Wa­ter Gar­dens De­light and Soothe

Per­fect for re­lax­ation, re­flec­tion and med­i­ta­tion

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN

Col­or­ful koi swim about, a frog jumps off a lily pad, and the splash of a wa­ter­fall res­onates in the back­ground. These are just a few of the el­e­ments that make a wa­ter gar­den a lovely sanc­tu­ary to en­joy. Fort My­ers, Naples and Sara­sota have no­table wa­ter gar­dens, each of­fer­ing its own unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

EDI­SON & FORD WIN­TER ES­TATES

Edi­son & Ford Win­ter Es­tates in Fort My­ers of­fers three wa­ter gar­dens. One is the Lily Pond that is near the pool com­plex, and an­other is the Moon­light Gar­den be­hind Thomas Edi­son’s study. The third is a con­tem­po­rary wa­ter gar­den, lo­cated in the but­ter­fly gar­den next to the Edi­son Ford Gar­den Shoppe.

The Lily Pond was added in the late 1920s. The pond fea­tures some fa­vorite plants of Thomas Edi­son’s wife, Mina. These in­clude night-bloom­ing wa­ter lilies, ar­row­head and Egyp­tian pa­pyrus. It is likely that the pond was con­sid­ered part of a larger gar­den space.

“Mrs. Edi­son had ex­tended or­na­men­tal plant­ings along the bank of the Caloosa­hatchee and in­tended to have mois­turelov­ing shrubs along the bor­ders, as well as wa­ter lilies in the pond,” says Lisa Sbut­toni, vice pres­i­dent, com­mu­nity & vis­i­tor re­la­tions. Orig­i­nally, there were a num­ber of red, white, blue, and yel­low wa­ter lilies in­stalled in the gar­den. The pond at­tracts an oc­ca­sional tur­tle, tad­poles, frogs and tilapia, while drag­on­flies and but­ter­flies live on the edges.

The Moon­light Gar­den was de­signed by Ellen Bid­dle Ship­man, who was named “Dean of Women Land­scape Ar­chi­tects” in 1933 by House & Gar­den mag­a­zine. The gar­den was con­structed in the late 1920s and was one of Mina Edi­son’s fa­vorite places. “The con­cept was to cre­ate a night­time gar­den with a re­flect­ing pool filled with wa­ter lilies that would cap­ture the moon­light,” ex­plain Sbut­toni.

Orig­i­nally, pots filled with white and blue flow­er­ing plants were placed at each cor­ner of the pool to re­flect off the moon. “Nowa­days, in the Moon­light Gar­den, vis­i­tors can en­joy trop­i­cal wa­ter lilies—hy­brids that bloom pro­gres­sively in blue, pink and pur­ple,” says Deb­bie Hughes, gar­den man­ager and se­nior hor­ti­cul­tur­ist.

The con­tem­po­rary wa­ter gar­den fea­tures a wa­ter sculp­ture by D.J. Wilkins. “The gar­den is sur­rounded by pol­li­na­tor plants so that but­ter­flies flit about the gar­den,” Hughes adds.

The gar­den’s cen­ter­piece, a mo­saic, is an iconic art piece that was cre­ated by world-renowned Brazil­ian land­scape ar­chi­tect Roberto Burle Marx.

NAPLES BOTAN­I­CAL GAR­DEN

At Naples Botan­i­cal Gar­den, nearly ev­ery themed gar­den sec­tion has its own wa­ter gar­den—fea­tur­ing plants rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the theme. For ex­am­ple, “Kap­nick Brazil­ian Gar­den’s wa­ter gar­den has aquatic plants from Brazil and other parts of South and Cen­tral Amer­ica, in­clud­ing the iconic gi­ant wa­ter plat­ters,” notes Danny Cox, aquatic ar­eas man­ager.

That gar­den also fea­tures a wa­ter lily col­lec­tion, along with the gi­ant pa­pyrus, and many other dra­matic trop­i­cal and sub­trop­i­cal aquatic species. The gar­den’s cen­ter­piece, a mo­saic, is an iconic art piece that was cre­ated by world-renowned Brazil­ian land­scape ar­chi­tect Roberto Burle Marx.

The Lea Asian Gar­den’s wa­ter gar­den fea­tures the sa­cred lo­tus, an Asian col­lec­tion of wa­ter lilies, and other Asian trop­i­cal and sub­trop­i­cal aquatic species. Aquatic plants na­tive to Florida, and Florida-themed wa­ter lily va­ri­eties can be found in the Scott Florida Gar­den’s wa­ter gar­den.

“In the heart of Naples Botan­i­cal Gar­den lies a wa­ter gar­den that is not lim­ited to a spe­cific theme,” Cox says. That gar­den fea­tures a wa­ter lily col­lec­tion, Louisiana irises, and bog plants, in­clud­ing the car­niv­o­rous pitcher plants.

The wa­ter gar­dens are a sanc­tu­ary for aquatic wildlife. “We have drag­on­fly and dam­sel­fly nymphs; small, translu­cent fresh­wa­ter shrimp; mosquito fish; frogs and tad­poles; tur­tles; wa­ter snakes and the oc­ca­sional young al­li­ga­tor,” adds Cox.

MARIE SELBY BOTAN­I­CAL GAR­DENS

Marie Selby Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Sara­sota opened to the pub­lic in 1975, and its koi pond was part of the orig­i­nal de­sign. “In 1978, John Blaser, of Blaser’s Nurs­ery, ob­tained the stones that make up the wa­ter­fall from a quarry south of Tampa,” ex­plains Mis­cha Kirby, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Guests can en­joy watch­ing the brightly col­ored koi glide through the pond that is set un­der a jum­ble of trop­i­cal plants. The plants in the koi pond area in­clude a mix of trop­i­cal fo­liage that cre­ates a lush oa­sis. “No­table fea­tures in­clude the trav­eler’s tree, the gi­ant an­giopteris fern, a num­ber of climb­ing philo­den­drons and a mix of other fo­liage,” Kirby says.

In ad­di­tion, there are two sculp­tures lo­cated in the koi pond: A sit­ting Bud­dha ap­pears to float on the wa­ter, and the other is a mer­maid over­look­ing the pool.

Guests can en­joy watch­ing the brightly col­ored koi glide through the pond that is set un­der a jum­ble of trop­i­cal plants. The plants in the koi pond area in­clude a mix of trop­i­cal fo­liage that cre­ates a lush oa­sis.

At top, wa­ter lilies float in the heart of Naples Botan­i­cal Gar­den. Cas­cad­ing waters (be­low) flow into the Kap­nick Brazil­ian Gar­den's pond.

The Moon­light Gar­den at the Edi­son & Ford Win­ter Es­tates fea­tures a pool filled with trop­i­cal wa­ter lilies.

Bud­dha (top) and a mer­maid (be­low) are the two sculp­tures in the koi pond at Selby Gar­dens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.