March 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts March 2002 Current Issue
March 2002
Short Cuts:
Garden parties

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

From exotic orchids to lush, tropical flowers and hybrid blossoms, botanical and specialty gardens offer some of the loveliest settings for naturally themed special events. For example, Tyler, Texas, about 90 miles east of Dallas, bills itself as the rose capital of the world, and with good reason. More than 38,000 of the delicate blooms can be found at the Tyler Rose Garden (903-531-1213), which also offers a museum on the history of the rose. Private events for up to 400 can be held in the museum; local horticulturists are available to give guided tours.

For a taste of the exotic, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens ( in Birmingham, Ala., features an authentic Japanese teahouse and original sculptures throughout the gardens, along with the largest greenhouse in the Southeast. Four rooms are available for groups of up to 450. For a more elegant setting, up to 200 can dine on classic French cuisine at the on-site Café de France.

At the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens ( in Sarasota, Fla., orchids are the main attraction 6,000 to be exact. Other features among the 15 distinct gardens include the Bamboo Pavilion, a Waterfall Garden of water lilies and ferns, and the Tropical Display House, which replicates a rain-forest setting. Groups of 10 to 240 can gather in several indoor sites, including the museum, which houses yearly rotating exhibitions, and the Cooley Theater. Outdoor events can take place in the cool shadows of leafy Banyan Grove.

Groups of up to 50 can mingle in the glass-enclosed Sun Garden at Quad Cities Botanical Center ( in Rock Island, Ill. The natural decor includes banana plants, hundreds of tropical flowers and a 14-foot waterfall with reflecting pools stocked with Japanese koi fish. Meeting rooms for up to 250 also are available.

• C.A.S.

Back to Current Issue index | Back to Short Cuts index
M&C Home Page
Current Issue | Events Calendar | Newsline | Incentive News |Meetings Market Report
Editorial Libraries | CVB Links | Reader Survey | Hot Dates | Contact M&C