Thursday, 18 June 2009

Secret gardens in Sarasota


Today I visited two charming gardens in Sarasota and close enough together that you could visit them both in a morning....if the heat didn't get to you first! The first is the Sarasota Garden Club, nestling right behind one of the major hotels in the city and, I suspect often overlooked by visitors, even though it is quite charming.

This small garden (left) is run entirely by volunteers and is a non-profit organisation that offers talks and education programmes to both members and the community at large. Friday is a particularly good day to visit because you'll always find members at work in the garden and they're happy to talk to you and answer any questions.
Particularly noteworthy is the butterfly garden here, which has been planted with species that appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds - you can access this at any time of day and you will be rewarded with many butterfly sightings.

If you have kids, don't miss the Jungle Gardens (right). These are are another great "find" in Sarasota! They are more than just a garden lovers paradise with the plethora of tropical plants, including more than 100 species of palms. There are also the birds, which will enthrall the children (and the adults!) - there are lots of parrots, which make wonderful photographs, and of course, flamingoes, which you can get really close to, plus reptiles (not my scene, I'm afraid, so I didn't get too close!).

I got the fright of my life while photographing them - I was so busy looking through my lens that I didn't notice one coming up behind me and the first I knew of it was when I got tapped on the shoulder and jumped out of my skin!  I don't think anybody can really resist these ridiculous creatures - pink and pompous - and extremely noisy when they get together in a group.  The kids will love them...and so will you!

8 comments:

  1. What amazing pictures! Love this last picture of the flamingo! Sounds like you had a wonderful outing!

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  2. I love that last picture too. Oh, did you have to go very near or you used a zoom. Sometimes, I wonder how was their neck formed. But I think this bird's beak look funny too. Btw, this garden is amazing... look very tropical.

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  3. I never knew that place existed.Neat!!

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  4. Wonderful photos! What kind of parrot is in the first photo? The colors are so vibrant.

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  5. Tapped on the shoulder by a flamingo? That's a first! They're my favorite birds--so improbable.

    My first visit here--fantastic! I'm adding you to my blogroll under international, and I'll be back.

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  6. The bird's expression you have captured in the first photo is fab. I'll be adding some of these gardens to my Botanical Gardens List.

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  7. Great profiles you've captured of these birds! Boy, that tap would have scared me sh*#less! Thanks for sharing :)
    Lynn

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  8. Beautiful photos - loved the jungle one - gorgeous color and it looked so quiet and peaceful.

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