Around the corner of Foster Succulent Garden, look just across the trail and you’ll see them: nine bins containing 26 water lily hybrids make up this year’s new water lily contest. The International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society coordinates this annual competition, a premier event for hybridizers around the world.
The Naples Botanical Garden is in its third in four years of hosting the competition. In the role of the Garden host, members of the Aquatic Zone team receive applicants in early spring as plants, tubers or rhizomes, and feed them for months to maturity. They take meticulous measurements, photographs and notes documenting the color, size, appearance and health of the lilies to share with the contest judges.
Although a winner is not announced until December, the presence of the hybrids means that every summer and early fall, garden guests can see these hybrid shows as they produce brilliant flowers and thrive in the sun. . Enjoy them throughout the month of September while they are still on display. The rest of the year, the Garden’s 60,000 square feet of water gardens means there are always beautiful water lilies to see, with over 450 at any given time.
The Steve Tobin Nature Underground exhibition is also present at the Garden until September 6. Steve Tobin has been creating nature-based sculptures for over three decades. His famous Roots series, which explores the unseen power of the natural world, seems to dance on the earth, spiraling to create elegant shapes and ever-changing shadows. Through this 11-month exhibition which is now coming to an end, the Garden explores the theme of roots through Tobin’s dramatic steel and bronze sculptures. This artistic presentation will provide a platform for sharing the wonderfully complex world that lies beneath the ground and celebrates the importance and often hidden beauty of the roots.
The Naples Botanical Garden is a 170-acre world-class garden paradise that features plants from around the world. The Garden offers arts, culture, youth and adult education, conservation, wellness and volunteerism programs that contribute to the quality of life in Southwest Florida onsite and in online at naplesgarden.org. Summer opening hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $ 20 for adults, $ 10 for children (4 – 17); Members and children 3 and under enter free. Residents of Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties receive reduced admission until September 30. Visit naplesgarden.org for details. ??