Orchid Show at Selby Gardens Sets Record Numbers

March 31, 2016


The Orchid Show: Celebrating 40 Years at Selby Gardens drew record crowds to the botanical garden in February and March 2016. Credit: Daniel Perales

The Orchid Show: Celebrating 40 Years at Selby Gardens drew record crowds to the botanical garden in February and March 2016. Credit: Daniel Perales

SARASOTA, FLA. – March 31, 2016: A horticultural exhibit at Selby Gardens recently drew record-breaking crowds for the non-profit organization.

For six weeks beginning Valentine’s Day and concluding on Easter Sunday this year, “The Orchid Show: Celebrating 40 Years at Selby Gardens,” set new high-points for attendance, retail and membership sales. Compared to the same timeframe as last year, admissions revenue is up by 42 percent, retail shop revenue is up by 45 percent and the number of people joining the organization as members is up by 67 percent. The total number of members of Selby Gardens has also reached a high point with nearly 11,000 members.

“These results build tremendous confidence for where this organization is going,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “There is clearly a desire by people to experience stunning natural displays that capture the imagination and to know more about Selby Gardens’ far-reaching work.”

More than 1,000 orchids and plants were on display throughout the show, which was presented by national gardening retailer Better-Gro, as well as the Woman’s Exchange of Sarasota, Doris M. Carter Family Foundation and the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council. Nearly half of the visitors to The Orchid Show, 46 percent, came from outside of Florida.

Selby Gardens is the world’s only botanical garden dedicated to the study, research and display of epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants without harming them, such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns. The Gardens has introduced a new exhibition model of operations that pairs the natural world with artistic and cultural components.

This coming fall “Selby’s Secret Garden,” will debut rare, antique botanical prints and books of the 18th and 19th centuries from its library collection alongside a living plant display. The twelve-week show will run from Aug. 26 – Nov. 27 in the Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts, housed in the historic Payne Mansion, as well as the Conservatory.

In February 2017, the first exhibit debuts in the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series of interdisciplinary arts and horticultural exhibitions that feature internationally-known works of art. The inaugural event will feature the botanical imagery of Marc Chagall, the renowned 20th Century artist, in Marc Chagall’s Cote d’Azur: The Artist’s Botanical Imagery and Inspiration Found on the French Riviera.Curated by Dr. Carol Ockman of Williams College, this six-month exhibition will incorporate key works created by Chagall in France that feature botanical imagery inspired by his time in the south of France. At the centerpiece of the exhibit will be “The Lovers,” an oil painting Chagall created in 1937 that will be on loan from the collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, a world-leading art and archaeology museum. The presenting sponsor of this exhibit is The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

For a full calendar of all events hosted at Selby Gardens, as well as details about the non-profit organization’s mission and research, visit www.selby.org, or call 941-366-5731.


About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and tropical plants with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $19 (ages 12 and up), ages 4-11 $6, Members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org.  Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.