Page 1

Vol. 28 / No. 2

The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden

FALL 2012 / SPRING 2013

MESSAGE FROM ANN Change is a part of life — integral and inevitable. Gardeners know this better than anyone. Plants sprout, flourish and bloom! Gardens transform over time, ebbing and flowing with the rhythms of the seasons. The best-designed gardens are not planned for today, but for the future. Perhaps the fruits of the original gardener’s labors will only be truly appreciated by future generations. Change is part of The Kampong, as well. The Royal Palms that David Fairchild adored are no longer here, but beautiful new trees grow where those majestic plants once stood. Every hand that tends to our collections facilitates the growth of The Kampong into its next iteration, just as each one of you contributes to our growth with your passion and support. I hope as you think about The Kampong and our future, you will reflect on the beauty, the diversity, and the scope of our collections, the way they’ve grown throughout the years, and the myriad of ways they may evolve into tomorrow’s garden. You’ll think about new connections we might build in the community. You’ll consider opportunities to continue the legacy of David and Marian Fairchild and Kay Sweeney. Thank you for supporting the Kampong!

Push On, Ann B. Parsons Director of The Kampong

Bali Ha’i guests enjoyed a special evening, Cocktails & Caftans, the night preceding the main event.

The Kampong Board of Governors Chairman and President Peter C. Gardner, 2nd Vice Chairman of the NTBG Board of Trustees V.P. Finance and Development Federico Sánchez Associate Counsel – The Kampong William T. Muir, Esq. Chair, Education Anne MacDonald Korth


Members Marisa Fort Adams Georgette Ballance Pamela W. Cole Harriet Sweeney Fraunfelter, NTBG Trustee Dorothea Green Matthew Kujawa Michael N. Rosenberg, D.D.S. Katherine K. Scarborough Christiane M. Tyson

Kampong Governor Emeritus Douglas McBryde Kinney, NTBG Trustee and Chairman Emeritus Cyrus B. Sweet III, NTBG Trustee NTBG Chairman of the Board of Trustees Merrill L. Magowan Director and CEO, NTBG Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, Jr.

NTBG General Counsel Michael J. Shea Kampong Director Emeritus & Honorary Kampong Fellow Larry Schokman Honorary Kampong Fellow Colleen Schokman

Presented by

Lasso the Moon set the stage for Bali Ha’i, capturing the essence of The Kampong!

The Kampong Senior Staff Ann B. Parsons Director David T. Jones Curator of Living Collections Annemarie Furlong Executive Office Administrator Ann Schmidt Membership/Events Coordinator Kampong Notes is published seasonally. ©2013 National Tropical Botanical Garden All Rights Reserved

Cover Photo: Matt Stock/ Read about the unique photographic process Matt developed to create this photograph on page 10.

Photo Editor: Lynda L. LaRocca, Kampong Fellow Special thanks to photographers, Susan and Mike Stocker –, for Bali Ha’i photos on pages 2-4. David T. Jones – pages 5 & 6 Alejo Menedez – Back Cover

Graphic Design: 39design & ShareIdeas Printing: Print Pro Shop, Inc. Printed on recycled paper

Guided Tours of the Historic Home and Garden September through June Purchase tickets online or by phone Self-Guided Tours Monday-Friday by appointment 4013 S. Douglas Road Coconut Grove, FL 33133 Website: Email: Phone: 305.442.7169


Tucked away among two thousand species of botanical plants, overlooking Biscayne Bay, in the heart of Coconut Grove, you discover…

An afternoon of garden beauty, exotic spices, handcrafted cocktails and fabulous food. Celebrating its 19th year, Miami’s most anticipated garden party featured fine cuisine, stylish design and outdoor entertaining — at its best! Presented by

Bali Ha’i Co-Chairs Cynthia J. Seaman Jocelyn Tennille

Culinary Co-Chair Chef Norman Van Aken

Host Committee Peter C. Gardner Courtney Berry Edward T. Cutler Robin & Gary Fox Michael J. Fraser Gina Gardner Sara & Bing Herald Lucy & Arno Kutner Dinah & Sean O’Toole David Ragnow Lisa Remeny Robin & Douglas Tisdahl

L-R: Bali Ha’i Co-Chairs – Kampong Fellow Jocelyn Tennille, Chef Norman Van Aken & Kampong Fellow Cynthia Seaman with Chef Bee

