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.
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!