• Jun. 18 2012
  • Nicolette Beard

A Reel Catch - Garden Lake Tarpon

One of the things I like most about the Garden is that people can engage in a variety of experiences depending on their interest area and age level. This last weekend was no exception.

From Catch and Release fishing to another memorable Summer Picnic Concert, we saw a steady stream of visitors; some with fishing poles and major outback gear to early birds toting the classic straw picnic baskets. As one concertgoer claimed on our Facebook page, “The concert today was amazing! (Thank you for that Dolette.)

For years, rumor had it that the Garden Lake was home to tarpon, which seemed like a fanciful tale to many who had heard this story. Lo and behold, a 3-foot tarpon was indeed caught by our very own Director of Horticulture, Brian Galligan.


One of our longtime volunteers hypothesized that the tarpon found its way into our lake after Hurricane Donna. He suggested that it was the Gulf surge that provided a new home to many of the fish now populating the lake. For those born after 1960, Naples News’ Lighthouse Project provides fascinating tidbits of hurricane history surrounding that devastating day.

  • Apr. 10 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

Annual Kids' Egg Hunt Fun for All


On Saturday, April 7th the Garden hosted its annual Egg Hunt which was a huge success!

Between 9am-12:30pm we had 1,178 visitors came out to the Smith Children's Garden to celebrate the spring holiday weekend.

If you were not able to attend here's what you missed...

  • Apr. 3 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

Botanical Weeds at the Garden

Recently, amidst the hectic approach to our Annual Flower Show, Dr. George Wilder delivered an  overview of a category of plants that people don't frequently include in arrangements or showings, but which are remarkable and beautiful in their own way - Weeds.

Dr. Wilder collects weeds from all over but has found some remarkable ones right here in the Garden!

Read on to learn more about his collections of weeds from the Garden and his thoughts ons some of his more interesting and rare finds...

  • Mar. 21 2012
  • Shannon Palmer

New Succulent Garden


In February 2012, we put the finishing touches on the Kristin Foster Succulent Garden. The newest addition to the Naples Botanical Garden features succulent plants from around the world.

So what do we mean by "succulent?"

A succulent, by definition, is any plant that has a specialized growth for storing or conserving water. In general, these are plants adapted for growing in arid climates or arid-like conditions, like the crevises of rocks with little to no soil or even a part of your garden that does't get watered.

Succulent plants often have some combination of spines, thick fleshy leaves or swollen trunks. These adaptations help them live through harsh climates and conditions with little to no rain fall. 

  • Mar. 14 2012
  • Shannon Palmer

Introducing the Plant Talk & Walk Videos

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is "What's Blooming?"

We wanted to answer this question in a totally new way for our audience, so we tracked down our Horticulture Director, Brian Galligan, and asked him take us through a tour of what's currently in bloom.

As it turns out, we have LOADS of things in bloom all the time. Of course we knew this, but putting it in a video was a totally different story. We would have two hour videos each week if we tried to publish everything we shot.

Thus, the launch of our Plant Talk & Walk videos! Since we can't fit in everything that is blooming, we wanted provide a "highlight tour" through the Garden.

The first video we have includes some of the incredible blooming trees around our property, starting right in our parking lots.


  • Mar. 8 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

Tropical Hardwood Hammocks

Dr. George Wilder is a Botanist, Professor and our Herbarium Curator here at the Garden. We are extremely lucky to have him, especially since he shares his knowledge during our bimonthly staff meetings with his amazing and sometimes humorous presentations. We thought it was time to share these reports with our readers. Enjoy!


  • Feb. 24 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

1st Annual Garden Party

GardenPartyDrummers.jpgOn Friday, February 17th, the Garden hosted the Inaugural Garden Party to celebrate the opening of the two-month ZimSculpt exhibition.

The evening began with a dramatic entrance where guests were greeted by African drummers. Following this was a stroll through the Garden where guests enjoyed the sculptures placed throughout the Asian,  Florida and Brazilian gardens, just to name a few. During there evening walk, guests viewed an on-site carving demonstration by Patrick Sephani while enjoying cocktails and hors' d’oeuvres.

  • Feb. 23 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

Zimbabwean Sculptures Inspire

IMG_8665_2.jpgThe ZimSculpt stone sculpture exhibit is making a big impression on our visitors since its debut at our First Annual Garden Party on Friday, February 17, 2011.

The exhibit features more than 100 stone carvings arranged throughout the cultivated gardens. Not only are the stone sculptures wonderful to look at, but also serve to educate visitors on the cultural heritage of Zimbabwe. Themes of family, nature and spirituality clearly inspire the creativity of these magnificent stone carvings.

  • Feb. 13 2012
  • Shannon Palmer

Question: Where are the Night Lights 2011 pictures?

FotoBooth_NightLights2011.jpgWe have been receiving a number of calls and emails about the photos that were taken during our Night Lights 2011 Celebration by Luminaire Foto.

You may remember picking up some prop pair of glasses or faux mustache and posing for a shot or two in the Lea Asian Garden during our holiday season event. Did you ever check out the pictures and see how they came out?

  • Feb. 8 2012
  • Heather duPlooy

Bye Bye Birdies! Hello Habitats!


Many beautiful migratory birds are still with us in Southwest Florida, but the January Second Saturday Migration Celebration has flown away to make room for another migration -- the Gnomes, who will be returning to the Children’s Garden February 11, 2012!

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