Featured Guest Hutton Wilkinson

Thank you to our 2013 Sponsors

A sumptuous silent auction

L-R: Emily & Rob Ruwitch with Kampong Fellow Gina Gardner

L-R: Michael Murphy, Katie Murphy, Barbara Danielson, Margery Berger, Michaela Murphy, Lauren Ritzen, Kampong Fellow Jocelyn Tennille


Special Thanks to The Biltmore Susan and Mike Stocker, photographers Diamonette Royal Restrooms Jason Septic YML Cleaning Services James Kishlar, Kampong Fellow Plymouth Congregational Church Patrick Gleber

L-R: Adam & Erica Kutner, Sean O’Toole, Kampong Fellows Arno & Lucy Kutner, Dani Cooney, Daryl Kutner, Dina O’Toole

Robin Tisdahl (seated) high fives her husband, Doug

Hutton Wilkinson & Kampong Fellow Lisa Remeny

and Participating Restaurants Area 31 Azul Copperbox Dolce Italian Florida Cookery Ian’s Tropical Grill Jean Paul’s House Khong River House Lasso the Moon Norman's New World Cuisine Oishi Thai Shake Shack Tuyo and The Specialty Spirits & Wine Angels Envy Bacardi Bombay Sapphire East Dewar’s Highlander Honey Happy Wine Papa’s Pilar Piper-Heidsieck St. Germain Zyr and The Market Place Gurkha RocKat Slow Food Miami Spice Galore Teena’s Pride

L-R: Terry Buoniconti, Kampong Fellow Arno Kutner, Dani Cooney, Kampong Fellow Lucy Kutner

Chefs create lavish bites

We appreciate our volunteers who helped make this event special: Michelle Barros, Gail Beckham, Suzanne Boyer, Lisa Crane, Diane Dickhut, Sharon FitzGerald, Roselle Foster, Judy Hayes, Barbara Hobbs, Julia Johnson, Martha Kent, Lynda LaRocca, David Lee, Francescha Luthje, Tracy Magellan, Frances Parsons, Mary Rose, Candy Sacher, Peter Siegel, Sima Siegel, Monica Silva, Gail Silver, Joan Spector, Julie Spielman A shopper’s delight


THE WORLD AT OUR DOORSTEP: THE KAMPONG TOP SIX FOR SUMMER by David T. Jones, Curator of Living Collections The astonishing variety of plants – more than two thousand different species, varieties, and cultivars – is the hallmark of The Kampong’s living collections. Each plant displayed in the garden offers a compelling story about its importance to humankind. Here are six of our favorite plants. If you visit this summer, be sure to look for them.


(Petrea volubilis) This beautiful vine, native to lowland forests from Mexico southward to Brazil and the Caribbean, blooms in late winter and spring. The dark purple corolla of each flower drops off early, leaving behind the persistent, pale lavender, star-shaped calyx. The color and arrangement of the blooms, in dense, drooping inflorescences, suggests wisteria, an unrelated, equally spectacular vine of cooler climates. Queen’s wreath grows well on a fence, trellis or pergola, but can easily be maintained as a billowing shrub with proper pruning. Also known as sandpaper leaf, in reference to its coarse textured leaves, queen’s wreath is drought resistant and flourishes in the limestone soils of southern Florida. Purple and totally white (‘albiflora’) forms of queen’s wreath grow on the garden’s northern limestone wall and on a trellis in the courtyard.



(Persea americana)

Indigenous to Mexico and Central America and cultivated there for almost 10,000 years, ahuacatl was believed to possess mystical and aphrodisiac qualities. Thanks to Spanish explorers who “discovered” it in the 16th century, avocado is considered one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. David Fairchild, calling it “the veritable fruit of paradise,” helped to promote the commercial avocado industry in Florida through introductions from Central America and the creation of novel cultivars through hybridization, in the early 1900s. The garden is home to nearly 30 cultivars, some attributed to Fairchild himself who budded them on rootstock now nearly 100 years old. This late season cultivar, ‘Collinson’, an early local avocado hybrid of minor commercial importance today, helped to open fall and winter markets for Florida avocados by the 1920-30s.


(Ficus subcordata)

A magnificent strangler fig from the rainforests of SE Asia, Fairchild’s fig grows to over 100 feet in height and boasts an equally wide canopy of leathery, oblong, dark green leaves. David Fairchild marveled at a wild specimen he and Marian encountered on the slopes of a volcano in Central Java in 1926. His wish “to have the pleasure of walking under one on my own place” was realized in 1928 when he planted a seedling, grown from the seed of that very same tree, in a corner of the courtyard. Mistakenly believed to be an undescribed fig, it was originally named Ficus fairchildii to commemorate its illustrious collector. The Fairchild’s youngest child, Nancy Bell, was married under the tree in 1939, and numerous other couples have since taken their vows under the garden’s celebrated ‘Wedding Tree.’


