In changing times garden design and practices have changed little by little at MBC.  One example is the raised beds constructed for the cycads in the 1990s. Their drainage was poorer than anticipated and many cycads did not thrive as well on these mounds as those planted at ground level. With one of the world’s largest cycad collections, many species planted at MBC are often new to horticulture.

With time we learned to fine-tune the planting process  and are now working on leveling off beds and trying to keep the area of the beds tight, allowing us to better maintain them while minimizing the use of herbicide.  Large mulched areas in full sun require a lot of labor  to maintain. Smaller beds with denser plantings are more efficient.

Nine new HOPE ­Public Interest Resource Center law student volunteers from the University of Miami came to MBC to help us with the hard work involved in removing rock mulch and reshaping some landscape beds.  The nine students were some of the fastest and fittest volunteers we have had.  They removed at least seven loads of mulch and sand from the bed that was configured.

After the project, the students took a walking tour of the property to learn about the plant collection and conservation work.

MBC is deeply grateful for large-scale volunteer projects. These projects make quick changes with long-lasting benefits.  Thank you UM-HOPE students!