Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Orchids and epiphytes galore!

Florida's Gulf Coast certainly has some beautiful gardens and I'm going to feature some that I've visited in the next few days.  It is incredibly hot here in Florida (around 90F!) and that plays havoc with the light when I'm taking photographs.

Today I went to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. It's location is perfect, overlooking the bay, and for anyone interested in orchids, this is a must.  The garden covers some nine acres and is a fine showcase for bromeliads and epiphytes (plants that live on other plants). And with the latter, you have to make sure that you keep looking up!

The plants in the Tropical Display House (some shown here) are fantastic! I have to confess that I don't know a lot about orchids so to me they are just extraordinary plants which make wonderful photographs, but judging from the exclamations coming from visitors all around me, this collection is impressive. All I know is that I spent so long looking at them that I nearly got locked in at the end of the day!
The gardens outside are also a feast for the eyes - there are bamboo, palm and banyan groves; hibiscus, "succulent" and wildflower gardens; a Koi pond; magnificent displays of bromeliads and of course - the epiphytes - which caused me to walk into a bench because I was so busy looking up!  
This is a wonderful place to spend a peaceful half-day and well worth taking a detour for if you're a gardener.  It doesn't come cheap at $17.00 a head, but should be on every gardener's "Must See" list.  And for those who decide that they are going to grow their own orchids, the shop has one of the best selections I've ever seen, but of course, as a UK resident, I can't take them home!

9 comments:

  1. Fabulous, I always enjoy the Orchids at Wisley, and as you say, they make fantastic subjects for photography. Look forward to reading more about your trip.

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  2. I used to live in Tampa, Florida which is close to Sarasota. I still go often since I have family there. I've been to the Marie Selby gardens and have always enjoyed it. Thanks for a wonderful post! -Jackie

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  3. Great to see our local area thru another's eyes.Great photos,too!

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  4. In the top photo everything seems to be languid and peaceful and exotic - and different!

    The two flowers are quite extraordinary!

    Lucy

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  5. What a gem of a blog - I am so pleased you found me and hence I found you. (here endeth the mutual backscratching!)

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  6. What wonderful photos of the orchid! They have such intricate, and intriguing, parts-and you've captured them well!!

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  7. Wow! I really want to visit this garden! Thanks for the pictures.

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  8. What a beautiful garden and amazing photos!

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  9. Found you on facebook ... beautiful garden! Check out my flowers at www.juergenrothphotography.com or on facebook: search for juergenrothphotography and I should pop up.

    My best,

    Juergen

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