Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A day out in Sarasota

I thought I'd change things up a bit and share with you some pictures of our trip today to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  The grounds are along  Sarasota Bay, with a beautiful view of the city:


They cover 14 acres of the former estate of Marie Selby, and were born in 1975, after she left them to the city.  The gardens specialize in plants called Epiphytes, which are plants that live on other plants but are non-parasitic.  They are commonly called "air plants" and attach to their host plant for support and as a means to reach more sunlight.  They can be found among orchids, bromeliads, ferns, heath and mosses.  The most common one is Spanish Moss!

Here's a collage of some of the beautiful and interesting plants in the greenhouse there:



Doesn't that plant on the bottom right look like a bunch of baby birds that are waiting for Mama to bring them some worms?  Outside, there is a small bonsai exhibit:



And there are also some banyan trees, which are actually in the fig family and are epiphytes that have started by depositing seeds in the cracks of a host tree.  These trees are not uncommon in Florida - not far from where we are living here, there is a charming town called Boca Grande, which  has many of them also.  This is ONE tree:


The former home of Marie Selby and her husband has been turned into a coffee and tea house, and there is a wonderful Rainforest quilt!  I wish I could do it justice in my photo:


Here's a collage of some of the 3D elements that the maker, Ms. Raynor Pope added to it.  See the snake and the lizard, as well as some beautiful orchids and other flowers.
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We spent a few hours at this beautiful place, and then headed over to St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota for a wonderful lunch at the Columbia Restaurant, billed as Florida's oldest and most honored Spanish restaurant.  We had coconut crusted mahi-mahi with a mango and tropical fruit salsa and yellow rice, along with Sangria.  Perfection!

20 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed this Lin - seeing something of your home country. I didn't even remember you lived in Florida. I enjoyed the video on the garden's website. And your photos are great. More like this please!

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  2. Thank you for the tour! Between your blog and Virginia's blog, Florida is definitely on my list of places to visit. ;-)

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  3. Oh, did I ever LOVE this post, Lin! I think I've told you that Sarasota is where my hubby and I want to live in the winter months, once we retire. We've been there a few times but have never seen this beautiful place. We'll have to check it out for sure! Loved every photo - thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. Oh my Gosh!! Sarasota's my hometown, Lin. St. Armand Circle is where we shopped for our bathing suits. Beautiful pictures. There are so many beautiful places in Sarasota. Years ago when I moved to Texas and told people where I was from they would say, "Sara-what?" I was shocked that they didn't know about it since it was a hot spot for a lot of easterners!

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  5. That looks like a perfect day. Makes me homesick for Florida, though. I will go home one day, and stay there!

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  6. These photos are awesome, Lin! I have visited a friend on the west coast several times (North Fort Meyers) and am always amazed by the beautiful flowers, palm trees, and yes, Spanish moss!! Thanks for sharing your "day out" with us.

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  7. Hi Lin, your photos are beautiful. I enjoyed reading about the gardens. Sounds like you are having a wonderful vacation. Thanks for sharing these pictures. Take care and have a safe trip home.

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  8. I just came back from FL. and you just make me want to go BACK!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the gorgeous photos! I like the descriptions of the flowers that look like baby birds...How perfect!

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  9. These photos are amazing, what a fun time.

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  10. thanks for taking us on this fabulous trip Lin..such gorgeous plants and I'm drooling over that blue blue sky...hugs kath xxx

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  11. Beautiful photos and the banyan tree is breathtaking! TFS!

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  12. My oh my what beautiful photos! Love that bogunvillia bonsai tree! I would have loved going there! Thanks for visiting my blog! I would be honored if you pinned my work! :)

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  13. That looks like a perfect day.

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  14. What a glorious trip, Lin! I feel as though I was right there, too, with these fantastic photos. What a treat that you shared these with us. So glad that you are having a nice winter!

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  15. wow great pictures...thanks for sharing your trip with us...

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  16. thanks for sharing your wonderful piece of the world Lin. Just lovely

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  17. thanks for sharing these wonderful photos! the banyan trees are simply amazing!

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  18. Ahhh, I feel like I just took a mini vacation...THANKS, Lin! Gorgeous photos!

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  19. How wonderful! Take me! What a lovely day and the food sounds delicious!

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  20. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos Lin! Just stunning! I love the outdoors, although I am not a flower person, I can still admire their beauty and the simple miracle of them!

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Thank you so much for your kind comments - they make my day!