Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Birthday I've Had...This Year

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.

A spectacular feature of Selby is a grove of banyan trees which were planted in the 1930s.  A walkway is provided for touring the canopy of these huge trees with their unusual root systems twisting and turning from high in the air to the ground. 

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.


  1. Happy Birthday, NanaK. It definitely sounds like you had a wonderful birthday celebration. I'm glad to see that Selby gardens was spared a lot of damage from the recent cold snaps. And, those broms...are beautiful! I can't think of a better birthday celebration.

  2. Happy belated Birthday, NanaK! It was very sweet that your husband took you to a botanical garden trip, and especially those two beautiful bromeliads! My birthday is also in December, but early of the month :) Is that yellow flower in the fifth picture a bromeliad or an orchid? Very stunning yellow. Love it!

    I also have lots of planning in my mind. I thought I will fullfill it when the weather is cool, but when it is too cold, I found myself rather snugger inside the warm house :) Keep us posted with all your garden progress. Happy New Year!

  3. Um, I'm thinkin' your star shone pretty brightly, girl! An oceanview lunch, a walk on the beach, and a trip to Selby Gardens....topped off by a purchase of two bromeliads!!! Sounds like a very perfect day. Now I'm longing for a 'Predator' and that Giant Leopard Plant.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday NanaK! Perfect birthday choice. Your husband is a jewel for going with you to all your favorite things on your birthday. Janis

  5. Thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes. I am sure all of us will be enjoying the great weather forecast for the next few weeks. I know I'm getting back out in the garden with lots of new ideas.

  6. Happy birthday again, Kay... it sounds like your day turned out just like you dreamed.

    For two years I've been aswirl with the idea of putting broms and orchids in my trees and have not gotten around to it yet. And for two months I've been wanting to do a post entry of my visits to Selby. Ahhh. Life.

    I enjoyed seeing your views and hearing your thoughts. Did you see all the Australian Ferns once inside? All protected from last year and this December apparently. One zone south makes a HUGE difference.

    Glad you had a glorious day with hubby... may your New Year be full of dreams come true.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.