Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Trip to the Florida Keys - Key West

I thought I'd share some photos of my trip to Key West, Florida. Key West is the western and southernmost island of the Key Island Chain, extending from the tip of southern Florida. It is small with a very cosmopolitan and diverse population of approximately 25,000 people. It is also the southernmost point of continental U.S and is closer to Havana, Cuba than to Miami.

Every view is a postcard on this island. Especially beautiful is the architecture, perfectly preserved elegant dwellings from the mid to late 1800s:


The housing style is a mixture of Victorian, Caribbean and New England styles all blended and painted in pastel shades. The look has been replicated in many new dwellings on the island so well that it is literally impossible to distinguish them from older, renovated houses:

Most of all, I love the gardens. Vibrant spaces overflowing with traditional eye-catching tropical growth, such as poincianas, coconut palms, orchids, travellers's palms and frangipani dominate the cityscape here (such a nice change from Australian tropical gardens of a similar nature being replaced with tufts of native grasses and other nondescript shrubs).

(If anyone knows what the beautiful shrub on the right is, please let me know)

Bougainvilleas spill out onto the street


Poincianas abound and really add to the beauty of the place:

I love how every space is utilized for gardening - such as the sidewalk. In fact, many places with great gardens are those which do not have a lot of space - people are forced to be creative and the lack of space forces you 'into' the plants, to walk past them, brush against them, and have their perfume 'forced' upon you - rather than admiring them from afar behind large sections of clipped lawns. It allows for a far more active interaction with plants. The small setbacks of the houses results in a vibrancy sadly missing from the spacious lawns in the suburbs:



The above picture was taken while flying past the highway to Key West on a bus (hence the power lines). Nonetheless, the scene is stunning. I can't think of a more pretty site. There are lots of traditional plants to see and great gardening design ideas to be taken away from the Keys.

Cheers

3 comments:

  1. Last shot, that scene is perfect. I NEED to find out what type of tree that is. The blood red leaves or petals, are stunningly beautiful...

    -Carlos Hernandez
    Tree Removal New York

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing pictures from your trip Adam. That is such a wonderful place... lots of beautiful plants and wonderful houses. Btw I think the houses look like those in Fremantle. no?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoy the scene. It looked so relaxed and calm.
    Feels like all the red trees and plants gives a warm cool tropical garden holiday look.

    If I'm not wrong - the plant look so much like Spicy Jatropha.
    I have one in my garden. (the pic. here is not clear and so - I might be mistaken)

    ReplyDelete

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