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, collections can be monitored and new findings can be uncovered, while the gathered information can be shared with others.
Botanical gardens are crucial for conservation efforts, and they also provide enjoyment to visitors who come to see their splendor. The images and stories behind each botanical garden found in this book offer viewers a chance to learn how these gardens began and unfolded over time.
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.