Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Beautiful Botanical Garden in Our Midst

Sparky just LOVES botanical gardens....Everywhere we went on our travels, if there was one, Sparky had to go see it. Sarasota has an AMAZING one, it's called Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and it is right downtown Sarasota.

What's so special about this place? Well, let her tell you! First, it's a bayfront and boats and fishing boats on the bay on one of the sides of the gardens...Second, it's a world class facility for research, education, and conservation. Third, it's got a conservatory that is like being in a tropical rainforest. It's got some VERY cool plants in it. Last month, it had the corpse flower, a nasty smelling flower that blooms very seldom. More about that in a minute. Fourth, it has an epiphyte garden (air plants) with a koi pond and a waterfall with a Japanese gong that people love to ring. BONG! Sparky does, too. :-)

Fifth, a tropical rainforest environment for kids and grownup kids like Sparky. LOTS of cool instruments to play,

Another instrument.....

Play areas in general...LOVE these frogs!

Wandering areas to explore all about the rainforest for families with kids and grownup kids--a suspension bridge, an exploration laboratory with a staff member, waterfalls, boardwalks in and among huge oaks... Sparky could have spent HOURS in the gardens today, but rain threatened.  Still...LOTS and LOTS of the most amazingly beautiful plants and statues....
This one looks REALLY exotic..have no idea of the name of it, but the plants are labeled in the gardens....

Caladium blooming everywhere...You see a lot of caladium in landscaping here in Bradenton and Sarasota, but these specimens were extra beautiful.

A Japanese pergola with beautiful stain glass panels of birds....
Cool colorful sculptures...
(HEY, SPARKY! What about the corpse plant? The main reason you went there today! reminds E.) Oh, yeah...that was really cool. The gardens spent a lot of time hyping up the corpse plant. It is supposed to have a BIG stench between rotting flesh and really awful sweaty sox. It got a big buildup in the local paper. Well-l-l-l-l..honestly? It wasn't that bad. Yeah, something smelled rotten in Denmark when you first walked into the conservatory but only for a second, and then the smell dissipated. But the worst smell is within 24-48 hours, so Sparky could have visited at the tail end of the worst. The corpse plant is very unusual in that it only flowers every 3-7 years, and Selby had not one, but TWO of them blooming at the same time, which was even more rare! They named them Seymour and Audrey, (from the Little Shop of Horrors, a great musical about a carnivorous man eating plant.)

The plant is over 6 feet tall! It comes from Sumatra, Indonesia. The flower heats up to about 100 degrees to attract bugs, flies, and other insects to pollinate.

See, Sparky told you it was a cool place! The gardens is a FANTASTIC place to spend many hours....and a terrific place for families, a first class facility. Don't miss it if you come to Sarasota.

Bye for now.....


  1. Never heard of the corpse plant. 6 feet tall and smelly. Nature is amazing. Love their names.

  2. Never heard of the corpse plant. 6 feet tall and smelly. Nature is amazing. Love their names.