These extraordinary structures are actually pieces of temporary art, built from natural materials that will eventually breakdown and become part of the landscape once again. I thought they were fascinating! A bit spooky looking too, don’t you think?
Designed by Patrick Dougherty, internationally acclaimed artist, is known throughout the world for his intriguing, one-of-a-kind creations that transform trees and twigs into functional, extraordinary works of art. You can read more about it here.
And for those interested, here is some of the history of the garden, which I found fascinating (I love history too!)
In 1932, Arthur G. McKee and Waldo E. Sexton opened McKee Jungle Gardens on an 80-acre tropical hammock in Vero Beach, Florida. The two land developers employed landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, to design the basic infrastructure of streams, ponds and trails while they focused their efforts on assembling one of the most outstanding collections of waterlilies and orchids ‐ augmenting native vegetation with ornamental plants and exotic specimens from around the world. By the 1940’s, more than 100,000 tourists were visiting the Gardens each year, deeming it one of Florida’s earliest and most popular natural attractions.
By 1976 the Gardens were forced to close, and the property was sold and zoned for development. All but 18 acres were developed into condominiums while the remaining land lay dormant for twenty years. In 1994, the Indian River Land Trust launched a fund- raising campaign and successfully purchased the property. An additional $9 million was raised to purchase, stabilize and restore the Garden, and in November 2001 a formal dedication ceremony was held for McKee Botanical Garden..
With a renewed focus on native horticulture, the Garden remains true to its jungle heritage, featuring 10,000 native and tropical plants as well as one of the area’s largest collections of waterlilies. The Hall of Giants and Spanish Kitchen, historic to the Garden, were both meticulously restored to Sexton’s original vision, and in 2002 the United State’s first permitted bamboo structure was built on site.
After we finished viewing the Garden, we did a spot of shopping before heading back to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for some pool time! We also wanted to watch the launch of OSIRIS-REx, which will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study! With Cape Canaveral being about an hour away, north, we knew we’d be able to see it from our resort. After all, we did see the Juno Rocket vapour trail from the villa in Orlando back in 2011!
We found a channel on television with the launch so we could watch it – but there was a time delay between what was being shown on the TV and what we could see! Suddenly we could see it in the distance, but it was still counting down to launch on the telly! I don’t have the zoom capabilities on my Canon camera that I did on my old Lumix, so my photo isn’t of anything much, but Steve did film a short video and zoomed into the max – you can see the booster falling away and everything!
I will be uploading a video of this trip in the future – with everything I have to do, they always fall to the wayside as it’s so time consuming to edit a video together – plus, since I’ve got a new computer, Windows Movie Maker isn’t on it, so I’m having to find my way around a new programme, which is also a time suck. That said, I’ve cobbled together a short video of the launch, which you can see below or over on my YouTube Channel!
We had dinner to-go from Shutters, the (then) resort restaurant. I am so glad that they did food to go, as we just wanted to spend a night chilling out after what, for us so far, had been a busy day!! We were really getting used to the beach life and doing not very much! We will definitely work a few days at Vero Beach into future Florida plans!
I’ve listed out the dishes we had below. Sorry for the shoddy photos of these – only so many ways you can make boxed food look attractive! The food was delicious, especially my coconut shrimp – I live for that dish when in Florida!!
Me: Coconut Shrimp – Orange-Horseradish Marmalade ($13)
Him: Pan-Seared Crab Cake – Crunchy Slaw and Stone-Ground Mustard Rémoulade ($13)
Me: Manhattan Filet and Shrimp Scampi – Lean, tender and full-flavored Filet cut from the Strip Loin, Herb-Crusted Fingerling Potatoes, and Seasonal Vegetables ($34)
Him: Bourbon-Glazed Salmon – Sweet Potato Mash, Sauté of Edamame, and Fresh Sweet Corn ($24)
Shutters, Vero Beach
Bill: $84 + Tax: $5.88 + Tip: $15.12 = $105.00
TiW Discount: $0
Total Paid: $105.00
Tomorrow is our last full day at Vero Beach, I know we are going to miss this place a lot… BUT, we have another 3 weeks of holiday to go yet, including meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law, and celebrating my 40th birthday at Magic Kingdom, so it’s not time to shed a tear yet!!
Read about the day after:
Day 6: Vero Beach
Beach Day / Lunch at Bleachers
Read about the day before:
Day 4: Just Keep Swimming
Pool Day / Lunch at Bleachers