Florida Gardens

I’m home from sunny Florida and missing it already. More fresh snow arrived while I was gone, but at least I have some warm memories.

by Jessica Walliser
Jessica's son in the Naples Botanical Garden
Photo by Jessica Walliser

I’m home from sunny Florida and missing it already.  More fresh snow arrived while I was gone, but at least I have some warm memories. 

While we were there we had the opportunity to visit the brand new Naples Botanical Garden (it just opened in November).  It was very lovely and definitely worth the trip if you ever find yourself in the area.  There is a terrific children’s garden complete with a tree house, a miniature play house and veggie garden, a waterfall, stuff to climb on, water to play in and plenty of sidewalk chalk. 

Jessica's son exploring the large garden
Photo by Jessica Walliser

The Caribbean garden had the obligatory hammocks, coconuts and even a mini pineapple plantation, and the butterfly house was filled with fluttering adults, beautiful chrysalises and plenty of nectar sources.  All very enjoyable. 

The crushed shell mulch is a far cry from shredded bark and I truly enjoyed the enormous waterfall that is the central focus  of the garden.  The plant material needs to grow into the garden over the coming years (it’s a bit puny right now—but all good things take time, especially in the garden) and several more gardens (including an Asian one) are in the works.  All in all, it was a beautiful place to spend the afternoon and we had a great time. 

We also visited the Southwest Florida Conservancy and took an electric boat ride through the mangrove tunnels.  Our guide said that a mother manatee and her baby were spotted in the Conservancy’s lagoon earlier that morning, but she didn’t manage to make an appearance for us.  Maybe next time.   

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Check out more photos of my visit to Florida below:

The climbing Bougainvillea growing up the wall
Photos by Jessica Walliser

Bougainvillea growing on a wall.

Pineapples were everywhere in the garden
Pineapples everywhere!

A beautiful pillared walkway
A fun walkway

The Naples Botanical Garden's waterfall
Cool waterfall

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