Ready to Bloom! Naples Botanical Garden will unveil three new themed areas this week

Javanese ruins are a highlight of the Lea Asian Garden. Naples Botanical Garden

Javanese ruins are a highlight of the Lea Asian Garden. Naples Botanical Garden

Botanic Garden. Aero Photo of Naples

Botanic Garden. Aero Photo of Naples

Javanese ruins are a highlight of the Lea Asian Garden. Naples Botanical Garden

Javanese ruins are a highlight of the Lea Asian Garden. Naples Botanical Garden

Brian Holley

Brian Holley

Naples Botanical Garden

4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples

Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults, $9.95; Children 4-14, $4.95; 3 and under free; members free

Address: 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples, 34112 (off U.S. 41 East).

Contact: (239) 643-7275 or online, naplesgarden.org

The Naples Botanical Garden’s subtropical location — between the 26th latitude north and the 26th latitude south — gives us the unique opportunity to showcase gardens representing countries and regions that contain some of the world’s most diverse plant communities and interesting cultures from around the globe, including Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean and Florida.

— It is that time again — we are opening new gardens!

Just a year after opening our newly expanded facilities on Bayshore Drive in East Naples, we are back with even more.

The public grand opening is Saturday.

Please consider yourself invited to come see and share.

The Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden, designed by Naples’ Ellin Goetz, features an extensive wildflower meadow surrounded by a circle of sabal palms (our state tree) that gives the garden a true sense of place. The Scott Florida Garden also serves the needs of our residents and snowbirds with a series of garden rooms that provide gardening ideas and opportunities for contemplation.

The Buehler Family Foundation Enabling Garden, which was designed in collaboration with Gene Rothert (one of America’s foremost horticultural therapists, of Chicago Botanic Garden), is a great place to see ways that we can make gardening easier for those of us with physical challenges.

The theme of the Naples Garden Club Idea Garden is filled with information about how to garden in Southwest Florida. Gardening is very different here — we grow tomatoes in the winter! The Jeannie Meg and Christopher B. Smith Labyrinth is set into a grove of fragrant trees, a perfect spot for losing yourself in the moment.

The Marcia and L. Bates Lea Asian Garden was designed by Made Wijaya of Bali, Indonesia, and largely constructed by a crew of Balinese craftsmen. It is filled with garden rooms that represent the various styles of landscape in Southeast Asia, from a Javanese temple ruin set in a jungle, to a Vietnamese courtyard, to a Thai pavilion and lotus pool.

A stroll through this garden is like taking a trip through some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world.

The Lea Asian Garden presented some unique challenges during construction. The first shipment of materials for the garden was rejected by customs and ended up stranded in Panama until Mauricio Pastor, Kraft Construction’s site superintendent, went down and got it back on track.

All the bridges and buildings were fabricated in Bali and then taken apart for shipping. Unfortunately, they didn’t all meet the building codes for Collier County so there were some unusual design challenges for our structural engineer as he tried to develop structural integrity while keeping the artistic integrity.

The third new garden is the Water Garden. Humans have a very special relationship with water lilies, lotus and other aquatic plants in our religions, cultures and food. For example, there is a legend that as a newborn, Buddha could walk and that in every step he took a lotus flowered. And while most of us associate papyrus with ancient Egypt and the production of early paper, just a few decades ago Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Morocco to Barbados in Ra II, a boat made from papyrus, to show that there could have been pre-Columbian contact between North Africa and America.

No doubt the Water Garden will also be a favorite for fans of Monet, as his depictions of water lilies are some of the most iconic works of art.

Now we preparing for a week of grand-opening celebration events at the garden and around town, so check our calendar and join us! Visit our website at www.naplesgarden.org for more information.

© 2010 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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