Frank Brown

Jeff Searle

Well-Known Member
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26/08/08
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A few weeks back and a couple of phone calls, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Frank and spending the day with him. Our plans were to spend a couple of hours talking and catching up on things and then have a good walk around his garden, then drive over to Anne Kaylor's garden and then finish up at Cleo's new retail garden nursery. I also asked him if it was alright to come back in a couple of weeks with some other croton friends for a visit, and to help in identifing some of the old crotons at the Hayward property. Frank and Anne both agreed and a date was set.
Frank had warned me that due to the past hurricanes and a couple of hard freezes, there wasn't many crotons left alive. He was right. My memories from my first visit there almost 15 years ago was far different from the way it looks today. Frank is now unable to do any of the work in his garden anymore, keep any plants fertilized or, replant any new crotons for that matter. But my main purpose for going was to enjoy our time together.

From Frank's house,we drove over to the town of Indialantic to meet the daughter of Walter and Mary Hayward. The Hayward Garden is mentioned in Frank's croton book and had always been a place to visit if possible.

The first pic. is showing the guard dogs that meet you at the gates. This is looking back.
 

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A few weeks back and a couple of phone calls, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Frank and spending the day with him. Our plans were to spend a couple of hours talking and catching up on things and then have a good walk around his garden, then drive over to Anne Kaylor's garden and then finish up at Cleo's new retail garden nursery. I also asked him if it was alright to come back in a couple of weeks with some other croton friends for a visit, and to help in identifing some of the old crotons at the Hayward property. Frank and Anne both agreed and a date was set.
Frank had warned me that due to the past hurricanes and a couple of hard freezes, there wasn't many crotons left alive. He was right. My memories from my first visit there almost 15 years ago was far different from the way it looks today. Frank is now unable to do any of the work in his garden anymore, keep any plants fertilized or, replant any new crotons for that matter. But my main purpose for going was to enjoy our time together.

From Frank's house,we drove over to the town of Indialantic to meet the daughter of Walter and Mary Hayward. The Hayward Garden is mentioned in Frank's croton book and had always been a place to visit if possible.

The first pic. is showing the guard dogs that meet you at the gates. This is looking back.

And good guard dogs they were! Every time Rob (Borgy230) got near the large Bimbo and two large Tiger Eyes, they took extreme notice. :rolleyes:
 
Here we are at the start of a very interesting tour through his garden. Lots of things were discussed, from mangos to crotons. We had to walk slowly and carefully due to Frank's recent hip fracture.
 

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After spending a couple of hours at Frank's house, we then drove over to Anne Kaylor's garden. Her parents were Mary and Walter Hayward, and owned this property where they had built the small original house and lived there for many decades. Anne told me that she recently moved from Winter Haven back to her childhood home where she grew up as a child and was in the final stages of putting on an addition and remodeling the inside, which was gorgeous. Anne is very serious about preserving the croton collection thats still there today in honor of her father and was excited about us coming over and trying to put some names to the plants.
 

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Jeff,

Could we have a meeting there for historical purposes? The Davis Estate would also be a thrill for croton nuts who love this plant's Florida history.

Ray

Ray,

I don't see why not. Sometime next year, I could call her and I'm sure she would be honored. As far as the Davis Estate goes, I doubt that there are many crotons left on the property. If there are any, they would be the extreamly common ones I'm sure. Bob Morgan, who bought the house many years ago from Ralph and was a friend, sold almost all the crotons off the property before he sold it. This all happened well over 10 years ago, so I'm sure many of these plants don't exist anymore. Chris Mayhew went in there many times he told me several years ago when Bob was still living there and bought cuttings from the Davis plants, which he is still growing and propagating today. That would be the closest thing to a " Davis Collection" I think around.
 
The first pic. is of the original, very small glasshouse that Walter built many years ago. Anne had just recently rebuilt the roof.

#2, A large Corypha umbraculifera palm on the property.

#3 & #4 Shots of the pool area in the back yard.
 

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After my first initial trip up to see Frank, I arrainged to come back a couple of weeks later but, this time Rob (Borgy), Ron (Moose) and Chris drove along with me. Then, Judy and Jim Glock drove over from Fort Myers to meet up with us.

#1...Everyone in the house was talking up a storm and asking lots and lots of questions.

#2...The Moose was silent and giving great respect to the "God Father", B. Frank Brown as he spoke.

#3...Leaning over the shoulder as he autographed someone's book.

#4...Judy and Frank, not sure if Judy was actually listening to what Frank was saying OR....if she wanted to be kissed by the legend.

And Jim (seated to the left w/ white T shirt), was barely staying awake while listening to some rap music on his Ipod.
 

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What a great adventure! Doc Brown is still looking spry given his age and hip situation. These types of threads are epic. It would make for a great article for the newsletter too. Who is the other gentleman in your photos?
 
