One of the most remarkable things about Florida is how well plants thrive here, hence there’s always something in bloom. Several flowering tropical trees peak in June, but the month also belongs to the water lily. McKee Botanical Garden boasts the largest collection of nymphaeaceae in the state according to its horticulture and research director Andreas Daehnick. From McKee’s formation in the 1930s, the water lily collection in their exotic jungle milieu has been the garden’s pride and joy. Its founders commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architecture firm to design the 80-acre layout including picturesque ponds for water lily specimens from around the world. Today it features hundreds of potted and free-range water lilies with more than 80 species and varieties such as the giant Victoria amazonica and the nymphaea immutabilis, a rare, large lily from Australia. This year the collection received a much-needed spring cleaning, which involved labeling new plants, repotting existing specimens and implementing new soils and fertilizer techniques. It has also been reorganized by lineage, which spans from the early 1900s to recent acquisitions. The garden staff is happy to share its knowledge like which varieties perform best in South Florida with home gardeners. Begin by touring the stunning blooms and attending workshops at the annual Water Lily Celebration on June 15.
350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach; 772.794.0601; Click here
As Broward County prepares for the grand reveal of the guitar-shaped, $1.5 billion Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in fall, Fort Lauderdale’s hospitality scene is exploding with other new and renovated properties. The Pelican Grand Beach Resort and the Atlantic Hotel & Spa fully remodeled guest rooms and suites. The former introduced a new category—luxury suites—as well. The Escape, the city’s first year-round resort (and first on the beach with a pool, a big deal back in the 1940s), is being renovated and rebranded as the Gale. The sister property to the original in South Beach, the 96-room destination will offer luxury amenities far beyond a pool this time around. Hipster hangout Flagler Village and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will receive gleaming hotels, too. Four Seasons fans are looking forward to 2020, when the brand’s fifth Florida location opens. The 130-room hotel will feature two restaurants, a spa and beach butlers.
Like a culinary camp for adults, the Regional Kitchen & Public House released its summer lineup of tasty events. Chef Lindsay Autry is feeling the call of the South from fried chicken to a pig pickin’ party, but first the James Beard semifinalist is off to the races. On June 8, she hosts a cocktail reception timed for the third leg of the Belmont Stakes. Diners can snack on tomato pie burgers and sip Belmont Jewels, the New York race’s official lemonade libation. A variation of an Arnold Palmer with pomegranate juice instead of iced tea, the drink’s spiked with Woodford Reserve bourbon and garnished with orange zest. Later in the month, Duckhorn Vineyards from Napa swoops in for wine flights paired with special bites.
651 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach; 561.557.6460; Click here
Missoni x Castañer’s casual-chic footwear collaboration is among summer’s must-have wardrobe. Hand-crafted by Castañer in Spain and signed by Angela Missoni, 15 wedges and espadrilles for men and women come in the luxury Italian knitwear collection’s signature patterns and a range of colors from neutrals to rainbow brights. Key looks include Castañer’s Andy platform with Missoni’s logo printed on the toe in the form of a cross—a reference to their partnership. The Pablo, a men’s leather and jute flat, is available in ikat and zigzag. Miami boutique Antidote exclusively carries the Romy, a women’s pointy-toe slide in multi-colored canvas with ankle ties pictured here. It hosts the collection’s launch party tonight at Life House Little Havana boutique hotel (528 SW Ninth Avenue, Miami).
We’ll see you next week with even more of South Florida’s places to go!