Heathcote Nursery History

Preserving Heathcote’s House

Yesterday, Today, Together

Heathcote Botanical Gardens’ origins date back nearly 100 years to a nursery in Scarsdale, New York. What began as a tropical and exotic nursery in the 1930’s remains a cultural, educational resource today!

Today, Heathcote house serves as the center of activity for programming, research, volunteer engagement and a meeting space for community members to help fulfill our mission. It represents our past as well as our future.

Preserving our Heritage at Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Heathcote House 1960

Heathcote House circa 1960

At the heart of Heathcote is its historical house, now serving as administrative offices.

Built by the late Dr. J.E. Leininger during the height of Florida’s land boom in 1922, it later became home to the H.H. Willis family and followed by the Carlton family. Mollie and Jim Crimmins, owners of Heathcote Nursery, called it home for more than 30 years. OC “Pete” Peterson, helped orchestrate its move from Delaware Avenue to its current location at Savannah Road in 1967.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens Mission

Heathcote House 2018

Heathcote House 2018

This gabled-roof home, with its storied past is nearing its Centennial Anniversary and needs our help.

Time and technology have overtaken the electrical system, which is sorely out of date. Vital repairs are essential to maintain compliance of safety standards and to ensure insurance coverage.

Other electrical needs include replacing outdated wiring and the addition of ample capacity to meet the technology needs of the 21st century both in Heathcote House and around the Gardens.

A benefit of this outcome ensures that the Gardens remain illuminated for the 2018 Garden of Lights.

Other interior and exterior work continues, including painting and the completion of wood rot repair exacerbated by Hurricane Mathew and Irma. Additional funds raised will be dedicated to the continued improvement of Heathcote House.


This historical jewel is at the heart of our true purpose… education.

We invite you to support our Summer Appeal and help restore this critical component of our operations.

Funds raised will allow us to continue our work to improve this treasured home and ensure that the house, along with the Gardens, will be here for generations to come.

Your gift makes it possible for Heathcote to remain the center of education, inspiration and the enjoyment of this treasured green heart of our community.

We hope you will join us in supporting this vital appeal for the electrical, as well as restorative needs to maintain this treasured house! There is no gift too small.

For details on other ways to give, please contact Diane Kimes at 772-464-4672.
Thank you!

31st Annual Garden Festival

31st Annual Garden Festival

Join us at Heathcote for the 31st Annual Garden Festival

Saturday October 20th, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday October 21st, 10:00 – 4:00 pm 

Mark your calendar! This year’s event has been moved ahead since it conflicted with other festivals and our preparation for the Garden of Lights.

This year’s Garden-Fest includes a variety of plant and flower vendors, garden supplies, garden arts & crafts, children’s activities, refreshments, demonstrations, entertainment and more.

Join us for our very popular annual garden festival and plant sale where you’ll find an exceptional selection of plants: Exotics, natives, tropicals, palms, orchids, herbs, garden art and accessories offered by vendors from across the state—children’s activities, food and more. Get advice, ask questions or stop by to chat.

Vendors you can look forward to seeing at this year’s event are:

Sponsoring an event at Heathcote

Our event sponsors help fund the Gardens’ year-round programs and furthers the organization’s mission to educate and inspire by providing a place of beauty and a resource for the conservation of our environment.

Your information will be listed in the program, on the website, social media and signage at the event.
1/4 pg. ad $50, 1/2 pg. ad $100, full page $200, inside or outside back cover $250

For more information on sponsoring events at Heathcote call: 772-464-4672
Email: dkimes@heathcotebg.org

James J Smith Bonsai Collection

The Bonsai Supply Visits Heathcote

Mari and Jerome from The Bonsai Supply, visited the James J. Smith Bonsai Collection at Heathcote recently.

They spent the day with our Bonsai curator Tom Kehoe, learning about Jim Smith and his Bonsai collection.

Enjoy footage of our treasured James J. Smith Collection, the largest public assemblage of tropical Bonsai in the country.

Pay special attention to the segment on repotting Bonsai. Enjoy!

Heathcote's Showdown on the Green golf tournament

Heathcote’s Showdown on the Green 2018

Golf Tournament Benefitting Heathcote Programs

Saturday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. shotgun

Four Member Scramble format
$75/individual, $275/Foursome

Held at Fairwinds Golf Course
4400 Fairwinds Dr, Fort Pierce, Florida 34946

Tickets available online at: www.HeathcoteBotanicalGardens.org/golf2018

1st, 2nd, 3rd and last place. Closest to the pin. Longest drive.

