The Bonnet House property was purchased in 1895 by Hugh Taylor Birch. While the property had already experienced over 4,000 years of Florida history at the time it was purchased, the state of Florida looked nothing like it does today. Although much time has passed, the Bonnet House property still encompasses one of the last examples in South Florida of a native barrier island habitat. We are fortunate to be one of the few places in Florida to include five distinct ecosystems and an abundance of native plants and wildlife.
These five unique ecosystems include the Atlantic Ocean beach and primary dune, a freshwater slough, the secondary dune which includes the house site, mangrove wetlands, and a maritime forest. To complement the natural vegetation, the grounds also contain a Desert Garden composed of arid plantings, a hibiscus garden, and the main courtyard planted with tropical vegetation.
Our stunning variety of tropical vegetation includes but is not limited to mangroves, saw palmetto, blue porterweed, wild coffee, bougainvillea, and plumeria. Bonnet House also showcases various blooming examples of orchids in our greenhouses and throughout the estate all year round.
If you are interested in learning more about our fascinating ecosystems, and specific plant varieties, we encourage you to participate in our Education Programs . Our Educational Programming enlivens our mission statement and supports Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards by offering onsite classes, field trips, and virtual lessons in Florida history, nature, art, and design.
● Integrate character education
● Involve hands-on activities
● Provide various choices of curriculum enrichment
● Conform to the National Trust for Historic Preservation curriculum guidelines
Here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we pride ourselves on providing unique and interesting opportunities for our guests to learn more about our estate, its owners, and Florida’s beautiful ecosystems. But none of this would be possible without our passionate and engaging volunteers. These dedicated individuals help us to educate guests, and care for our many species of plants. Our volunteers are truly the heart and soul of Bonnet House and they make all of our goals come to fruition.
Whether it’s everyday operations, special evening events, or gardening, Bonnet House couldn’t operate as it does without our team of volunteers. Volunteers have a variety of different opportunities to serve at Bonnet House. If you have any questions or wish to join our team of volunteers at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, please call (954) 703-2606 or click here.