A sign on Sherry Coussens’ tree reads, “Life is gorgeous in the garden.” TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

From giant mahogany trees to aquatic gardens, five private Keys properties are set to showcase their beautiful island garden-style homes as part of the 40th Garden Walk. 

Coussens’ property is one of five in this year’s 40th Garden Walk. TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

On Saturday, Feb 15, the Garden Club of the Upper Keys is inviting garden gurus, landscaping fanatics and the public on a tour that begins at MM 90, bayside, and ends at MM 103, oceanside. Gardens such as the attendees will visit first on the tour have come a long way since Hurricane Irma. With eight palms and more than 60 plants, owner Sherry Coussens said  her property has undergone a complete transformation. 

“It was a true mess following Irma,” she said. “We had a lot of stuff that was destroyed. We gutted the entire yard and replaced everything except the palms. We kept the crotons and one fire bush. Everything else was completely changed and reconfigured.”

Stop 3 in this year’s Garden Walk was part of the set of the TV series Bloodline. TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

The Garden Walk’s second stop will descend upon a property at MM 89, bayside. With 13 native Florida palm trees, attendees will view an elegant portrait created by a highly skilled south Florida gardener.

From there, the tour will stop at a property not too far away that was used during the filming of “Bloodline.” The residence, which sits on an angle on two lots, features a variety of plants including copper plant, bottlebrush and locust berry.

‘Bali Hai’ is a lush garden oasis in Tavernier, complete with a bamboo-lined walkway. TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

Stop four brings garden walkers to a multi-acre property with more than 390 unique varieties of flora. “Bali Hai” contains large and rare specimens, with hidden pathways that meander through the property. View the Old Man Palm, strangler fig, Thai beauty bamboo and more. Most plants on the property have QR codes that link to information about the plant. 

The fifth and final stop brings garden walkers to a Key Largo property at MM 103, oceanside. With aquatic features and murals, the property contains a beautiful young garden and glorious gardens. 

“There’s something for everyone to see during this year’s Garden Walk,” said Patti Graham, Upper Keys Garden Club publicity director. “People can go on this fairy tale tour with five properties that contain beautiful gardens.”

Tickets are on sale in advance for $30 or on the day of the event for $35 (cash or check) at Francis Tracy Garden Plaza, MM 94, bayside. Advanced ticket outlets include Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, MM 106, bayside; Wear with All Boutique, MM 101; Key Largo Florist, MM 100; Island Home Nursery, MM 88.7; Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, MM 87.1; and Wild Lily Boutique, MM 82. 

 The Garden Walk kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m. Tours are self-guided and Garden Club hosts and hostesses will be on hand to answer questions. No pets are allowed on garden properties. 

The Garden Club of the Upper Keys will also host a complimentary tea party at the Francis Tracy Garden Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. An art show and garden market featuring vendors will also be on hand. 

More information is at gardenclubupperkeys.org, via email at [email protected] or at 305-451-8137. 

The Garden Club of the Upper Keys is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster, promote, develop, protect and conserve the natural beauties of the Upper Keys through education and awareness.


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