Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Special Garden Stroll

I had planned on posting these photos last week, but when I received photos from my nephew of some our troops Christmas celebration in Kuwait, they took priority. I'm sure you'll agree with me on that decision. If you don't mind, I would still like to take you for a stroll through the Florida Botanical Gardens; the decorations are most likely not what you saw in your hometown.

For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love the Gardens, I did several posts on them over the summer. I live only a couple of minutes away and they are one of my favorite places to while away a few hours. The Gardens are full of unusual tropical plants that you don't typically find in other states and our Christmas decorations are no different.

The first thing you see as you follow the sidewalk from the parking lot is this sign:

Now tell me, did you see that on your Christmas walk?

This is not the alligator they were referring to on the sign

Of course you would expect to see our palm trees all lit up

The walkway was like a tropical winter wonderland

Honey Bees adorned the wall covered with Creeping Fig


The white bougainvillea under the bottle brush was stunning

Bamboo hideaway

Our tropical birds are a major attraction here in Florida
and they made a grand display at the Gardens

The trees in the courtyard were spectacular

The pavilion was decked out in holiday splendor

The reflections in the water from the lights on
the bridge were a sight to behold

Let's not forget the butterflies,

a garden must have butterflies

We love our water turtles in Florida

This photo of me and Sister is actually from last year.
Last year we were wearing shorts,
this year warm jackets!

The common name of Dombeya wallichii is
Christmas Ornament Tree.
You can see it was in full bloom!

The rose garden only had a few blooms left,
so this bright and cheery rose was a welcome addition

Top of the gazebo

And of course we had to have a special Santa!
This is Green Santa from the book,
When Santa Turned Green

The kids amazed me as they answered Santa's questions on what they could do to be environmentally-friendly. They thoroughly enjoyed this Santa, as you can tell by the look on my great-nephews face. Santa answered all their questions and then stayed until the last child and some adults had their picture taken with him and told him what they wanted for Christmas. It was nice to see there was no charge for this! At the mall this year the cheapest package was $27 and no digital cameras were allowed. I like this Santa!

Hope you enjoyed my Florida Christmas Stroll. Now I can put Christmas away until next year and store my fond memories of another tropical holiday.

I'm linking this with all the other Outdoor Wednesday participants with Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer. Have a wonderful day!

23 Thoughtful Comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. . . DELIGHTFUL!!! Very, very pretty!

$27 for Santa visit? Sounds like the grinch is going after Christmas again! I had no idea. . . ! (wonder how mucht it was here? I stayed off Santa's lap this year. If they charged by the pound. . . !)

Regina said...

Hello Rhonda. Beautiful lights! Truly spectacular.
and the green Santa is awesome!
Thank you for sharing!

Happy New Year again.

Cheers and regards.

Light and Voices said...

Hi Rhonda! Kewelopolis!
Joyce M

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhonda, this is just super neat! Thank you for sharing this stroll with us.

Are you freezing? I am!


Sheila :-)

Crystal said...

What a wonderful outdoor light display. It looks like a good time was had by all. That is great about the pictures, because the cost is really high at the mall, just for a pic with Santa.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was so amazing! Thanks Rhonda for posting all of those pictures...I've never seen such a display! I love the hummingbird and the turtle!!!

Blondie's Journal said...


These are amazing and beautiful pictures. I would love to visit this garden! When you get a chance, let me know what part of Florida it is in. Not that I get there often, but you never know... The alligators may put me off a bit, but I will be careful!

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!! :-)


Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

So gorgeous! I'd love to have a Bamboo hideaway like that in my backyard -maybe one day when I live south!?

bunny, The Paris House Designs said...

Shellebelle this is so great, I am really missing Florida and you are bringing back so many memories..are you familiar with Butterfly World?? We go there every Christmas break, it is about 30 minutes from the condo and across the street they do beautiful Christmas lights. I love that alligator sign, sure haven't seen that up here in the bitter cold North...27 degrees today. I also like the pink flamingo, I have a fondness for them and the Green Santa is it all.
ps. I'm going to try and find the oatmeal you recommended, it sounds great. And you are such and inspiration with your fierce determination to be healthy and fit!! You are so right is good!!
Happy Day to You

bunny, The Paris House Designs said...

Hi me again...I was just in your store and I saw all the great t-shirts, do you happen to have or could you find me a heather grey/light grey size xs tshirt that says 'TOWNIE' on it..I live in a little small town and play darts on Friday nights and want a tshirt that says that to wear on dart night. I have been looking but can't find one. Let me know if you can get one.

RobinfromCA said...

What a fun tour! Love all the lights and that Christmas Ornament Tree is fabulous!

Happy New Year!

Old Time Cindy said...

That looks like fun walking through those Christmas displays, but watching for alligators?! LOL...
Living it up at Lakewood,

dee dee said...

What a wonderful lights display! I love the reflections in the water(so long as no gators appear!) Thankfully we don't have those in Ohio! Right now we have bitter cold and snow..... hmmm maybe the gators would be OK!
Dee Dee

Kat said...

Such beautiful shots Rhonda! I love the gazebo ceiling, it reminds me of Austin's Zilker Park tree of lights - you stand underneath and spin until you are dizzy. But my favorite is the bougainvillea under the bottlebrush tree - that is truly a magical photo. We are cold here too, hope it warms up soon! Kathy

eileeninmd said...

Great post I love all the neat Christmas lights. Very pretty and great photos.

Sue said...

Loved this! We love to go to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis (about 100 miles for us) and of course I love Florida, palm trees and Christmas this was just the post for me!

Yes, the HTML did work. I know enough that your directions made perfect sense to me...thanks so much!


Kristen said...

I have never seen anything so amazing!!! Those butterflies!! Wow!! And I love the Beware of Gators sign!! Classic!!

Thank you so much for sharing these beauties!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It all looked like a wonderful fairyland! I like the "green" Santa

I can't believe the mall Santas are so expensive! So ridiculous isn't it?

Lillian Robinson said...

OMG! $27 to see Santa? Per kid?

Love the lights. Put a little snow underneath and I'm there!

gayle said...

Love the pictures!!! Beautiful!

Sierra said...

That looks like a lot of fun and I love Christmas lights! I especially like the alligators, butterflies, and turtle. So cute! I miss Christmas already.

Our Porch in Hillsborough said...

Thanks for the great tour of the botanical gardens - the lights were beautiful!

SquirrelQueen said...

Gorgeous lights, what a wonderful holiday display.I haven't seen a Beware of Alligators sign any where but down your way. We just had beware of moose signs all over Alaska.

OMG, I can't believe you son is involved with the 1000. I saw Two Roads to Baja when it was first aired. 2007 was the same year they filmed Chasing Baja. I have never seen so many camera crews at the race before or since. The Baja 1000 is always fun. We also did the Reno to Vegas this year, that was sooo different from Mexico.

PS, he looks a little like Jesse James in the first photo in your post.

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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