Saturday, January 31, 2015

Naples Botanical Gardens- Part Two

At least I hope that I can finish up on these gardens in this posting!  This park has so many different features which we have not seen in other botanical gardens that we have toured.  In the Brazilian Garden we learned  that Brazil has more types of plants than any country in the world.  One in four plant species on earth lives in Brazil.   Pictured below is the trunk of the "dancing tree", a Brazilian tree   Seems a very strange name for this tree whose trunk is covered with numerous thorny projections!
In the Caribbean section of the gardens we came upon a path lined with stone pillars.  They are draped with purple flowers called  "queens wreath".  It is stunningly beautiful.  You may notice on the ground by the pillars some balls.  That is for playing bocce ball.  If one gets tired of looking a pretty flowers one can play ball,  laze in a hammock, climb a tree house or wander down a trail into some wetlands to view wading birds and ducks.  We had forgotten our binoculars, but they were available at the birding tower.
When I learned that there was a wildflower garden in this park, I was a bit skeptical- I have not seen much in the way of wildflowers here in Florida.  However, the gardens have a good patch of them.  One big section of the garden is covered with the blooming orange, yellow and red blanket wildflower.  We had seen it before in California.
Currently the gardens are showcasing 32 sculptures done by artists associated with the National Sculpture Society.  The exhibition is titled All Creatures Great and Small.   In the wildflower garden is one of those creatures, "the running cheetah".
As I wrote earlier, there are many unusual different sections to this park which we had not seen in other botanical gardens- as an "enabling garden" which features structures and tools that reduce barriers to people's ability to garden.  There is also a vertical garden which makes use of wall space to showcase plants.   I can't cover it all here,  but I have to mention the orchid garden.
Not much space is needed for this garden, the plants are either in pots or hanging from trees.  Information  provided here informed us that there are 25,000 different species of orchids, the gardens have 1,000.  We saw them not only here but through-out the garden hanging on a variety of trees.  There is one interesting fact we learned regarding the orchid's complex pollination strategy.  It is best that I quote from the garden's interpretive sign to explain it:  "some orchids mimic female bees to attract the males- others emit nighttime fragrances to entice moths".   I just have to share with you one more picture before concluding this posting.

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