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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
October 2016					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT "MEETING": Wednesday, October 19, 7:30 North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:

Next week Dottie Wright plans to share a video and her interesting insights on the Vizcaya Gardens located on the Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. After a short review of the website, thoughts of the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island came to mind except Vizcaya in many ways appears much more spectacular. The Director of the restoration efforts calls the Villa “the finest private house built in America”. The property incorporates renaissance inspired gardens, Italian architecture, statues and relics, a preserved semi-tropical forest, and thousands upon thousands of orchids into a marvelous blend that brings one back to the early 1900’s and the dream vacation home of one of the country’s business leaders James Deering of the International Harvester company. The grounds are designed as a series of rooms, the obligatory Secret Garden, the intimate Theater Garden, the playful Maze and others as they become restored. Two of the unique features are a carving of a huge barge with mythical creatures sitting in the water at the front of the villa and a manmade mound serving as the centerpiece to protect the inhabitants and guests from the reflection of the blaring sun coming off of the lagoon in the rear. Attendees will learn about the ways the formal garden was created using tropical plants/trees both native and imported, architecture, furniture and fountains, sculptures both old and more modern, the effects of hurricanes, and the interpersonal relationships and struggles that made this all come together with much of the work taking place around WWI.

Doesn’t it seem like a few days ago summer was here in full bloom? Now time to mark your calendars for the GOSV Christmas party at the home of Christine and Craig, December 11, starting at 2:00 PM. More details to follow.

Everyone seemed to enjoy last month’s program on fast pickling and we hope to hear about some interesting uses for all the bounty that was taken home.