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The 13th Annual International Orchid & Garden Festival

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Here in South Florida, orchids are extremely popular. Not only are they some of the most unique and visually stunning flowers in the world, but our warm and humid climate makes them well suited to thrive in our local environment. This is why we are able to grow them in abundance throughout our estate and is also the reason Evelyn Bartlett was able to collect them so prolifically.

To honor her collection, and accommodate local interest, we host an annual International Orchid & Garden Festival each spring. We are thrilled to once again present our annual International Orchid & Garden Festival on Saturday and Sunday, April 2nd and 3rd, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Festival welcomes orchid enthusiasts and plant lovers alike to vividly experience – and purchase – diverse, colorful and fragrant varieties of orchids, tropical plants, herbs, and fruit trees sold by local and international vendors from Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Hawaii.

This popular event will feature breathtaking orchid displays and over thirty exotic plant vendors from all over the world. Guests can also purchase and view attractive and unusual forms of garden art, and listen to gardening lectures from local growers. Guests can also enjoy a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments, as well as delicious food from local vendors.

Admission for this event is $12 per adult and includes both admission to the Orchid Festival and a self-guided grounds tour. Self-guided house tours are available for an additional $8 and children 12 and under are free. Discounts or group rates do not apply, and there will not be any guided house tours during the festival weekend.

We hope to see you and your loved ones at this year’s 13th Annual International Orchid & Garden Festival. To learn more and purchase tickets in advance, click here.

Ascend to Better Birding At Bonnet House

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Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have large, expansive gardens on our property. In fact, the Bonnet House estate contains five unique ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go birding.

Contrary to popular belief, birding is not a passive activity. In fact, birding involves actively listening to and searching for birds that you wouldn’t notice if you were just looking out of your back window. Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have the space for a variety of birds to visit and build their nests. This is why we do our best to educate guests about birding practices so that they can enjoy and identify some of these beautiful creatures.

On March 6th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, we will be hosting a comprehensive birding class that will go over a 10-step approach to identifying birds by their family groups, behaviors, field marks, plumage, habitat, and more. The class will include an informative PowerPoint presentation, numerous handouts that you can take home, a workshop activity, and a walk around the garden to look for birds.

If you are interested in taking this popular birding course, please be sure to bring the following items with you:
● Binoculars
● A field guide (can be provided to guests, if needed)
● Birding apps on your phone (optional)

Here at Bonnet House, we understand how popular birding is in the South Florida community. We hope that you can take this opportunity to learn something new, improve upon your bird watching skills, and maybe even see something new! To learn more and register for this course, click here.

Upcoming Classes & Workshops At Bonnet House

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It may still be the middle of winter, but Bonnet House is burgeoning with new classes and workshops! This February and March, Bonnet House is excited to announce a variety of interesting courses for those interested in art, wildlife, nature and so much more. From exploring the basics of calligraphy to learning how to paint stunning orchids, our workshops will leave you with a new skill or interest that you can be proud of for years to come.

Beginning on February 15th, Bonnet House will be hosting a five-week calligraphy workshop. In addition to learning about the art of calligraphy itself, participants will be taught the history of pen lettering and the importance of the hand-copying of great works of antiquity, especially the Bible, in the scriptoria of the great monastic houses of the Middle Ages. To learn more and register for this workshop, click here.

From February 25th – 26th, Bonnet House will also be presenting an orchid painting watercolor workshop. This two-day course will take place in our gorgeous gardens and will be taught by the very talented Karen Eskesen. This informative and fun workshop will be sure to help you improve upon your watercolor abilities and expand your artistic repertoire. To view the supply list for this course, and to register, click here.

Bonnet House is also pleased to offer a six-week acrylic painting workshop starting on Thursday, March 7th. Guests will be able to join Fine Artist Bonnie Opie in the historic Bonnet House gardens as she goes over the basic principles of acrylic painting. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to take inspiration from our vast gardens while learning a new artistic medium. To learn more about this six-week course and to register, click here.

Bonnet House is passionate about providing meaningful artistic experiences for interested individuals across the world. We hope that you can join us for one or more of our fantastic workshops and events. To learn more about our upcoming events, classes, and workshops, visit our events calendar.

New Speaker Series Announced At Bonnet House

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It is well known by many of our guests that the Bonnet House estate has an incredibly unique and fascinating history. From its ecological significance to its historic importance, this property and the people who lived here have captured the imaginations of countless visitors throughout the decades. For this reason, we are excited to be hosting a speaker series that will highlight some of the more interesting and unknown facts about the property, South Florida, and much more.

Our first lecture in this series will cover the gentleman who started it all: Frederic Clay Bartlett. Frederic Bartlett and his first wife, Helen, began construction on the property in 1920. But unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1925 when Helen died from breast cancer. After that, Frederic’s visits to Bonnet House became sporadic until 1931 when he married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. With this marriage, a renaissance occurred on the site as Frederic and Evelyn entered a prolific period of embellishing Bonnet House with the decorative elements that delight visitors to this day.

But despite all that took place on the Bonnet House property before, during, and after his marriage to Evelyn, Frederic did not live exclusively at Bonnet House. In fact, over the span of his 80-year life, he actually lived in more than 15 different homes! Each of these homes reflects on his various passions, artistic endeavors, and even his character.

In this fascinating lecture, we have invited J. Kent Planck to discuss the significance of some of the places Frederic Bartlett called home. This event will occur on February 14th, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am. This event will take place both in-person and virtually via Zoom. To learn more and register for this event, click here.

It goes without saying that the Bonnet House property would not be what it is today without Frederic Bartlett. We hope that you can take the time to learn more about his interesting life at this lecture. If you are unable to attend this event, we will continue our lecture series on a monthly basis with a variety of speakers & topics. To learn more, visit our events calendar.