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Selby Gardens

After weeks of public hearings, the Sarasota City Planning Board has voted to recommend approval of a master site plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

On Thursday, a sold-out crowd heard speakers both for and against the organization’s $92 million plan less than 24 hours after it learned it would be able to move forward in the city's approval process.

Visitation and annual revenue are up since Selby Gardens was repositioned as a "living museum." The newest exhibit pairs botany with artist, Paul Gauguin.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has big ideas for the renovation of its 15-acre site on Sarasota's Bayfront.

Their 10-year master site plan includes a vertical "sky" garden, a cutting edge plant research center, parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. The plan, which is estimated to cost $67 million, will include infrastructure improvements aimed at keeping Selby's living collections out of flood zones into secure structures using green technology.

Cathy Carter

Best known as a pioneer of modernist painting, Marc Chagall also worked with stained glass, tapestries and ceramics.

The world's most important museums display the artist's work, but it’s never been shown quite like the way it is right now at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Selby Gardens

It's a plant so rare they call it the "Queen of the Night."

And your only chance to see it bloom is - tonight.

Selby Gardens in Sarasota is hosting a "pop-up bloom-viewing party" Wednesday at 8 p.m. to show off the Selenicereus. It's a flowering cactus that blooms only once a year. Its name is derived from the Greek moon goddess and the Latin word for candle.

Wikimedia Commons

Springtime is planting time, generally speaking. And winter is a time to plan to plant. But Selby Gardens' Chief Horticulturist Mike McLaughlin says there are some exceptions to that.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

For the past five years, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota has been part of a pioneering effort to return rare bromeliads and orchids to the Everglades. Several botanists waded into the thickets of Everglades National Park to bring endangered plants back into the wild.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Earlier this year, photographer Carlton Ward Jr. and three colleagues embarked on a trip to bring attention to the need to connect Florida's remaining wild areas - before it's too late. They called it the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition.  On Thursday night, Ward will kick off the first public exhibition of his photographs taken during that epic 100-day, 1,000-mile trip.