Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Mother’s Day at Edison Ford Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 6th

     Beautiful handmade jewelry has always been a favorite gift for Mother’s Day, and the Edison Ford Shops have a wonderful collection of traditional, old fashioned and very unique pieces.

Most of the jewelry is created or designed locally and the artists include Anita Singh, Josephine Buchanan and our newest art group, Black Mountain Gallery.

Amber has always been a favorite and it was certainly a favorite of Mina Edison. The shops have beautiful Russian and European amber necklaces, bracelets, pins and earrings. Mina Edison also loved her pearls and Anita has created a beautiful group of pearl necklaces and some with little hearts and other embellishments.

mothers day gifts

Mother’s Day at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 5th
  • Sunday, May 10, 2015

     In celebration of all the moms, Edison Ford will host several activities for Mother’s Day and some of them in collaboration with The Marina at Edison Ford, next door, through the Coconut Grove. Consider visiting, dining, cruising or just enjoying a cocktail on the Caloosahatchee River.

  •  FREE admission for Moms on Mother’s Day at Edison Ford and discounts in the Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe and the Garden Shoppe.
  • Morning and Afternoon Mimosas and lemonade in the Edison Coconut Grove, on the Caloosahatchee River.  Cash bar provided by Pinchers, with tables in the shade to enjoy the river view. The public and Members can easily come through the marina gate for access. Tickets for Edison Ford may be purchased at The Marina at Edison Ford. Plenty of free parking.
  • Pinchers will be hosting a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Adults $35; Children $15. For reservations call 239-245-7320. Menu items include a carving station of slow roasted prime rib, grilled salmon, eggs benedict with crab cakes and many other delicious items to choose from.
  •  Mothers cruise FREE with Pure Fort Myers with a full price child or spouse ticket. Take a break and enjoy a relaxing experience on the river with your family.Mina Edison Garden Social


“Art in the Gardens Exhibit” Bright Flowers through May 15, 2015

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 3rd

art in the garden 2015 CD flower     The 7th Annual “Art in the Gardens” has returned to Edison Ford and continues through May 15, 2015. More than 20 Lee County Schools have their artwork on display for visitors to enjoy in the Heritage Garden. Edison Ford invites student groups each year to participate in the annual event, in collaboration with the Lee Art Educator’s Association.

Thomas and Mina Edison loved their winter retreat and adorned it with flowers, plants and trees used for research purposes, as well as aesthetics. The theme for 2015 is “Flowers in the Garden.” Each art piece was made with recycled materials and with materials that can withstand the Southwest Florida environment. This is a FREE event and open to the public.

List of schools participating:  Bayshore Elementary, Challenger Middle, Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts, Cypress Lake Middle, Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School, Fort Myers High, Lehigh Senior High, Mariner High, Mirror Lakes Elementary, Pine Island Elementary, Rayma C. Page Elementary, St. Andrew Catholic School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Tice Elementary, Tortuga Preserve Elementary, Trafalgar Elementary, Trafalgar Middle, Varsity Lakes Middle, Veterans Park Academy for the Arts.

art in the garden 2015 trustees

Garden Talk: Orchids, Easy Tips and Hands-On Workshop

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 2nd
  • May 9, 10:00 a.m. – Museum West Porch

       We will show you how to re-pot your orchid and you can purchase supplies and pots in our Garden Shoppe.

orchid debbie     Orchids can be hugely successful in Southwest Florida if you have the know-how. They can also be a relatively carefree year round bloomer. Debbie Hughes, Edison Ford Senior Horticulturist and orchid specialist, and Janice Schmidt, Horticulturist and Garden Shoppe Manager, will lead the workshop. There will also be some very special orchids available for sale and just in time for Mother’s Day.

A hundred years ago, Mina and Thomas and Clara and Henry grew hundreds of orchids in the trees in their two estates. Edison Ford has been managing and adding to their collection with great success and close to 500 orchids are located throughout the property.

Participants will receive a 20% discount in the Garden Shoppe. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $10. (Pre-register by email lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org, by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or register the day of class.)

Note: Participants might want to park at the new Botanical Garden Shoppe entrance at the corner of McGregor and Larchmont. Look for the new walkway and a new wood pergola is coming. Enter through the bougainvillea hedge.

Founding Females Exhibit Closes May 28, 2015 – Special Group Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 1st

The Founding Females of Fort Myers Exhibit has been extremely successful. It not only captures the unique attributes, which these “pioneer women” brought to the community, but also presents the works of a very well established group of artists. The result is a history exhibit and an art exhibit combined.

NEW! On May 4, May 11 and May 18 at 10:00 a.m. Edison Ford Site Historian, Nadia Kluesner will do a related Mother’s Day group talk. Mina Edison was mother to Thomas Edison’s three children, Madeleine, Charles and Theodore. Mina was the self-described “Home Executive” in the family. Clara Ford, wife of Henry, was the mother of Edsel Ford, the only heir to the prestigious Ford Motor Company.

