While gardens have been around since the beginning of time, botanical gardens—gardens designed for studies and education—first began in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as the physic, or medicinal, gardens of Italy.
It wasn't until 1859 that the first botanical garden, the Missouri Botanic Garden, was established in the United States. There are approximately 1,775 botanic gardens and arboreta in 148 countries around the world. Hundreds can be found in the United States, while in Florida, there are nearly fifty of significance.
Botanical gardens that often began with just a few seeds and cuttings grow into places of scientific significance where studies can be documented. These gardens are crucial for conservation efforts, and they also provide enjoyment to visitors who come to see their splendor.
In this book, a few of the notable botanic gardens located in the State of Florida will be explored to see how they began, how they have evolved, and what they may look like in the future.
The integral role they play in helping educate the public and how they work to preserve the environment will be examined in order to bring public awareness to the importance of these magnificent botanic gardens.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Ann Marie O'Phelan, MFA, grew up in a northern state where colorful flowers and vivid greens laid dormant during the winter months, was quite fond of the family trips to the local conservatory where wondrous winter growth was taking place, all in the comfort of a warm environment with tall windows. Her love of vegetation had her planting her own gardens in the summer months, while later on she found herself often writing about gardening for her publications. She believes that gardens bring joy to those who stroll through them, and help in the understanding of why we should consider the environment.