SUBMITTED BY THE BOCA GRANDE GARDEN CLUB – The Boca Grande Garden Club bused down to the Naples Botanical Garden last week to view “Gardens with Latitude,” a showcase of gardens encircling the globe between the 26th latitudes north to south where some of the most diverse plant communities exist.
Founded in 1993 by eight residents of Naples, the Naples Botanical Garden occupies the 170 acre site of a former strip mall now converted into several cultivated gardens, 2.5 miles of walking trails and 90 acres of restored native preserve.
The cultivated gardens include an Asian, Brazilian and Caribbean garden, a garden featuring water plants and a children’s garden to provide a sensory experience of Florida “from tree to sea.”
Three of these gardens were designed by internationally known landscape architects: Made Wijaya, Raymond Jungles and Robert Truskowski.
In addition to the major gardens, there are several smaller ones which highlight orchids, butterflies, “weird and wonderful” specimens, an “idea” garden and a jungle oasis and an enabling garden for those with physical challenges.
Members toured several of the gardens accompanied by one of the well-informed docents provided by the NBG, then adjourned for lunch at the Fogg Cafe, located within the garden.
Lunch was followed by free time during which members could pursue their own gardening interests. It was a warm day so the shaded pavilions and water stations located throughout the garden provided a welcome retreat for rest and rehydration.
All agreed it was a great place to learn about local gardening and experience what is exotic to us from gardening cultures within our latitudes around the globe.