While I was on vacation, one of my morning walks took me into a part of old Fort Laurderdale, Victoria Park. This neighborhood was built on what was originally a live oak (Quercus virginiana) hammock, and this tree is still dominant in the city's canopy. Hammocks are higher areas where a different set of species grow than in the vast surrounding wetlands. These were choice areas for settlement in early south Florida before so many of the wetlands were drained and filled, now very little of either eco-systems is evident in the city. When Henry Flagler was building his railroad down the coast of Florida, he wanted to route the Lauderdale portion through this hammock, but "the mother of Miami", Julia Tuttle, convinced him to take it further westward.
It appears that most of the houses in Victoria Park were built in the early decades of the 20th century. Many of the homes are attractive, stuccoed, one-story bungalows that have been added to and renovated over the years. As nice as the homes were, it was the landscaping that impressed this plant geek, and it was not just the species used, but how they were used. I like lush full gardens, even when they border on being over-planted, and this neighborhood had lush full gardens in spades.
There were several Plumeria around the neighborhood that assumed small tree proportions.
... as do other houseplants.
One house had pink pineapples planted near the driveway.
An apartment buildings on the edge of the neighborhood had a Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) growing behind it that easily cleared the four story roof line.
As I mentioned in a previous Florida post, my favorite palm, (one that gives me serious zone envy), is the Bismarck palm (Bismarckia nobilis), and I saw many fine examples on my walk.
There were also many fine examples of my new infatuation, the royal poinciana tree or flamboyant tree (Delonix regia).
Not all the landscaping was good. The picture below was taken at a another apartment or condo building, so I feel comfortable saying this was likely a professional installation. Which makes me wonder why they would have left those two small strips of turf. This corner also makes me remember that rock necklaces look better on Wilma Flinestone.
On my next Florida post we will head south of Miami to a botanical wonder, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.