(Hylocereus undatus)

Of uncertain origin but possibly native to Mexico and Central and South America, this climbing cactus is prized worldwide as a spectacular garden ornamental and intriguing fruit crop. Its fleshy, three-angled, spiny stems are equipped with aerial roots that attach to a support and allow the vine to climb. Showy, white, goblet-shaped flowers (up to 12” long) open at night, using their alluring fragrance (and pale color) to attract pollinating bats and hawk moths. The edible fruit, known commercially as dragon fruit or pitahaya, is a tantalizing, red-skinned berry studded with green ‘leaflets’ and filled with white, succulent pulp. A fine specimen grows on a column in the courtyard of the historic home. David Fairchild introduced a number of related species to the garden, including an edible, yellow-skinned pitahaya he collected in Colombia.


(Sabal palmetto)

Native to the southeastern U.S. and parts of the Caribbean, this iconic palm should be familiar to many. Besides being one of the most common native palms in the country, and one of the most widely planted, it is also the official state tree of Florida and South Carolina. This robust palm, with its solitary, smooth trunk and rounded canopy of fan-shaped leaves, attracts abundant wildlife which favor the tree for the food (flowers, fruits, seeds) and shelter it provides. Native Americans used the trunks in construction and the leaves to make thatch. Its terminal buds are still extracted and used in southern cooking to make “swamp cabbage”, a practice that kills the tree. A picturesque stand of planted specimens grows at the eastern end of the garden overlooking Biscayne Bay.


(Victoria amazonica)

This wondrous aquatic plant, with its huge circular leaves and one foot wide flowers, certainly lives up to its unofficial title — ‘Queen’ of the waterlilies. While not attaining these dimensions in the garden’s Lotus Pond, this cold-intolerant herb reaches its fullest potential in the backwaters of the Amazon River basin where it is native. The undersides of the leaves (pads) are an engineering marvel, with their network of thickened veins, lending structural support, and sharp spines to repel aquatic herbivores. Flowers, held above the water, change from white to pink over a two day period, reflecting changes in the development of the flower as nocturnal beetles feed on the floral parts, aiding pollination in the process. Growing giant waterlilies can be challenging due to their nutritional demands and need for high water temperatures year round.



L to R: Charles “Chipper” Wichman, Jr., NTBG CEO & Director; Graham Charles George Argent, Ph.D., Fairchild Medal recipient; Ann Parsons, Kampong Director

One of the world’s leading authorities on tropical rhododendrons, Dr. Graham Charles George Argent, was named the 2013 recipient of the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. The Medal was presented during an evening gala on Friday, February 1 in front of an audience of more than 120 Kampong Fellows, donors, and special guests. Throughout most of his four-decade career in tropical botany, including 26 years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Dr. Argent concentrated on the collection, research, and preservation of the heather family (Ericaceae), which includes approximately 4,000 species of berries, azaleas, heathers, and rhododendrons. He is considered to be the world’s leading authority on Vireya rhododendrons, sub-tropical flowering plant found at high Kampong Fellows Sukie Kuser & Harriet Sweeney Fraunfelter (Kampong Board Member)

elevations from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to Papua New Guinea and Borneo. Roughly one-third of the world’s 850 species of rhododendrons are Vireyas. Praising Dr. Argent’s contribution to plant exploration, NTBG’s Director and CEO Charles “Chipper” Wichman said, “Recognizing that the overwhelming majority of the world’s biodiversity, both discovered and undiscovered, is in tropical areas, and that life on earth hinges on this biodiversity, the importance of Dr. Argent’s work becomes quite evident. He has contributed immeasurably to a deeper, broader understanding of plant life.” We gratefully acknowledge Kampong Fellow Klara Farkas, who established an endowment in 2001 to fund the honorarium for this award.

