Downtown Sarasota Selby Logo

Education & Programs
Downtown Sarasota Campus

Lecture Series

holding butterflyFrequent lectures held at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus offer insights from thought leaders from around the globe.

Selby Gardens is committed to sharing its unique plant collections, botanical and archaeological research, and exhibition programs with the public. The Botanical and Historical Briefings lecture series is offered monthly fall to spring featuring presentations on topics including plants and conservation; regional history; and exhibitions and education.

Virtual Botanical and Historical Briefings are a member and donor benefit and will be offered to these individuals via an email invitation. 

Special Lecture:
Newtown Alive Conversations presented by Vickie Oldham

September 24, 11:45 to 1 p.m.

Join us for a conversation with Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition president Vickie Oldham and a few very special guests. The group will share stories and insights about the gardeners and household staff who worked on the grounds of what is today Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus before it opened to the public in 1975.

Vickie Oldham enjoys good storytelling and is foremost a journalist. Presently, Oldham is spearheading a groundbreaking historic preservation project called “Newtown Alive,” which began as an effort to trace the 100-year history of the African American community of Newtown; but has quickly expanded into a cultural heritage tourism initiative that is causing residents and visitors to take a second look at the neighborhood through a different lens.  Resources completed through “Newtown Alive” include a book, podcasts, historic markers, and very popular trolley tours.

Historical Briefing:
A Walk Back in Time – Walking Tour of Historic Spanish Point presented by John McCarthy, Vice President for Historic Spanish Point Campus

October 8, Noon to 1 p.m.

Become a member of Selby Gardens to access this virtual lecture.

Join John McCarthy and Amy Dwyer, Research Archaeologist, for a (virtual) walking tour of Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus. Learn about the site’s fascinating 5,000 years of history from the native peoples to the establishment of the 30-acre coastal gem as a sanctuary for native nature and regional history.

Botanical Briefing: 
The Orchid Show – Women Breaking the Glasshouse Ceiling

October 21, Noon to 1 p.m.

Liz and Sally field work

Become a member of Selby Gardens to access this virtual lecture.

Join us for a conversation about the women behind Selby Gardens’ world-class botanical collections moderated by the Orchid Show’s curator, Jeannie Perales, Vice President for Museum Exhibitions, Learning and Engagement.  Jeannie will be talking with Selby Gardens’ botanists Dr. Sally Chambers and Elizabeth Gandy about their paths into the field, the plants they work with, and the role they play in preserving and studying life on the planet.    

Historical Briefing: 
The Orchid Show – Bertha Palmer’s Love of Gardens presented by John McCarthy, Vice President for Historic Spanish Point

November 18, Noon to 1 p.m.

Become a member of Selby Gardens to access this virtual lecture.

In 1910, the legendary Mrs. Bertha Palmer established a grand 350 acre estate on Sarasota Bay known as “The Oaks at Osprey Point.” She preserved the pioneer buildings and connected them with lavish formal gardens and lawns. Many of these garden elements have been restored at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus. The classical columns of her Pergola and Sunken Garden still glow in the Florida sun with vibrant bougainvillea tightly hugging their bases, an aqueduct meanders through the tropical foliage with its waters flowing over a shell cascade into a reflecting pool, and a tall classic portal serenely stands over a lush green lawn.

Botanical Briefing: 
The Orchid Show – A Brief History of Botanical Art presented by Olivia Braida, Director of The Academy of Botanical Art at Selby Gardens

December 9, Noon to 1 p.m.

Olivia Botanical Art

Become a member of Selby Gardens to access this virtual lecture.

Join us for a presentation by Olivia Braida, Director of The Academy of Botanical Art at Selby Gardens.  Olivia, whose work and Academy is featured in the Museum of Botany & the Arts’ Orchid Show display will share a fascinating history of botanical art and illustration.   

Resize Fonts
Contrast