Ava, you want to go to a botanical garden ? She responded ” Do they have butterflies?”. So off we went westward on Alligator Alley. Destination : Naples Botanical Gardens. http://www.naplesgarden.org/
Although it consists of over 90 acres, I was mainly interested in their extensive focus on kids and kid sized activities related to gardens. First stop was the Pfeffer Beach Butterfly Garden. An amazing experience for kids and adults alike. Most butterflies here are native to Florida. My daughter squealed with joy when one landed on her shoulder. We meandered on to the The Smith’s Childrens Garden.http://www.naplesgarden.org/show/the-childrens-garden
Within this gem was their Hidden Garden. A diminuative space which was perfect for my daughter to pump water from a well and water plants potted in all sorts of quirky and fun pots. These ‘pots’ consisted of a shoe or a toilet (non functioning of course) or basketball. How creative and fun !
Next up was beautiful area around the outdoor educational auditorium. They have a great little play area with in ground water spouts where kids can frolick in their bathing suits on those scorching Florida days. Ava enjoyed the kid sized house adjacent to the water play area. Outside of this Tom Thumb sized dwelling was a old fashioned well water pump to fill up a can of water to sprinkle on the various plants and seedlings nearby. Kids so often are forced to observe, so this was a treat where my angel could be hands on with caring for nature. There were so many different species of plants that we must go back again to see the rest. If you have a little green thumb or just a curious little one that loves the outdoors, then the Naples Botanical Garden is a must see.
I just kept hearing that ubiquitous song by Pharell Williams in my head while watching my daughter enjoy herself..’ Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because I’m happy’
Enjoy the pics!
‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh~Freelance Photojournalist/Bon Vivant Blogger~SobeSavvy.com
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