Block Botanical Gardens
Miami’s Block Botanical Gardens indisputably evidences the art and science of nurturing nature. Located in an ancient oak hammock, a thirty-year dedicated emphasis on horticultural excellence complements its naturally rich, fresh-water Florida Everglades ecosystem.
Over a century ago, South Florida’s pioneers planted this gardens’ commercial roots as a mango and avocado tree farm. The land alongside historic Sunset Drive was cleared for homesites allowing “Sunset Grove” to be aptly named during the “roaring-20’s” real-estate boom in Miami.
This garden is extraordinary on so many levels; beginning with its owner; Dr. Jeff Block who has taken knowledge from his medical profession and applied those guiding principles to botanical health. Resulting from his knowledge of landscape design; not only is this garden filled with award-winning rare plants, but it is also visually spectacular! The specimens here are artistically displayed in an intimate landscape and nurtured to their greatest natural potential. The gardens feature brick pathways accessing dramatic plant groupings, many of which are notoriously challenging to grow in North America.
Much of Block’s success stems from his extensive understanding of a given unique plants’ optimal need for water, air, and light. In addition to a rare plant conservatory, two automated greenhouses efficiently develop seeds to specimens that are nurtured to nature’s highest standards. This gardens’ commitment to sustaining horticultural excellence supports and showcases the world’s most beautiful plants adapting to South Florida’s subtropical climate.
As a community thought leader and physician-scientist; the good doctor is a master gardener visionary who has contributed a generation of unparalleled experience developing high-quality, sustainable horticulture. Conservation friendly irrigation practices responsibly sustain Block Botanical Gardens’ extraordinary specimens. Ornamental wonders abound here; including internationally recognized orchid, bromeliad and palm tree collections. The gardens are home to the largest mature examples of two extraordinarily beautiful tropical palms: A rare Silver ‘Joey’ Palm, and the striking Lipstick, or Red Sealing Wax Palm.
Big trees are iconic. They grab our attention not just because of their size, but because of what they represent. Every tree tells a story of the events that occurred during its life, and big trees represent the breadth of these stories. These are the trees that withstood the natural world’s challenges and grew to remarkable sizes. With each passing year, these trees and the gardens that support them are things that effectively appreciate in value as they get older. Bigger trees clean more air, filter more water, sequester more carbon, save more on energy costs and help keep the environment healthy.
Block’s gardens include subtropical Florida’s largest Ceiba species, and the Country’s largest mango tree planted nearly 100 years ago that has weathered decades of tropical storms including the rare South Florida freeze. These giants are officially designated as the United States’ “National Champions” by both the Florida and United States Departments of Forestry.
As the namesake of Dr. Block’s consultancy emphasizes, through practicing the art and science of nurturing nature, Block Botanical Gardens’ custodial mission is to “Sustain subtropical ornamental plant specimens of extraordinarily high horticultural merit that compare favorably among the finest seen anywhere in the world!”