On Saturday, August 10 Greg and Annette Wilson, Nancy Iandoli and Jane Villa-Lobos attended a garden walk at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens led by Master Gardener and landscape designer, Teresa Watkins.
The tour was in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “ Precious Pollinators”.
The 3.5-acre gardens were teeming with bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Teresa pointed out pollinator plants, like the native firebush (Hamelia patens), and pentas, planted in front of the Stations of the Cross, which were a flutter with hundreds of butterflies and bees. Quite a sight to behold!!!
She led the group of 25 through the gardens pointing out some of the flowering specimens, including the kapok or silk-cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra), a tropical species used as food by the larvae of some moth and butterfly species. The green trunk has thorny spines and the pink and white flowers have a foul odor that attracts bats.
The gardens were very colorful with blooming plants of heliconia, allamanda, candle stick cassia, canna, Cuban buttercup, angel trumpet, black and blue salvia, bromeliads, chenille plant, and pinwheel jasmine to name a few.
The current exhibition, “Precious Pollinators”, featuring the Central Florida Watercolor Society , continues through August 25th.
Albin Polasek was one of America’s foremost sculptors of the 20th century. Born in 1879 on Moravia (now Czech Republic) he immigrated to the US in 1901. At the age of 37 he became head of the Sculpture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he remained for nearly 30 years.
In 1950, at the age of 70, he retired to Winter Park designing his home on picturesque Lake Osceola. He passed away in 1965. In the year 2000, Polasek was named a “Great Floridian” by the state of Florida for his significant contributions to the history and culture of the state.
Article by Jane Villa-Lobos
Photography Jane Villa-Lobos