What a great adventure! Doc Brown is still looking spry given his age and hip situation. These types of threads are epic. It would make for a great article for the newsletter too. Who is the other gentleman in your photos?

Bren,

I appologize to Chris for forgetting to introduce him as part of the bunch. Chris is actually the nephew of Henry Coppinger and has an excellent collection of crotons, including some of the last know plants from the Davis Estate.
 
Jeff, actually you mentioned I drove with you and if you eliminate everyone else in the pictures, dah dah, it's me. I thought I would mention several things about the trip. Jeff had told me and the others that Frank was particularly fond of mangos. Well we delivered on that account. He was very appreciative of the bags of fresh mangos and the dried ones he received. After Frank Browns' we went to Cleo Milares nursery and had a very nice lunch he prepared for us. Cleo was Franks associate for many years and still communicates and assists Frank. After that it was a beautiful setting at the Haywards. All in all it was a great day. ?Chris
pictures are of the day at Franks, Cleo Milares nursery and in the greenhouse at the Haywards'/.
Just found out only 4 pics per post. Why then am i allowed to put more than 4 pics in the skew?
 

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Every picture posts in reverse order so now for the others that didn't post.
 

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Here we are at the start of a very interesting tour through his garden. Lots of things were discussed, from mangos to crotons. We had to walk slowly and carefully due to Frank's recent hip fracture.

Actually I thought Dr. Brown's mobility was pretty darn good. His walker is basically used as a back-up in case of loss of balance. He does not lean heavily on it while shuttling about the estate. In my opinion his sauntering speed seems right up to par.

I feel most fortunate that I was afforded the opportunity to meet Dr. Brown. His sharp wit and sense of humor was really remarkable. :)
 
After all the books were signed, beers were consumed(were they?), we all ventured out into the property for Dr Brown to lead the tour. Many questions were asked and lots of stories were told.
 

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From Dr Brown's, we had been invited over to meet up with Cleo at his relativly new retail nursery that was just minutes away.Cleo had prepared a tasty lunch for us all to enjoy (thanks!), and then we had little time to walk around before we headed over to the Hayward garden. Only had this picture from there.( Rob was in control of the camera):(
 

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Once everyone was introduced to Anne, we all started walking as a group to look at each individual croton and to try our best to come to an agreement on it's rightfull name. A few had us stumped though. Walter, Anne's dad had poured a concrete pathway that was winding through the entire garden, which made for good walking.
 

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Here was a first for me. Never seen it before, or know of someone that might have it. It's got to be considered a really hard one to come by. Any guesses? It's in the book, and Ron and Chris, your excluded.


All three pic's are of the same cultivar.
 

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Here was a first for me. Never seen it before, or know of someone that might have it. It's got to be considered a really hard one to come by. Any guesses? It's in the book, and Ron and Chris, your excluded.


All three pic's are of the same cultivar.

Jeff,
I have a croton that is very similar - see attached photos. It has no ID but looks like it could be a Yellow Polychrome if there is such a croton.
Marie
 

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Jeff,
I have a croton that is very similar - see attached photos. It has no ID but looks like it could be a Yellow Polychrome if there is such a croton.
Marie

I never heard of a yellow Polychrome before, but it's possible I guess. Do you remember where this plant came from( without sharing any secrets)?
Jeff
 
I never heard of a yellow Polychrome before, but it's possible I guess. Do you remember where this plant came from( without sharing any secrets)?
Jeff

It's one we brought back from Hawaii a couple of years ago.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of two white sports on a Gloriosa. I removed one to root but left the other one on until I was sure the cutting was successful.
 
The two pictures here dosen't do this any justice. I really see this croton having ALOT of potential under better growing conditions. This plant had taller branches on it too. I was very keen on this plant having this orange border or on the edge of the leaves, of which most leaves had it.
 

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It's one we brought back from Hawaii a couple of years ago.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of two white sports on a Gloriosa. I removed one to root but left the other one on until I was sure the cutting was successful.

Here are the pictures. The first two show the sport still on the Gloriosa plant and the third is the cutting that is beginning to show roots at the bottom of the pot.
 

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Marie,

I would say that Gloriosa can produce more than one sport. The one in your picture looks clearly different, and also, the White Gloriosa produces these solid yellow new leaves when it flushes and turns to an almost full white in color when it ages. Yours, would you call it then, the Yellow Gloriosa?
 
Jeff…what an interesting, and informative pictorial you have just shared with us (for those of us that are not from the South Florida area). I also enjoyed your narratives that almost made me feel that I was in the group visiting Mr. Brown and his gardens. The fotos of the Kaylor’s garden and Cleo Milare’s nursery were also very interesting. Thanks again for sharing, Robertico in Costa Rica
 
Another croton in the backyard that we were not sure about.
 

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The last two pictures from the backyard. Glocks, you took pictures, where are they???

That's all from me, I hope you enjoyed it!
Jeff
 

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