Sunday, January 25, 2015

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Located on the shores of Sarasota Bay in Sarasota, Florida, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens cover seven acres and contain fifteen garden areas, including the Bamboo Pavilion, Cacti and Succulent garden, Banyan garden, Hibiscus garden, Tropical Food garden, Children's Rain Forest garden, and Waterfall garden.

The Christine Payne mansion on the grounds, serves as a museum with botanical exhibits. The picturesque gardens are a popular place for weddings, so it's not uncommon to see bridal parties taking pictures there.

The gardens are open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Cost of admission for adults is $19.00, and for children, $6.00.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Monkey Jungle

Today's garden destination is a little bit different.  It's Monkey Jungle, located in Miami, Florida.  This is a place where monkeys run free, and humans are enclosed in walkways.  There are over 400 primates here, most running free on nearly 30 acres. There are a total of 30 species represented, including gibbons, guenons, and spider monkeys.  Besides the monkeys (and you will see them - a troop of Java monkeys will greet you immediately!) , visitors can expect to see Amazonian rain forests and South American plants.

Monkey Jungle is open daily from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM.  Cost of admission for adults is $29.95, and for children, $23.95.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Located in Delray Beach, Florida, Morikami Park covers 200 acres.  Its mission is to provide authentic Japanese cultural experiences that entertain, educate and inspire. The land was donated by an early Japanese settler, George Sukeji Morikami, and contains tranquil pine forests, nature trails, lakes, waterfalls, and of course Japanese Gardens, complete with Bonsai trees.

In keeping with its mission, classes, festivals, and youth programs all related to the Japanese culture are offered on the grounds and in the museum throughout the year.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $15.00, and for children, $9.00.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Zilker Botanical Gardens

Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin, Texas, cover 26 acres, and are nicknamed, "The jewel in the heart of Austin."  The name is well-deserved.  It's a picturesque place with several themed gardens, including a rose garden, herb garden, and Japanese garden.

As you can see from the pictures, there are plenty of streams, waterfalls and koi filled ponds.  This place is a paradise for those who enjoy water features in a garden.

The gardens were established in 1955 to promote education and love of gardening among all people.

Zilker Botanical Gardens are open from 9:00 AM top 5:30 PM.  Cost of admission is $3.00 for adults, and $1.00 for children.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

McKee Botanical Gardens

Located in Vero Beach, Florida, the McKee Botanical Gardens are 18 acres of tropical gardens along the Indian River.  They were begun in 1929, when landscape architect, William Lyman Phillips, designed the basic infrastructure of streams, ponds, and trails. Native vegetation and ornamental plants were added with the goal of establishing an impressive collection of water lilies and orchids.

It flourished throughout the 1940s, but by the 1970s, competition from other Florida attractions caused it to close its doors.  Sixty of the original acres were sold.  The remaining acres sat vacant for twenty years. Then in 1994, the Indian River Land Trust purchased the property and restored the garden.  It was reopened in 2001.  There are now several buildings on the property, including a gift shop, education center, and restaurant.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday noon to 5:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $10.00, and for children, $8.00.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Key West Garden Center and West Martello Tower

Key West Garden Center and West Martello Tower is located in Key West, Florida.  The ruins of an old civil war fort are home to the Joe Allen Garden Center and Key West Garden Club.  There are many native exotic trees and plants, including orchids, growing within these ruins.  A gazebo that overlooks the ocean, is a perfect back drop for weddings or for enjoying gentle sea breezes. Visitors will also see a lovely waterlily pond and waterfall.

The Key West Garden Center boasts that it is one of the island's last free tourist attractions.  The gardens are open from dawn to dusk.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens are located in Gainsville, Florida.  This 62 acre site overlooks the beautiful Lake Kanapaha, and contains nineteen different themed gardens.  These include a Butterfly Garden, Asian Garden, Vinery, Hummingbird Garden, Herb Garden, Rock Garden, Water Lilly Pond, Water Garden, and a 29 acre arboretum.

The gardens are open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM (or dusk, if that comes earlier).  Admission for adults is $7.00, and for children it's $3.50.  On the first Saturday of the month, guided two-hour tours are offered.  These are great for those who wish to learn more about the plants they are seeing.