Water Lilies With an Address

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I was thinking of my disappointment when I left the tanks containing the water lily competition entries that weren’t blooming (A Steamy Visit – But Where are the Lilies?). I was also feeling the oppressive heat and humidity even though it was only 8:30 in the morning – but all that was quickly forgotten when I reached the pavilion overlooking the ponds in the Asian Garden. Here a beautiful lily was beginning to open, one of many, many that have the Naples Botanical Garden as their address, but one I hadn’t seen before.

I became engrossed with capturing the beauty of the above lily, another lily blooming there and some seed pods.

After a stop at the cafe for a ginger limeade, I was revitalized and the humidity had dropped so I went in search of more water lilies. I know there is a finite number of lilies that have made this garden their home, but I never tire of finding a new camera angle or slant of light to take a few more photos of old friends.

Farewell Delights

I had a beautiful day for my last visit to the Naples Botanical Garden before we headed north. Everything looked really different because they had been cleaning out the water gardens and trimming out the foliage in the other gardens. Then I realized that the glass sculptures were gone – and how empty the garden felt. You can read about them by clicking on these links. Surprise at the Garden and Balancing Act   Here are a few photos from other visits as I continued to practice capturing the beauty that they brought to the landscaping where they were installed.

This exhibit is one of my two favorite from the past five years. I also really liked the origami sculptures. Amazing Lines – Origami   As I wandered around I kept thinking I should walk over to where a sculpture is to see how the light is catching it – oops, it isn’t there any more. But there were many things to catch my interest.

When I reached the succulent garden I was excited to see the cacti that were blooming, especially this one where I could capture the various phases of blooming.

And this one that has such an interesting structure.

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The produce garden is growing nicely, showing people the types of edibles that can be grown in Florida and to provide fresh produce for the chef at the cafe.

As I was sitting at the cafe I saw the chef walking back from collecting something from another part of the garden – maybe by where the bananas grow. My scone and ginger limeade was excellent.

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We are in Michigan now and I am finding delight in the early spring landscape, even though I skipped the long, dreary, cold winter. These images of Florida seem very far away, both in distance and time.

Foggy Morning Gardens

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It was a foggy morning, and I was making my first trip to the Naples Botanical Gardens since we did our snowbird flight a month ago. I have been to the garden before when it was foggy so I was excited. It is a magical place in the fog and I enjoy taking macro photos when there isn’t the harsh shadows from the bright Florida sun. There were some other photographers who thought so, too.

There were some beautiful water lilies in bloom. I go on Tuesday mornings when members and dog owners can get in at 8:00.

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The fog works its magic on spider webs, leaving tiny drops of moisture along each strand. They are hard to photograph because the slightest breath of air moves them. I also had to move around to find a perspective where the background allowed the web to show at its best.

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There are a lot of banana trees growing in the garden and I have a tree with bananas ripening outside my kitchen window but this was the most beautiful bunch I have seen. The way they develop fruit really fascinates me. The flower petals lift up to expose the small yellow flowers inside – that the bees pollinate. The fruit grows at the base of this yellow part of the flower. Later the red petals fall off and new ones raise up with a new hand of bananas ready to form.

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The fog lifted but didn’t burn off when I was ready to leave. It was really humid so I didn’t stop for something cold to drink and a scone at the cafe. Maybe next week.

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Rest a Spell with Me

Given the subtropical location of the botanical gardens in Naples Florida, there is a huge variety of plants that can be grown. The gardens featured are from different parts of the world between 26th latitude north and 26 latitude south. As I am getting used to the foliage that is so different than what I am used to in the northern Midwest, I am gaining a greater appreciation of the variety of color and texture. Every time I visit I see things that I didn’t see before, sometimes because of new plantings but more often because I am better able to see what is before me.

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The people who designed the different gardens have done a beautiful job of incorporating seating that allows me to stop and rest and sometimes chat with the volunteers. These rest stops afford me the opportunity to see the plantings, architectural structures, and sculptures from a different perspective and to experience the ambiance of each unique garden. I feel transported in space to far-away places.

Come with me to enjoy a few minutes of peace and rest. We can quietly sit and take in the sound of a water fall and bird calls while we feel dappled sun on our skin. Best of all we can experience the joy of the lush foliage and beautiful flowers around us. Maybe we will even share some thoughts and chuckles. I’ll let you choose which resting place suits your fancy.