Season’s greetings from Key West



-You would barely imagine that a category 4-5 hurricane had swept past just a few months previously.

(Sorry, no Santa pix)

-Santa is everywhere, as a culture of white-bearded men has already long been in place and just requires a few seasonal tweaks.

-Front gardens are the most creative in the less-moneyed neighborhoods with the smallest houses.

-An organized committee (must be) regulates early morning noise as follows: truck-driven sand comber, 6-8; carts bumping over walkways pulling nothing: 6-9; drilling (doesn’t matter what), 7-10; sawing (doesn’t matter what), 8-10; roosters, at will, from 5 onward.

-People don’t instantly start talking about snow when they find out where you’re from; they’re cooler than that. Plus, everyone is from everywhere here.

-It’s the best place ever to escape from politics as well as winter.

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Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Maybe I should try it sometime. Not too many butterflies around on the Eastern shore in Dec. but the days are getting longer as of 5hrs or so ago!
    Happy Winter Solstice!

  2. So wonderful to here that post-Irma things are getting back to normal. I’ll be visiting Key West for the first time on Christmas Day as a stop in a week long cruise. Hopefully many things, like the Botanical garden or Audubon house, will be open on Christmas Day. Any other recommendations that are garden or nature related to see in Key West?

    • The botanical gardens at the West Martello Tower are really nice. But I would assume that most things are closed on Christmas. The real number one bucket list thing (in any category) to do at Key West is the Tortuga National Park, which requires planning.


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