If you are planning to visit a botanical garden in Florida, choose Selby, which has the world’s largest scientific collection of orchids and bromeliads, more than 20,000 species. Selby’s genteel outdoor gardens are exceptionally well landscaped and relaxing, with 80-year-old banyan trees, koi ponds and splendid bay views. Art exhibits, a cafe and an enticing plant shop complete the experience.
Located in Sarasota, Selby is just a short drive away from some other well-known gardens – including the private homes of plant aficionados Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Mable Ringling (wife of circus man John). And if you’re a true plant nerd, this may be the strongest argument that you’ll need to hear.
A popular tourist attraction on the Suncoast called Selby`s is gaining national attention. As a matter of fact, USA Today ranks Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota as the number one botanical garden to visit this spring.
The newspaper recently published an article that states there are nearly 600 public and botanical gardens nationwide, according to the American Public Gardens Association. It describes Selby Gardens as a tropical oasis filled with rare and beautiful plants on the Sarasota bayfront. Open 364 days per year, the gardens encompass 15 acres and 12 buildings, including a tropical and subtropical bamboo garden, koi pond, fern garden and a wooden boardwalk through a mangrove forest. No other botanical garden in Florida made this list on USA Today.
It’s a fantastic blend of Florida’s native plants, and tropical gardens focused on sensory experiences. The outer edges of the garden serve as a small-scale nature preserve, while the inner areas showcase unusual specimens and thoughtful design.
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