Heathcote Botanical Gardens  LbNA # 53030

OwnerThe Little Chick FL    
Placed DateApr 14 2010
CountySt. Lucie
LocationFort Pierce, FL
Found By Me N The Wiz
Last Found Mar 7 2011
Hike Distance?

Heathcote Botanical Gardens started as a 3.5-acre site increased to 5 acres, and is now in the works to be a beautiful 65-acre site that includes a lake, canals, a fitness course, and an extended botanical garden. It is open Tuesday thru Saturday 9 to 5. Sunday it is open 1 to 5 PM. It is 2 blocks east of US 1 on Savannah Road in Fort Pierce.

There is a $6 entry fee for adults, $5 for seniors, and $2 for ages 6-12 years. As you enter you will be given a map of Heathcote to help you in your search for the letterbox. While you are reading the directions for the letterbox look at the map that says, “Walking Through the Gardens.”

§ Walk thru the Gift shop and look up and right. You will see a large Podocarpus gracilior tree (often used in hedges). This tree has a long gray beard, Spanish moss hanging from it.
§ Take a right and keep your nose to the ground as you make your way thru the aromatic herb garden. See if you can find the Allspice tree. Yes, these leaves smell like you should be making some pumpkin pie. Pick a leaf, from the basket on the tree, bend a leaf, smell the aroma, and please return it to the basket so others can enjoy the smell too.
§ Go through the arbor to return to the starting point. On the left, as you approach the gift shop look up at the Pony Tail Palm, with its shaggy head of “hair”. This is not a palm at all-but is a member of the lily family.
§ Walk by the gift shop and at the bench take a sharp left or go west, towards the palm walk. Walk through the palms, bromeliads, and cycads until you find a bunch of ladies standing in a group. These fine groups of palms are Lady Palms. They are right across from a fern that looks like antlers, aptly named Stag Horn Fern. Continue walking north and go under the sea grape arch to the center lawn to find the Florida State Tree- Sabal Palm; this is an unusual 3-headed one.
§ On the edge of the Native Plant Garden, right behind you, you will find the Pitch Apple or Autograph Tree. Sign in please! Write your name on one of the leaves and it will last as long as the leaf lasts on the tree. This is good graffiti. Continue north or straight on to the Kid’s Garden.
§ Right beside the Chickee Hut (Thatch Roof) and behind the Kid’s Garden is a Phoenix reclinata. Don’t touch! There, are sharp spines on the fronds that are no fun to deal with.
§ Move just north of that to the Pioneer House (an 1880’s replica homestead). On the west or left side of the house is a Strangler Fig that is choking the Sabal palm. A tiny fig seed started this, by landing in the boot of the Sabal Palm (the host tree). It will eventually kill the Sabal if not removed.
§ Move to the front of the house or Heathcote Office Building and to the right, you will find the entrance to the Japanese Garden. Go thru the curtains and look for the teahouse. Walk the upper path by the waterfall until you find the Dwarf Buddha Belly Bamboo. This bamboo gets a bigger belly when stressed by dry conditions. Bamboos are the fastest growing grass plants in the world.
§ Walk down the steps to the huge Avocado Tree right in front of you. Yes, indeed this tree does bear much fruit.
§ Walk south on the sidewalk past the bamboo area.
§ Continue south or straight towards the Persian carpet area. You will pass by a pretty tree called Mandarin's Hat or the cup and saucer plant. Take a good look-the blossom does look like a pretty red teacup and saucer plant.
S Continue straight on the sidewalk.
§ Take a left and go thru the gate into the Reflection Garden.
§ Follow the pavers around to the bench where you will see a lovely pool. Just behind the pool is a beautiful Variegated Golden Dewdrop.
§ Have a seat and look over your shoulder for a cement block. Your treasure lies there. Please replace it carefully. Go through the arbor to return to the starting point.
§ We hope you have enjoyed your visit to Heathcote. This was a quick glimpse, so feel free to look around some more at the beautiful plants and trees growing in this 5-acre oasis. Choose a bench and enjoy the quiet beauty of this place.