My birthday lands smack-dab in the middle of the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It's a great place to be overlooked. Add to that the fact that my youngest grandson was born on the very same day and well, let's just say my star doesn't shine all that bright these days.
That is, except in my sweet husband's eyes. He took a day off from work to take me to my favorite beach for a great lunch overlooking the water and a tour of a wonderful botanical garden. He's a keeper.
We found a lovely "fruit cocktail" tree growing in front of a cute little beach cottage. Cold weather won't bother this one.
After a walk on the beach at Anna Maria Island, we took a short drive over to Selby Gardens in Sarasota. It is an amazing botanical garden with many plant collections.
Two tree fern greeted us at the entrance. These are living just one zone south of My Garden Path and seem untouched by the recent cold weather. My little baby tree fern is still snuggled under a blanket at home.
Observing the way Selby had planted their oaks with many epiphytes, I was inspired to try this with my more cold tolerant bromeliads. This is but one of many plans swirling in my head while waiting for spring.
Orchids, alocasias, anthuriums, bromeliads and other tropicals abounded in the conservatory which was planted as a lush rainforest. My orchids at home are huddled in the bathtub.
Farfugium japonicum 'Gigantea', is another plant that has my brain on overdrive with thoughts of including it under my shady oaks. The garden docent told me this plant is zone 7 - 10. I do so love a wide zone range in a plant.
No botanical garden tour is complete until a purchase has been made at the gift shop. I was thrilled to find and purchase the Neoregelias 'Lila' and 'Predator.' The beauty on the left, 'Lila,' has been on my want list ever since I saw her on Floridagirl's blog at Peace In The Valley. This year I became great-aunt to a lovely little girl named Lila so, of course, I need this bromeliad in my garden. I need 'Predator' too, because well, it's just such a beautiful brom!
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of Selby Gardens. Perhaps it has set some gardening plans aswirl in your head as well. As I look out upon my bleak landscape, I remind myself that winter is but a season and it is a great season for the seeds of ideas to germinate.