Continental breakfast, snacks & awards lunch, card & greens fees

For more information Call:772-464-4672

Sponsorship Opportunities

Presenting Sponsor $1,500

  • Two (2) Golf foursomes
  • Special announcement at the event
  • Recognition on Facebook Event
  • Recognition in all event materials, advertising and press
  • Recognition on event Sponsor Board
  • Display of advertising banner (provided by sponsor)
  • 4 Tee-Signs

Awards Luncheon Sponsor $750

  • One (1) Golf foursome
  • Special announcement at the event
  • Recognition in all event material
  • Recognition on event Sponsor Board
  • Recognition on Facebook Event
  • Your special signage at event (provided by sponsor)
  • 3 Tee-Signs

Golf Package $400

  • One (1) Golf foursome
  • Recognition in all event materials
  • Recognition on event Sponsor Board
  • 2 Tee-Signs

Friend of Heathcote Tee Sign Sponsor $60 or 2 for $100

Please email a high resolution (300 dpi) graphic or image to: info@heathcotebg.org

In the absence of a logo, a generic tee sign will be created with your business name.

  • 1 or 2 Tee-Signs




National Public Gardens Day 2018

Join the 10th Annual National Public Gardens Day in 2018!
Friday May 11, 9:00-4:00  & Saturday May 12, 10:00-3:00. The Gardens will showcase inventory of Heathcote’s own propagated plants and flowers. Enjoy COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSION to the Gardens to celebrate the important role our treasured green spaces play to enrich our lives.

National Public Gardens Day, an initiative of the American Public Gardens Association, is a day of celebration to raise awareness of America’s public gardens and the important role they play in their communities.

This year at Heathcote, we will have a selection of Heathcote propagated plants for sale and free admission for everyone Friday May 11, 9:00-4:00  & Saturday May 12, 10:00-3:00.

Mother’s Day: Sunday May 13th

Join us in honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of the women who raised us.

Free admission, all day, for mothers of all ages.

Red in the Gardens

The Gardens are looking lovely and there is a wonderful assortment of “red” (or close to it) throughout the grounds right now.

From the red Amaryllus in the parking lot, to the blooming Bougainvilla in the Bonsai Garden, there are many beautiful plants and flowers to find everywhere.

Fun Facts:

Guzmanija lingulata: The genus was discovered in 1802 and named after the Spanish botanist A. Gusman.
Amaryllus: Cultivation of amaryllis started in the 18th century. There are more than 600 varieties of amaryllis today. South Africa and Holland are among the greatest manufacturers of amaryllis in the world.

Philodendron: Always allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering.

Eucrosia bicolor: Native to Ecuador and Peru. This species grows very well in tropical climates. It was the first species of Eucrosia to be scientifically described, in 1816, and the first to be introduced into cultivation in Europe, flowering outside its homeland for the first time in 1817.

Crown of Thorns: Currently, all varieties are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in wild grown plants should be carefully monitored.

Billbergia pyramidalis: Commonly known as the Flaming torch, is a species of bromeliad that is native to Brazil, Venezuela, French Guiana, the Lesser Antilles and Cuba. When planted at the base of a tree, they slowly will climb the trunk.

Bougainvilla: The beautiful bougainvilla is listed as one of the top 10 flowering bonsai trees to grow. Discovered in Brazil during French Adm. Louis de Bougainvillea’s 1768 voyage, these plants were named in his honor.

Neoregelia Aztec: This tropical epiphyte thrives with humidity, often going two weeks without supplemental water.

Desert Rose: It has no thorns and it is totally unrelated to the rose family – it doesn’t really even look like one.

Hypertufa Workshop

Creating Serene Spaces

The Art of Hypertufa

Join Dr. Kendra Brown, Saturday, January 27, 2018 and learn how to create original art for your garden.

Hypertufa pots, with their rustic appearance, are uniquely suited to complement your garden, patio or porch. Made of cement, peat moss and perlite, they are both durable and light weight. In addition to being kind to plants, hypertufa pots create a serene environment ideal for Fairy Gardens, Meditation Gardens or easy Bonsais (all featured in this class).

Dr. Kendra Brown and her associate, Joyce D’Agata, have enjoyed the many positive responses to their previous hypertufa classes and are excited about teaching this new variation.

You will receive:

Wear gardening clothes, as this can be messy. Bring rubber gloves and a dust mask (Home Depot or Lowes). All other materials will be provided.

$45 members; $55 non-members.
*** Advance Registration required: 772-464-4672