Coming up in February our membership to the Ringling Museum compound will need to be renewed. Tim and I did a Hmmmmmm about that for awhile this weekend. We've been many times and we enjoy it every time. We've taken many a guest with us as well. But sometimes, we just feel the need to change things up. So this past weekend we decided to instead get a membership to the Marie Selby Botanical Garden and we will allow our Ringling cards to expire.
We actually hadn't visited Selby Gardens in many years but in our dusty distant memory, it was a pretty place so what the heck. We signed up and then walked through the doors into a magical world ;)
Tim and I both enjoy strolling around Botanic Gardens and have sought them out almost everywhere we have visited. And for lots of reasons. First of all, a botanic garden is not just a home to flowers. There are also all of the other critters that seem to be drawn to gardens as well. Butterflies and frogs, lizards and birds, squirrels and bees; they are always so happy in a garden.
Then of course, gardens are pretty. They just are. Pretty things make me smile. We love the colour, the fragrance, the textures and almost infinite variety that a botanic garden offers. Mother Nature has a way of putting some of the most unlikely combinations together in a way that looks absolutely perfect but we mere humans would never consider. She is an amazing artist.
And lastly are the feelings. I always have a tremendous sense of both peace and inspiration in a garden. It's a zen thing, I suppose. I can literally feel the stress washing away and the creative spirit rise as we wander the maze of paths admiring sculptures and sitting for a moment by the ponds, breathing in the heady scents and stopping to take photographs.
The Marie Selby Gardens are in Sarasota right in the thick of congested traffic, both on the water and on the road, next to a marina and surrounded by historic homes and towering condominiums. Not exactly an area I would normally consider a peaceful place. But it is. In spite of it's surroundings, it absolutely is exactly what I expect from a botanic garden.
Originally built as the home to William and Marie Selby in the early 1920's, Marie loved her gardens and upon her death in 1971, she bequeathed both her home and the property to the community as a botanic garden which has not only been beautifully maintained but expanded upon and improved by it's guardians.
One of the best parts of any museum memberships is the reciprocity with other museums. Not just in the same state, but all over the country! That is exciting to consider as we plan any other trips. This particular museum also offers classes, discounts in the shops, special events and free plants on membership appreciation day! woohoo!
One of the best things about a garden is that it is always changing. Every time we will visit, there will be something different to see, to learn and enjoy. Colour us happy ;) For this year anyway. Who knows what we will do next year when it's time to think about renewing again.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.