Someone once said, “Good things come in small packages.” I may not be positive about who should get credit for the phrase, but I’m pretty sure he or she must have been referring to Key West.
Measuring just 7.4 square miles, there’s a lot crammed onto this legendary Florida paradise — from Ernest Hemingway’s house to Fantasy Fest to the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens to the daily sunsets, often met with a liquid toast.
Tucked away among the touristy attractions is one of the last free admissions on the island: the Key West Garden Club at West Martello Tower. Since 1955, the garden club, through strokes of luck and vision, dedication and hardwork in the tropical sun, transformed a Civil War-era fort into a walled garden filled with native and exotic trees and plants.
As visitors step outside of the entrance area, they’re in a world that is lush, silent, peaceful — and alien. It almost feels as if we are all Dorothy as she steps into Oz for the first time.
By the end of the tour, I was melted
By the end of the visit, it was time to return to the conveniences of our modern world — an air conditioned car — but not before one last smile.