Naples Botanical Garden will be one of only two centers in the world for every registered cultivar of plumeria. Creators of registered plumeria are bringing samples to the International Plumeria Society of America (PSA) annual meeting in Texas this month for inspection and shipping of plants and cuttings.
Carolyn Miller formerly worked at Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens at Kauai, Hawaii and is the curator of collections at the new garden. Until the 1970s, few were cultivated in the U.S. outside of Hawaii. Florida’s climate is ideal for plumeria. Plumeria are a landscaping challenge because they are dormant three to four months a year, just bare sticks in the ground. In this garden they will be an understory tree to silk floss trees, which bloom in the fall when the plumeria are dormant.
The 170 acre development will be complete in November and will have three major gardens, a birding tower, a River of Grass swale and walkable preserve.
The horticulture manager estimates the number of plants he and his staff have moved to be in the thousands.
The garden is planning a major public opening the weekend of Nov. 14th. In January a research building project with Florida Gulf Coast University will open and two more gardens, a Florida Garden and an Asian garden will be complete in 2010, adding 20 more acres.