The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


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Sights at Selby

A little GREEN for y’all today and a first for me … I am sitting in a cafe! Yes, my first cafe-side created post. Today, a wonderful cafe called Green Sage Cafe in Asheville NC with many fresh, healthy ingredients on the menu – including GREEN Vegan/plant-based meals. I could get used to this.

We have been traveling for a week so please forgive my absence. I’m a little road weary but today and tomorrow we rest and plan to stretch our legs on a hike or two somewhere among this beautiful country side (Smoky Mountains) in search for the end of the rainbow and a pot o’ gold – Mojo will be oh, so grateful. He’s a good dog, but even a good dog has his limits! Thursday it is back on the road and finally home as we plan to arrive the first day of Spring. Spring is here (in Asheville)! Daffodils, forsythia, azaleas are in bloom. I know I will have awhile to wait once we arrive home so I’m soaking it up.

Not too long ago this lucky girl visited the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota FL, and I wanted to share some of the sights with you. Selby is known for its collection of epiphytes which includes many types of orchids. We began our venture right in the hot house! A beautiful collection of epiphytes contained within glass in ideal conditions. I’ll let the sights speak for themselves … (wish I could also share the scents and sounds of gently trickling water).

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You might believe those orchids would steal the entire show, but no, I was won over by the pitcher plants. I have never seen some of these types and I was fascinated.

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My favorite!

I was also entranced by some of the beautiful patterns of foliage – so much to see and absorb in just one trip. I’m not sure I’m giving these plants and gardens a fair show. There were so many names, plaques, plants that are/were new to me. So begins my education by simply, exposure. I dream of a tropical garden someday that never dies under a blanket of white – only shifts and transitions between blooms, exotic seed pods, large lush leaves.

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Did I mention “exotic?” Wow. (CAUTION: some of this content may not be suitable for young children!)

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There are so many layers to a garden. I find that I am now drawn to the forms of plants mainly because I have some scenes in my head that I want to paint on paper – all lush and large. Looking through my photos, one can tell; it’s not only in the flowers that I find interest. Believe it or not I used to own this very same plant as a houseplant – look at this root!

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Look at these seed pods!

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Then, of course there were trees to ogle over. You know me, I’m all about trees.

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This tree was in full bloom – large, fist-sized red flowers.

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The bark of a Gumbo Limbo tree.

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Just one of a superb collection of Bonsai.

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Not sure if this is a tree per say, but its form is certainly tree-like.

The magnificent roots of a Fig tree.

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More roots – look at this network!

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One of my favorites – Banyan tree.

Banyan tree.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these sights. I assure you Spring is on its way. The Robins are singing here. Soon, it will all creep further North. I hope to hurry it along and bring some home with me. I certainly picked up many great things this tour to reflect upon – best Winter I have ever had!

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If you ever find yourself in Sarasota be sure to visit Selby but WARNING: they sell orchids! Imagine the restraint I had to use not to bring one of these beauties home (simply had to remind myself that I’m a plant murderer).

Orchids for sale at the Selby gift store …

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