Stop and smell the flowers at Selby Gardens, a living museum in Sarasota

If you're looking for a relaxing, day-long getaway, consider visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. 

Nestled by the Sarasota Bay, the gardens feature a wide array of flowers and plants that would otherwise only be found in far corners of the world. For this spring, the setting is set for the tropical Polynesia flower and the featured artist is the 18th century French painter, Paul Gauguin. 

The exhibit consists of some of the that area's most striking plants, recreating the sights, smells, and sounds Gaugin may have come across on his travels to Tahiti. 

“Sometimes we call it horticultural theater, because it is in a way, we’re putting on a show,” said Mike McLaughling, the director of horticulture for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. 

Open year-round, visitors can step into a lush oasis and see some of the rarest species found in the plant kingdom. According to McLaughlin, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the most diverse botanical garden, per acre, in the world.

It was made possible by William and Marie Selby who moved to Sarasota from Ohio in the early 1900s. The couple built a home along the Sarasota Bay, where Marie's green thumb blossomed. 

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In 1955, William established the William and Marie Selby Foundation as a way to give back to the community. Their home has turned into an extraordinarily beautiful educational attraction, where people of all ages can learn and appreciate nature's wonders. 

For more information, head over to the Selby Gardens website.