation of this important historic and garden site. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs sponsored her and the Estates for their extraordinary achievements.

As one of the nation’s top ten most-visited historic sites, the tropical estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford include 25 acres with a dozen historic buildings, a large museum and dazzling old fashioned gardens full of important old trees, heritage plants, and riverside landscapes restored to 1920’s “old Florida.” The famous families kept diverse inventories of tropical plants including palms, citrus, flowering trees, bamboo, rubber trees, antique roses and the largest collection of naturalized orchids in Florida.

Today the historic landscape is not only thriving but garden staff and volunteers are propagating the old varieties, managing the site with organic and sound environmental practice, and introducing new ways to teach the public through botanical tours, garden programs, horticulture and floral design exhibits and a unique Garden Shoppe.

We invite you to visit soon and often. This newsletter shows some of the opportunities for group tours, workshops and activities that have been tailored to the interests of garden clubs as well as individual and family groups. Please call to arrange your visit or special group program.

Chris Pendleton, Estates President & CEO
Debbie Hughes, Estates Horticulturalist, Master Gardener and Garden Club Member

Tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

  • Estates Tour– Docent-led guided tour of the historic homes, gardens, and Laboratory and admission into the Museum. Cost: $16, with lunch $35 20 person minimum
  • Botanical Tour– Guided tour with horticultural staff through the historic gardens. Cost: $19, with lunch $38
    20 person minimum

Lecture & Garden Workshops

Designed for the beginner or the seasoned gardener, the Estates
horticultural staff offers a variety of workshops. Cost: $30
Choose from the following:

  • “Historic Herbs and Spices”
  • “Heirloom Roses at the Estates”
  • “Orchid Culture and Care”
  • “Container Gardening with Citrus, Herbs & Other Edibles”
  • “Heritage Trees & Restoring Old Gardens”
  • “Butterfly Gardening”
  • “Orchids and Bromeliads”
  • “Growing Roses in Florida”
  • “Restoration of the Gardens at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates”

    20 person minimum. Add lunch for an additional $15

To book any of these tours, call 239-334-7419