Helen Johnson Hendry has left her footprint and lasting legacy at Edison Ford.
Our venerable Trustee and pioneer Landscape Architect passed away in June 2016 at the age of 85 years. Helen was the #3 licensed Landscape Architect in Florida and consultant to Mina Edison, a part owner of the historic Everglades Nursery, and a working member of the staff and consultant team to restore and conserve the historic gardens at Edison Ford. Her father-in-law, James Hendry (who acquired plants for Thomas Edison including the fabled bougainvillea and royal palms) named the Helen Johnson Bougainvillea after her because she “had no thorns.”
As a Trustee of Edison Ford, Helen regularly walked the gardens with staff, pointing out historical tidbits and plant science. She worked on the long range plan for garden restoration and conservation and was a tireless plant scientist and designer. Needless to say, she will be missed, but her legacy will live on.
We have created our first scholarship fund in honor of Helen with the establishment of the Helen Johnson Hendry Horticulture Intern Scholarship. This will help provide paid internships for college students working at Edison Ford and involved in academic work in horticulture, botany, plant science and landscape architecture. To learn how to contribute to this important project, please contact Nancy Achter, Development Manager/Executive Assistant at 239-334-7419 or
During the Summer of 2017 there will be an exhibit of Helen’s work in the Edison Caretaker’s House.