May Events at Edison Ford



Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Janet Wilson, PR & Marketing Director

Photos: KIDding Around. Giant Spring Planter's Moon- Nighttime Walk. Edison Ford Garden Talk: Orchids. Join "Mina Edison" and "Clara Ford" for Tea. Scarf Art Workshop with artist, Marie Dyer. Memorial Day at Edison Ford.

Upcoming Events at Edison Ford

"KIDding Around" - May 2, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Bell Tower Shops
     Bring the entire family for FREE kid’s activities at The Bell Tower Shops. Join Edison Ford at the “KIDding Around” event on Saturday, May 2. Professor Pearce will be making the very popular “slime.” There is always something new to experience at this event. Other activities on-site include a bounce house, face painting, refreshments, and musical fun. Make sure to stop in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower and check out the collection of educational toys and books for young readers. Edison Ford Members remember to show your membership card to get your 10% discount. 

Giant Spring Planter's Moon- Nighttime Walk
● May 5, 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. - Meet at The Marina at Edison Ford, First Floor of Pinchers in the new Marina Room & Bar
     The gardens and historical buildings of Edison Ford look very different in the moonlight. Many plants come alive at night. Blossoms open and the perfumes are stronger in the evening.
     The Caloosahatchee will be the best viewing spot for the Spring Planter’s Moon on the water. The river seawall and the lily pond have just been restored, which will add to the beauty of the evening. The evening will begin in the new Marina Room & Bar on the first level of Pinchers, at The Marina at Edison Ford. Registration will be available at 7:30 p.m. and extend through 8:30 p.m. We suggest that participants arrive by 8:00 p.m. to enjoy the moonrise at 8:30 p.m. Registration may be done in advance by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 with a credit card number or you can email Leeanne at A maximum of 100 participants will be able to attend the moonlit tour. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $15.  Discounts for Pinchers will be given to those who pre-register before May 5.
     The tour will be led by Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist and members of the Historian Staff. Janice Schmidt, Garden Shoppe Manager and Horticulturist, will have a special Moonlight Garden Plant Sale set up in the courtyard between the Marina and Edison Ford for purchase of plants that night. The Marina Room will be set up with a full bar service and Pinchers will be open for dinner for pre-program dining. 
     Mina Edison hired Ellen Biddle Shipman, America’s first woman landscape architect, to install the Edison Moonlight Garden in 1926, when Henry Ford moved Edison’s first laboratory to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. This beautiful garden features white and variegated plants that are especially fragrant at nighttime. There is a reflecting pool to mirror the stars and the moon.

Edison Ford Garden Talk: Orchids, Easy Tips and Hands-On Workshop
● May 9, 10:00 a.m. - Museum West Porch
     Bring your orchids and a horticulturist will show you how to re-pot your orchid and you can purchase supplies and pots in the Garden Shoppe.
Orchids can be hugely successful in Southwest Florida if you have the know-how. They can also be a relatively carefree year round bloomer. Debbie Hughes, Edison Ford Senior Horticulturist and orchid specialist, and Janice Schmidt, Horticulturist and Garden Shoppe Manager, will lead the workshop. There will also be some very special orchids available for sale and just in time for Mother’s Day.
     There are a lot of reasons for the orchid workshop as a hundred years ago, Mina and Thomas and Clara and Henry planted hundreds of orchids in the trees in their two estates. Edison Ford has been managing and adding to their collection with great success and close to 500 orchids are located throughout the property.
   Participants will receive a 20% discount in the Garden Shoppe. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $10. (Pre-register by emailing, by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or register the day of class.)
     Note: Participants might want to park at the new Botanical Garden Shoppe entrance at the corner of McGregor and Larchmont. Look for the new walkway and a new wood pergola is coming. Enter through the bougainvillea hedge. Garden Talk: Orchids, Easy Tips and Hands-On Workshop 
Mother’s Day at Edison Ford
● Sunday, May 10, 2015
     In celebration of all the moms, Edison Ford will host several activities for Mother’s Day and some of them in collaboration with The Marina at Edison Ford, next door, through the Coconut Grove. Consider visiting, dining, cruising or just enjoying a cocktail on the Caloosahatchee River.

FREE admission for Moms on Mother’s Day at Edison Ford and discounts in the Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe and the Garden Shoppe.
• Morning and Afternoon Mimosas and lemonade in the Edison Coconut Grove, on the Caloosahatchee River. Cash bar provided by Pinchers, with tables in the shade to enjoy the river view. The public and Members can easily come through the marina gate for access. Tickets for Edison Ford may be purchased at The Marina at Edison Ford. Plenty of free parking.
• Pinchers will be hosting a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Adults $35; Children $15. For reservations call 239-245-7320. Menu items include a carving station of slow roasted prime rib, grilled salmon, eggs benedict with crab cakes and many other delicious items to choose from
• Mothers cruise FREE with Pure Fort Myers with a full price child or spouse ticket. Take a break and enjoy a relaxing experience on the river with your family. 

Join "Mina Edison" and "Clara Ford" for Tea 
May 19, 10:00 a.m.
Lecture Hall in Southwest Florida Water Management Building
     Just in time for Mother’s Day, the program will focus on our two favorite mothers, Mina Edison and Clara Ford. Both Mina and Clara were very interesting and forthright women.  They were both very positive influences in their husband’s and their family life. Mina and Clara were active in the garden club movement and understood the power of women as the right to vote and other women’s rights issues came to the forefront in the past century.
The program will include a short lecture by historian Nadia Kluesner on the lives of the two women; to be followed by a living history charrette featuring Mina Edison and Clara Ford (volunteers Jan MaGirl and Clara Schmidt). Refreshments will include hot and cold teas, and bakery items. 

Scarf Art Workshop with artist, Marie Dyer
● May 23 or August 29, 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
     Join Southwest Florida artist, Marie Dyer and create your own hand painted silk scarf. Known for her vivid floral and landscape paintings, Marie has been a featured artist at Edison Ford. Marie has taught Scarf Art workshops at locations throughout the New England area. Marie will teach a variety of techniques to inspire painters of all levels to create their own “one-of-a-kind” scarf. The scarves can be worn or used as art pieces for the home. Scarf Art classes will be held in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch or drop by the Banyan Café or The Marina at Edison Ford. To register call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or email her at
Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $80. (Cost includes materials and scarf).

Memorial Day at Edison Ford
FREE Admission for Veterans and their families
      Every Memorial Day the Edison & Ford Winter Estates honors veterans and their families with FREE admission from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., which includes a self-guided audio tour. Active military are admitted FREE to Edison Ford all year round. 

     Veterans and their families will enjoy an audio tour of the winter homes and gardens of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, the botanical laboratory, antique car collections and hundreds of inventions in the Edison Ford Museum. 
     Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. Current servicemen and women may also gain free admission by presenting an active military ID. 




Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Edison Ford is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. In 2014 the Edison Botanical Laboratory was named a National Historic Chemical Landmark.  For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at