Saturday, September 7, 2013

Aquascape Garden Snorkel Trip

It's been some time since I wrote my last blog on the Aquascape Garden back in July of 2012. If you recall, our Aquascape Garden is a collection of plants that resemble a diversity of aquatic organisms found in reefs, along with a number of resident "sea creatures" hidden throughout the coral stone foundation. It really does look like one of Key Largo's reefs has been lifted up out of the water and onto dry land!

Recently, we decided it would be a great idea to put together a little virtual tour of the Aquascape Garden to showcase some of the specific plants and their "aquatic equivalents." When the Garden was being built, we could get a general idea from the look of a plant if it resembled something we would find in a coral reef, but we didn't have specific resemblances in mind. So I began searching to see if I could find anything under the sea that reminded me of plants we have. Since the underwater realm is not really my specialty, I had to do a lot of searching and ended up coming up with quite a few uncanny resemblances! Here's a plant we have (Dyckia 'Cherry Coke') that I thought looked a bit like a hermit crab:

Pretty cool, right?

What I ended up doing is putting together a number of these photo pairs with a plant from the Aquascape Garden and its aquatic equivalent to make a virtual "snorkeling tour" of our Aquascape Garden. Since I'm lacking quite a bit in the area of undersea identification, I haven't been able to put names to a number of the aquatic "faces," so if you have any idea as to what some of the unidentified undersea creatures are, please do let me know!

Enjoy your "snorkel" and be sure to stop by the Gardens for a tour with me sometime to see these specimens in person!

 Echeveria rosea and an unidentified hard coral.

 Fenestraria aurantiaca and a sunflower mushroom coral.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii 'Hibotan' and sea anemones.

Euphorbia lactea f. cristata and an elkhorn coral.

Stapelia gigantea and unidentified hard coral.

Senecio mandraliscae and an unidentified coral.

Sedum praealtum f. cristata and an unidentified soft coral.

Portulaca 'Maraca' and an unidentified hard coral.

Manfreda undulata 'Chocolate Chips' and an octopus.

Mammillaria gracilis and an unidentified soft coral.

Euphorbia trigona and an unidentified coral.

Stapelia gigantea and a sea star.

Mammillaria 'Red Cap' cristata and a developing brain coral.

Orthophytum navioides and a sea urchin.

Sansevieria trifasciata and seagrass.

Euphorbia obesa and a sea urchin shell.

Rick Hederstrom
Associate Director