Thursday, March 9, 2017

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Photo Heavy)

I find it surprising that I've blogged now for a blue million years and haven't ever mentioned Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  My parents have a vacation home just south of Sarasota, and so I visit Selby Botanical on almost an annual basis, an oasis of peace for me amid the tumult of vacation.  In fact, I was just there in late February, a planned break from the Kansas winter even though in the 5 days I was in Florida it was only a few degrees warmer there than Kansas.  If you've never been to Selby, it's well worth a couple of hours and the $20 admission to stroll the gardens, and even worth the extra $5 to tour the Selby Mansion on the grounds if you're into such domestic arrangements.  First and foremost, of course, one should appreciate orchids, the centerpiece of the Selby indoor conservatory.

I, myself, have always been a little partial to the blue or purple vandas.  I don't know why, I just am.

In the orchid house, these large containers "spilling" with a cascade of orchids make a fabulously creative display.

Even here at Selby, one cannot seem to escape the abominations of social media.  This "selfie stop", as declared by the sign, is a popular place for photos;  in fact I had to wait around for 5 minutes to get a picture of it without people around.  At least it hasn't been discovered, to my knowledge, by the Kardashians as yet.  Thank god the "K's" don't seem to be gardeners.

The larger grounds at Selby are fantastic.  Here, at a fork in the path, the bamboos grow taller than trees.

And, surprising to me, this arid succulent display does quite well here in a tropical climate.

I seem to spend a lot of my Selby time admiring the garden ornaments as much as the flora, however.  This little mushroom/toad house/fairy home drew me back again and again.

There are water features in several areas, but none worked better for me than this waterfall.  I played with exposure for softening the falls, but the real art was hiding in the little water nymph beneath the ferns.

Another statue, this "Mayan" figurine, called to me from its hidden grotto back in the orchid house.
This year I visited on a cloudy day, but the diffused light made for some marvelous photography at times.  These dark salvias made a nice photo for me against the storm in the distance, while changing the exposure really made them pop from the background.  Several visitors seemed to think these were lavender, but I kept my know-it-all trap shut.  No reason to spoil their enjoyment.

A low-lying swampy pool near the mansion, however, gave me what I thought was the best photo of the day;  a water lily to rival Monet for sheer beauty.

So, if you get near Sarasota, Florida, go ahead and feel free to drop the family off at the Ringling Bros. Circus Museum and go over to where the fun really exists;  at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens!

1 comment:

  1. The water lily is beautiful...but I think my favorite photo is of the waterfall, with the nymph hiding in plain sight in the lower corner!


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