One of my favorite places to visit here in Sarasota is Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Quoting from their web site, in the early 1920’s Bill and Marie Selby purchased 7 acres of land bordering on Sarasota Bay and Hudson Bayou. They built a Spanish style 2 story home and Marie began to landscape the property. Her love of nature and gardening lead her to be a charter member of Sarasota’s first garden club. Marie lived in the home after her husband passed away in the 1950’s until her death in 1971. In her will the property was left to the community as a botanical garden “for the enjoyment of the general public”
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens officially opened to the public in July 1975. Today the property has more than doubled from 7 acres to 15. The historic Payne Mansion on an adjoining property was purchased and now houses an on going variety of different nature inspired displays.
On the grounds you will find numerous examples of plants collected from all over the world. There are 8 greenhouses to house more than 20,000 greenhouse plants. The only greenhouse that is open to the public is the Tropical Conservatory. It is one of the most popular spots to visit, filled with ever changing bromeliads, orchids, ferns and numerous other varieties of plants.
On a recent trip, they had a huge display of blooming orchids. I had never seen so many in bloom. What fun I had capturing their beauty and occasionally enjoying the sweet scent in the air. I do not know the scientific name of this variety but, I enjoyed its unusual shape. After I got home and downloaded my shots to my computer I laughed out loud because I found my “Faces In Everyday Places” (Pareidolia). To me it looks like it has a pointy head, huge eyebrows, small eyes, a nose and a big goofy looking mouth. What do you think?