Other days for group lectures may be scheduled and can include refreshments or lunch. To schedule a Group Tour or for more information call 239-334-7419.

May Daily Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 30th

May 2015 daily

Edison Ford Members Receive 50% off MOSI Admission in May

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 29th

     During the month of May, Edison Ford Members receive a 50% discount off the ticket price at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) in Tampa. Members will need to present their valid membership card to receive the 50% discount.

Remember that all levels of membership receive the AHS (American Horticultural Society) and Time Travelers reciprocals and Extended Family Members and above also receive the NARM (North American Reciprocal Museums). There are over 850 reciprocals nationwide that Members can visit for FREE or at a discounted price.


Edison Ford KIDding Around at Bell Tower Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 28th
  • KIDding Around – May 2, 10:00 a.m. – Noon

Pearce kidding around slime      Bring the entire family for FREE kid’s activities at The Bell Tower Shops. Join Edison Ford at the “KIDding Around” event on Saturday, May 2. Professor Pearce will be making the very popular “slime.” There is always something new to experience at this event. Other activities on-site include a bounce house, face painting, refreshments, and musical fun. Make sure to stop in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower and check out the collection of educational toys and books for young readers.  Edison Ford Members remember to show your membership card to get your 10% discount.


Edison Ford Moonlight Garden Walk

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 27th
  • May 5, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Meet at The Marina at Edison Ford, First Floor of Pinchers in the new Marina Room & Bar

      The gardens and historical buildings of Edison Ford look very different in the moonlight. Many plants come alive at night. Blossoms open and the perfumes are stronger in the evening.

Mina Edison hired Ellen Biddle Shipman, America’s first woman landscape architect, to install the Edison Moonlight Garden in 1928, when Henry Ford moved Edison’s first laboratory to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. This beautiful garden features white and variegated plants that are especially fragrant at nighttime. There is a reflecting pool to mirror the stars and the moon.

moon rise      The Caloosahatchee will be the best viewing spot for the Spring Planter’s Moon on the water. The river seawall and the lily pond have just been restored, which will add to the beauty of the evening.

The evening will begin in the new Marina Room & Bar on the first level of Pinchers, at The Marina at Edison Ford. Registration will be available at 7:30 p.m. and extend through 8:30 p.m. We suggest that participants arrive around 8:00 p.m. to enjoy the moonrise at 8:30 p.m. Registration may be done in advance by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 with a credit card number or you can email Leeanne at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. A maximum of 100 participants will be able to attend the moonlit tour. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $15.

The tour will be led by Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist and members of the Historian Staff. Janice Schmidt, Garden Shoppe Manager and Horticulturist, will have a special Moonlight Garden Plant Sale set up in the courtyard between the Marina and Edison Ford for purchase of plants that night. The Marina Room will be set up with a full bar service and Pinchers will be open for dinner for pre-program dining.

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 26th

Just in case you haven’t checked in with us lately, I thought I would bring you up to date on activities and successes in our educational programs.

The Education Department team of Pearce Augustenborg, Nadia Kluesner, Ryan Boyer and JT Telischak are proving to be very talented, capable and hugely creative. Their knowledge of history, science, the arts and love of the outdoors shows in every project they tackle.  They are ably assisted by Leeanne Criswell who follows up with all registration, teacher materials and other needs of the department.

Pearce bubblesNadia bubbles art in the garden     Here are Nadia and Pearce at the opening of the Art in the Gardens outdoor sculpture exhibit (with more than 20 schools from all over Lee County) demonstrating hands-on bubble physics in the butterfly garden. They will also be teaching all of the 11 weeks of summer camp. In addition, we are at the final stage of the selection process for college interns and high school and middle school volunteers to assist with the summer camp. Many of the summer sessions are full, with waiting lists only remaining.

Ryan Boyer now heads the Road Scholar program at Edison Ford. It has been a hugely successful six month program, with participants coming from all over the globe and also registrants from Southwest Florida. Ryan has received accolades from the participants this year because of his history knowledge and presentation skills. In addition to Ryan, frequently Matt Andres, Edison Ford historian and registrar, provides behind the scenes tours and lectures to this program.

Ryan phonograph demo

Ryan Boyer


Matt Andres

Matt Andres

The outreach science and school programs have benefited from the educational skills of historian and outdoor enthusiast, John Telischak (JT). In addition to teaching programs, JT is frequently at Bell Tower Shops for their “KIDding Around” series and in the Edison Ford Shoppe for more hands-on activities.

John Telischak

John Telischak

As in any program though, funding is important and we have had some very dedicated donors over the years including Don and Arlene Keehan (Advance Polymers), Trustee Steve Niehaus (GE), Charles and Sass Edwards (George M. Cox Trust), Fred Quinn (Quest Specialty Chemicals), and James English (Energid Robotics). In addition there are dozens of donors providing financial scholarships for summer camps and other programs throughout the year.