‘Secret Garden’ at Selby Gardens Draws Record Numbers

November 28, 2016


SARASOTA, FLA. – November 28, 2016: A horticultural exhibit at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens recently set record-breaking numbers for attendance and membership sales at the living museum.

For six weeks from mid-October through Thanksgiving weekend, “Selby’s Secret Garden,” set new revenue records for attendance, retail and membership sales during the normally quieter fall shoulder season. Compared to the same timeframe as last year, admissions revenue is up by 20 percent, retail shop revenue is up by 35 percent and membership revenue is up by 53 percent. The exhibition featured a living plant display that drew from Victorian greenhouses along with an installation of the rare botanical books, prints and preserved plants that are part of Selby Gardens’ research collection. Revenue for food service at the Selby House Cafe by Michael’s On East also more than doubled during this time.

The success of “Selby’s Secret Garden” follows that of the Gardens’ orchid show early in the year, which also increased admissions revenue by 42 percent from mid-February through March of 2016.

“The magnitude of what growth like this means for this organization is beyond exciting,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “By giving visitors a unique experience to connect with the natural world we’re also able to let more people know about the international scientific work of Selby Gardens.”

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 winter “Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams,” will debut. The six-month exhibition will run Feb. 12 – July 31, 2017 and will feature the botanical imagery of Marc Chagall, the renowned 20th Century artist. Included in the exhibition will be the masterwork painting The Lovers (1937), on loan from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, along with two additional paintings, loaned from a private collector, that have not been publicly exhibited before. The glass conservatory will feature replicas of Chagall’s nature-inspired stained glass woven among living plants, and several seminal scenes of the outdoor gardens will be enhanced with flora that evoke the south of France, where the artists spent much of the later part of his life. This will be the first show in the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series of interdisciplinary arts and horticultural exhibitions that feature internationally-known works of art. 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. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $20 (ages 18 and up), ages 4-17 $10, 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.


Tags: growth, horticultural display, museum of botany & the arts, rare books, revenue, sarasota, secret garden, selby gardens, visitors