Walking through Napa Valley vineyards, a grape grower once asserted, "We are simply gardeners; stewards of the land." The connection between plant and man is equally intense at Palm Beach County's Unbelievable Acres (corner of Jog and Alexander roads, West Palm Beach). Florida's fertile history seems to envelop you as Gene Joyner, horticultural extension agent for Palm Beach county, leads a private tour through his two-and-a-half acres of subtropical rainforest.
Since 1970, he has carefully tended an abundant variety of botanicals, including more than 170 rare fruit cultivars such as breadfruit and jackfruit, as well as ornamental plants. Foodies take note: Savor a karanda Popsicle or some black sapote ice cream while investigating native, and not-so-native, horticulture.
Power gardeners interested in mulch can view a living theater as the garden's sandy soil has been overlaid with weekly mulching spread by hand. Hit one of the nurtured trails of jungle vegetation, watch ecosystem wildlife, only to be surprised at the breakpoint by Australian pines ringing the perimeter.
With more then 350 botanical gardens in North America conserving an extraordinary collection of genetic plant diversity, Joyner's is unique for its rainforest specimens. So be inspired. Do horticulture. Grow. Tours start at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Call 561-655-7116. -- Laura Madonna-Pilch
Boynton springs into sport
Think you might feel the need to pretend you're in a Gatorade commercial anytime soon? Well, recreational friends, Boynton Beach's Spring Sportsfest is upon us once again. Instead of three featured tournaments this time around, men's flag football and softball tournaments will be on the main stage. All ages are welcome to attend and view not only the rough gridiron play of flag football and the dust-flying theatrics of softball, but a canine exhibition featuring the best and brightest in Frisbee catching as well. There will be four to six teams competing in the flag football portion and at least six in softball. Valuable prizes are offered in all the competitions, including money and dinner tickets. If a day out in the hot sun with friends and family peaks your interest, then look no further than this annual event, taking place at Caloosa Park (1300 SW 35th Ave., Boynton Beach). Call 561-742-6230. -- Kiran Aditham
A Winning Season? Eh, maybe.
The Florida Marlins begin a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves this Friday at 7:35 p.m. at Pro Player Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami). Offseason acquisitions have brought the Marlins up to snuff, possibly for the first time since the World Series win in 1997. Several young pitchers, including AAA relief pitcher Tommy Phelps and former Brave Tim Spooneybarger, have rounded out the bullpen. Behind the plate, the addition of veteran Ivan Rodriguez won't hurt matters, but power-hitting Pudge is only one man. A team effort from the Fish could mean victory over the hated Braves, who also have a lot of new faces in the bullpen, but enjoy a group of starters led by the incomparable Greg Maddux and, in John Smoltz, one of the most vicious closers in the game. Tickets cost $3 to $60. Call 305-626-7328. -- Dan Sweeney
Tai Chi for Free
These days, everything has its own day. Take, for example, today, which is World Tai Chi/Qi Gong Day. At Anne Kolb Nature Center (West Lake Park, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood), celebrations of the day dedicated to extremely slow martial arts include lessons in both Tai Chi and Qi Gong, as well as other imports from the Far East, including the pseudoscience of Feng Shui. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. Call 954-925-6654.
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