From Richard Times-Dispatch: Thousands of visitors walk the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden each year to view the world's largest collection of palms and cycads. Now the garden has a big name in horticulture to add to its offerings – the American Orchid Society headquarters. Construction of a new greenhouse is under way to hold the massive orchid collection that is being transferred from the former location in Delray Beach, Fla., to Coral Gables.
Fairchild prides itself on "exploring, explaining, and conserving the world of tropical plants." The American Orchid Society's mission is to "promote and support the passion for orchids through education, conservation, and research." With similar goals, the marriage of these two horticultural heavy-hitters is built to last.
Located just a mile or two from the University of Miami and less than a half-hour drive from dozens of commercial orchid growers, Coral Gables boasts grandiose turn-of-the-century homes that have withstood countless hurricanes. Just 30 miles south in Homestead, Fla., Hurricane Andrew decimated the entire orchid industry in 1991.
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