Kampong Fellows Vivianne Swietelsky, Peter Sibley & Jeanne Nicastri


Kampong Fellows Susan & John Rothchild and Lin Lougheed

Kampong Fellow Judith Parker & guest Roger Webb

Kampong Fellows Laurinda Spear & Marisa Fort Adams (Kampong Board Member)

Michael Maunder, Ph.D., Florida International University and David Jones, Kampong Curator of Living Collections

Kampong Fellows Marianne Montoro, Andrea Rice & Irène Kaynor

L to R: Kampong Fellows Daniel Graeff; Sanjiv Desai; Courtney Berry; Peter Gardner (Kampong Board Member); Jill Penman; Matt Kujawa (Kampong Board Member)



THE TROPICAL BOTANY LEGACY This unique 3½ week-course engages students through a variety of in-depth learning opportunities. Classroom lectures in the historic living room and Kenan Lab are combined with extensive field trips through our collections, along with outings to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Montgomery Botanical Center and the Everglades. The dining room and classroom become extensions of the Kenan Lab as students examine plant specimens and record their observations. The Tyson Dorm in the Scarborough House provides excellent accommodations, giving students a true immersion experience in tropical botany at The Kampong. This course has been taught by Walter Judd, Ph.D. and University of Florida Professor Emeritus, since 1981. Over his distinguished career, Judd has published more than 150 scientific articles as well as one of the most widely adopted textbooks in the field, “Plant Systematics: a Phylogenetic Approach,” now in its third edition. Throughout his career, he has been at the forefront of integrating traditional anatomical approaches to understanding plant diversity with modern DNA-based techniques. He is also one of the world’s leading experts on Caribbean plant diversity, as well as on the heath and melastome plant families.

THE NEXT GENERATION Founded in 2009, the Barnyard Educational Program serves youth from the West Coconut Grove neighborhood through a pro bono afterschool enrichment program. The students come to The Kampong for two 6-week sessions during the school year. The focus of the program is to engage the children and build their knowledge of tropical plants, science, and art. The students have had cooking lessons to encourage healthy food choices and tasted a wide variety of tropical fruits. They have participated in yoga classes in the garden. Prominent local artists have donated their time to lead the students in artistic endeavors inspired by the landscape and encouraged them to experiment with different artistic media, textures, forms, and colors. These students have discovered a new love for tropical botany and appreciation for The Kampong, a beautiful garden in their own community. In fact, several have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in science or botany! A special note of thanks to Kampong Fellows Georgette Ballance, Diane Rosenberg and Maria Mejia.



The National Tropical Botanical Garden was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress in 1964 as a not-for-profit institution. The mission of the National Tropical Botanical Garden is to enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions.

HOW DID HE DO IT? Wondering how Matt Stock created the photograph we used for the cover? Matt shares the secret behind this remarkable cover photo: As an artist, I am captivated by the idea of bringing forgotten or underappreciated locales out of the shadows and into the limelight before they are lost forever. Images have the power to change the world and I strive to use my lens to give voice to causes that would otherwise remain silent. Come moonrise when the world becomes a dimmer version of itself, people tend to forget nature does not tuck in for the night. After seven years of research, I created a unique photographic process utilizing the applied mathematics and science of photography called “painting with light in the dark®”. I use various light sources to truly paint my subjects with light from up to one hundred different angles and then layer these exposures together into a final composition. My technique of “painting with light in the dark®” allows me to show my subjects in a new light, literally, and metaphorically. To see more of his award-winning work, please visit Matt’s website: or for commissioned work, call him 305-322-4422.

McBryde Garden

Allerton Garden

Looks like the perfect place to do your banking... Limahuli Garden

You choose the terms. 9-12 months. 1.00%*APY This offer is good for Fellows, Members and Staff of The Kampong only, contact Nancy Lorenzo at 305-447-5050 for special rate. *Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of May 23, 2013 and subject to change. Minimum balance required to obtain the stated APY is $20,000. Certificate of Deposit are subject to penalty for early withdrawal.

Kahanu Garden

The Kampong is one of five tropical gardens and five preserves of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.


4013 S. Douglas Road Coconut Grove, FL 33133 Website: Email: Phone: 305.442.7169

PLAN YOUR NEXT VISIT Enjoy a one-hour guided tour of The Kampong’s most celebrated trees. Hear the history behind the name “kampong” and other special highlights as you tour the personal garden of legendary plant explorer David Fairchild. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the Bay breeze following your tour.

Wednesdays & Saturdays beginning September 4 10:30AM-11:30AM / 12NOON-1:00PM Reservations required. / 305.442.7169 $20 per person / Kampong Fellows and Contributor Level Members are free.

The Kampong Notes  

The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Coconut Grove, (Miami), Florida

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you