It is a bit of a drive from North Fort Myers south to Naples for a day trip, but, as we learned yesterday, it was worth making a second trip. The botanical gardens were chartered in 1994, and the first phase of it opened in 2008. It was initially an area overgrown with invasive exotic species as the melaleuca tree. The gardens started collecting large trees and palms in 20006, many from Old Naples that were about to be cut down. Tree movers were hired and the trees were then transplanted. We could well imagine that this was a major effort, walking around in the gardens we saw many large trees and palms that are quite large and certainly could not have grown to that size in a matter of a eight years! Pictured below is a banyan tree.