Monday, January 23, 2023

Naples Botanical Gardens

Emily and Scott outside their condo

The park in the center of Venice with enormous
Banyan trees.


After leaving St. Augustine, we stopped for lunch at Scott's High School friend's in Venice (FL).  We last saw Emily and John at their 50th High School Reunion. Scott attended Friend's Seminary in Manhattan from kindergarten through graduation. Emily transferred in at 9th grade.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch and lots of reminiscences. At their suggestion we drove into the historic center of Venice and walked around. It's a lovely spot. 

There is a large lake in the center of the property with a walk all around. Water features and pools cascade down to it through the garden.

Then we continued on to visit Barbara, our cruiser friend we got to know in Trinidad and Bonaire. She now lives in Bonita Springs in a beautiful development. She has come up to spend time in Vermont with us and we've been down to see her before too. After a day lazing around the pool and taking walks, we spent the next day at the Naples Botanical Garden. What an amazingly beautiful place! Founded in 1993 it consists of 170 acres of cultivated gardens and preservation land, representing seven different natural habitants and ecosystems and features over 1,000 specimens. The orchid garden was particularly beautiful and we loved the special exhibit - Frida Kahlo and Her Garden. It transports visitors to her garden at her home in Coyoacán, Mexico City. We were happy to treat ourselves to an excellent lunch at the Boatyard on Naples Bay, great food with a beautiful view.

This statue "Circle of Friends" delighted us! By Gary Lee Price it represents one animal from each of the seven continents dancing together. The expressions and postures of each are wonderful.

We had planned to go from there back to Harpal & Jeannie's in Winter Garden, but happy fate intervened. Our buddy boat cruiser friends Renate & Jim on Emerald Seas had to suddenly leave Guatemala when the Customs officials finally responded to their request to import their boat. "Yes", they said "But it will cost 30% of the sale price of your boat. Which we will determine." They were not interested in that deal so they were given 5 days to leave the country! It was difficult but they managed to make it out in that time to Belize. Now they needed to get up to Florida but Renate wasn't able to make the trip due to health concerns so luckily Jim's brother flew down to Belize and sailed up with Jim. They had excellent weather windows and suddenly we realized they would be arriving in Sarasota just when we were leaving Barbara. So we rearranged our trip to spend 2 nights seeing them. More about this in my next post!

Barbara is sandwiched between us here!

Purple & Yellow spider looking orchids

Three varieties of purple

And then there is white...

Cascades of yellow...

And magenta...

Ponds and bamboo

I love this photo of some waterlilies, it's so dramatic

Frida Kahlo inspired "Catrina", Mexican folk
art sculptures for the Day of the Dead. There
were many of them along with animal
sculptures inspired by her paintings.

This huge sculpture is made of intertwined vines and remarkable

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