Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Naples Botanical Gardens, 12/22/2016

When visiting the Baker Museum in Naples, we saw many works of art by Kevin Box (and his colleagues) at the Origami in the Garden Exhibit. There we learned that many more interesting sculptures, some large-scale, were also on display at the Naples Botanical Gardens. Another bonus for us is that dogs are permitted on-leash in the gardens at certain hours, several days a week (Sunday 9-11:30 am; Tuesday 8-11 am; Thursday 3-5 pm). The dog entrance (you must complete paperwork about your pet before entering) is at the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center.

The gardens were chartered in 1999 but did open its first phase until 2007. Regrading of the site was required because it was below sea level and would flood with salt water (which would be devastating to the plants). It was raised 10' with fill brought here by over 20,000 dump trucks! Every single plant and tree has been planted (or transplanted) here since 2006. As we walked along the boardwalk to the ticket booth, we immediately began to see beautiful flowering trees as we made our way to the entrance to the gardens. 

The Kathleen and Scott Kapnick Brazilian Garden features this dramatic waterfall, pond with Amazon liliesbromeliads, and mosaic wall. 

Lake Tupke, named for a Seminole herbalist with extensive knowledge of medicinal plants and remedies, provides a place for waterfowl and alligators. The Upland Trail encircles the lake. Below is an anhinga drying its wings in the sun and a great white egret.

The Caribbean Garden features tropical plants, a traditional chattel house of the region, and this gorgeous Queen's Wreath arbor.

This beautiful outdoor space can be seen in the Florida Garden along with other plants found here.

The Succulent Garden has some interesting plants. Don't try to climb this Silk Floss Tree...ouch!

Below is a sculpture, White Rainbow Root by Steve Tobin, and the May Peace Prevail work that we have seen in other locales in our travels. 

The Asian Garden was, perhaps, my favorite part garden including the Japanese Lotus PoolThai PavilionTemple RuinsHindu Princess and all of the beautiful sights in between.

These flowers we saw as we walked to the Water Garden were just stunning!

The Orchid Garden was spectacular. We have seen amazing orchids in the conservatory at world-renowned Longwood Gardens, but due to the climate here, these are all blooming outdoors

Don't miss the gift shop just to look around at the unique items here. They also sell orchids and other plantings. 

Admission for the three of us (John, me and our doggy, Sadie) was $40 on a Thursday afternoon. During the holiday season there are lights at night that I am sure are gorgeous, but our tickets were only for the designated "dog visiting" time on Thursday. After our hometown Longwood Gardens in PA, this is the most beautiful botanic gardens we have visited thus far in the US (and we have been to many). I love all of them, but this one is extra special. For additional information on hours of operation, events, check them out at www.naplesgardens.org.

follow up post will show some of the Origami in the Garden sculptures we also saw at Naples Botanical Gardens. 

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