Monday, August 17, 2009

A hidden jem in my own backyard.....The Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens....

Winter Park Florida......

and it's best kept secret - Classic Art in a classical setting

Several weeks ago, the Seminole County Master Gardeners were invited to attend the Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. One of our members is a volunteer working on maintaining the gardens and arranged this wonderful treat for us. Most of us have never attended this incredible Museum & Garden or even heard of it. It is mind boggling how many of us are guilty of not knowing and experiencing all the wonderful things that are practically in our own back yards.

Throughout the buildings and grounds, dozens of sculptures, paintings and drawings-each with a story to tell-convey the Czech-American sculptor's talent and whimsical imagination.

This three acre property on Lake Osceola, The Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places to see.

They say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will share these photos that I took the day we visited. Despite the fact that the temperature as well as the humidity were up in the very uncomfortable high 90's, this visit was a true joy that will long be remembered. Despite the fact that myself & the others in the visiting group are all Master Gardeners......we all left with the thought, "I want to go home and tear up my garden & start over". Is this known as too much inspiration or perhaps just over stimulated?

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens was founded in 1961 by Albin Polasek in order to share his art, or in his words, his "children", with the world. Albin Polasek"s legacy was the gift of his home, his art and his gardens to the citizens of Central Florida and the world. It offers the perfect location for volunteers seeking to actively participate in cultural and community service in a beautiful, historic setting.

Our tour guide, Rudy was an incredible wealth of knowledge on the history of the property and the gardens....and had such patience to put up with our group. I know we all learned something that day and some of us were fortunate to leave with our own cutting of some of these glorious plants from the garden. Many thanks to Barry, Seminole County Master Gardener-class of 2009 and Rudy for your hospitality and the invitation extended to the Seminole County Master Gardeners to spend a morning with you. Thank you, Thank you!

If you look carefully at this photo towards the upper center, the "white stuff" is not snow or icicles.....this is a Cotton Tree. Each ball of cotton has it's black seeds scattered within it. I will plant mine and see if I can get it to grow.

Walk-ways within the gardens.

Sculptures in various mediums are scattered through out the property as if they "just grew there". Now that's a thought.

The property overlooks Lake Osceola......and offers a positively serene and perfect view.

"Eternal Moment".......Albin Polasek

Some more beautiful plants. The wonders of nature!

Thee beautiful gardens offer a perfect and natural setting to display Polasek's art.

Another perfect view of the lake & gardens.

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is a 501(C) public charity, non-profit organization.

Another photo of the cotton tree.

Although a little difficult to tell in the photo, this grand old tree is the display piece for various Bromeliads & Orchards which are secured with wire to the tree until they take root and continue to grow naturally on the tree. Many Bromeliads & some Orchards are air plants and do not need soil to grow.

A "dead" tree stump has been utilized to display a Bromeliad......another creative idea.

Some more beautiful display of flowers.

Notice the bananas on the vine.

Several ponds were incorporated into the gardens.

On our tour we even spotted this unusual insect. It blended perfectly with the leaves of the plant it peacefully rested upon, until we captured it to get a better look.

Mr. Leaf Bug is almost the size of a coffee cup. I am sure he was thrilled with being moved from his plant for this.

Whether you live or visit in or near Central Florida.....put this wonderful gem on your agenda to visit. And always explore what is in your own back yard. Sometimes the best things are right under our finger tips and we tend to neglect them.

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