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The Botanical Gardens Add More Art to the Gardens

The Florida Botanical Gardens are well-known for their beautiful flowers, but art is also an integral part of the gardens.

Terry Berube of the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation tell us the story of the gardens' newest piece of art:

Since the loss of the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, we have been faced with the challenge of obtaining new and exciting ways to re-enter artwork back to the . 

Presently our artwork includes the mural in the Tropical Fruit Garden, the stained glass in the Cottage Garden, the mosaic bench and table along the Tropical Walk, the mosaic blocks in the Palm Garden,  and the magnificent mosaic in the Wedding Garden.  

All of these pieces of art were either part of the original design or were a contribution by a volunteer or group of volunteers with support by the Florida Botanical Garden Foundation.

What a surprise several months ago when I was shown a beautiful cement fountain in the shape of a dolphin riding the waves.  It brought me back to my childhood and my favorite sea mammal, Flipper. 

The dolphin was found at another county park by our local crew chief who received permission to move it to the Florida Botanical Gardens. 

We originally were only going to powerwash her (Flipper was a girl, you know) but after talking to some experts,  we learned that we could have her stained.  With the help of the county staff, we drove Flipper, very carefully, down to have her “dolled up at the spa”. 

She came out just great and is now living happily in the waterway that travels through the Palm Garden.  One of the nice things about this new piece of artwork is that the only cost incurred by the County was the small pump.  An anonymous donor covered the cost of staining.

Please talk a minute to go over to see her.  It will bring you back to those innocent days of your youth and I bet you’ll be singing the theme song all day.

If you go to the gardens:

• Come to the special festival today in the gardens. This new event will offer hands-on art activities, displays, vendors, booths, music and refreshments today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Patch will have a booth at the festival, too. Come up and say hi, and meet the members of the Patch team.

• The Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo, are open every day from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.flbg.org or call 727-582-2100.

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