April 2023: springtime in the gardens

My musings…

 Spring has sprung! Even down here in Miami where I feel like there’s really only one-and-a-half seasons: hot and hotter.

Having grown up and lived the vast majority of my life in the North, I am used to four distinct seasons, but when I moved to Miami, it perpetually feels hot to me, except for the four days a year it drops below 60 degrees. However, after having now gone through nearly two full spring seasons in South Florida, I can finally tell the nuanced differences in the plants from one season to the next, 65% humidity in winter versus 85% in summer, and February sunsets from August sunsets.

When we give tours, visitors often ask us what the venue looks like in different seasons so that they can plan their décor accordingly. While the venue generally looks the same throughout the year (with the exception of any improvements we do), and most of our plants are consistently lush no matter the month, there are some variations that remind me of the time of year we’re in, which I’ll happily accept given that half the time I’m too busy to even know what day it is!

One of my favorite parts of the whole venue is our Pseudobombax ellipticum, better known as the Shaving Brush tree, because the flowers it sprouts look like shaving brushes. When we first moved onto the property, we thought this massive, knotted tree was dead. It didn’t have any leaves or buds, and we were worried we’d have to chop down the monstrous deciduous. Fortunately, seemingly overnight, the tree started sprouting bright, alien-like pink flowers (the shaving brushes), a telltale sign that the tree was in fact still alive and that it actually goes through different seasons, unlike a lot of its tropical counterparts in the venue. During the summer and fall months, the Shaving Brush tree has large brownish green leaves, providing ample shade on hot Florida days. In the late winter, it begins to lose all its leaves, but it starts to sprout the pink flowers, which, because they are heavy, fall relatively shortly after they bloom, causing a pink, snow-like effect of flowers from mid-March through mid-April.

In addition to the shaving brush, the Odontonema callistachyum, commonly known as the Firespike lavender, takes on different looks throughout the year. In the spring and throughout the summer, these tall, leafy green plants sprout small purple flowers that form the shape of a cone on the ends of the branches. In the winter, the Firespike lavendar serves as a more neutral backdrop given it loses its vibrant flowers in the cooler months.

Finally, our Acalypha wilkesiana, also known as the Copperleaf, has a subtle variation from the cooler months to the warmer climate. In the spring and summer, the reds of the Copperleaf are incredibly vibrant, while in late fall through winter, it’s a more muted, brownish red. The varied versions are nice since fall and winter weddings and events often have slightly darker color palettes.

If you couldn’t tell, we love plants, and our venue wouldn’t be what it is without the myriad of foliage running throughout the whole space. Later this month, we’ll celebrate the two-year anniversary of when we broke ground to start construction on the venue, and in the past two years, we have planted well over 1,000 plants.

Enough for now about plants! Let’s get into the updates around the venue.

Updates for TheGoWM…

This month, we plan to:

  • Continue hosting regularly scheduled open houses and tastings on Sundays at 11:00am (check out our schedule)
  • Continue to work on some of the projects we have around the venue, such as the Live Oak Bar and the Woods Tribute Library, both of which are almost done
  • Launch our new website along with some amazing resources and materials for party hosts and engaged couples!
  • Revamp our preferred vendors list + resources to help booked clients more easily navigate wedding and event planning
  • Create an inventory of the décor and rentals items available to booked clients who use our in-house rentals
  • Brainstorm ideas for hosting more community events in 2023
  • Get our Pinterest page back up and running

Our Asks…

This wouldn’t be a community space without the help from, well, our community! If you can assist us with any of the following, we’d greatly appreciate it.

  • If you have been to our venue and enjoyed your experience, a review for us would go a very long way! If you feel inclined, these are the sites on which we get the most traffic: Google, Wedding Wire, and TheKnot.
  • Please subscribe to this monthly newsletter if you haven’t and share if you like what you read!
  • Please follow us on our social media pages: Instagram (@thegardenswm) and Facebook.
  • Please engage (share, like, comment, save) with our posts on social media.
  • Help us brainstorm events we can host in our space outside of private parties (e.g., wellness events, art galleries, concerts, gaming events, etc.).
  • Book a tour if you’re in the area and would like to see our space!

Thanks for tuning in this month!

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor