Grounds and Gardens: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; Art Spaces (BOK)
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The beauty of the Ringling Museum is not confined to the galleries. As the latest in Scala's series of books on the Ringling Museum's campus, The Ringling Estate: Gardens and Grounds is the first book to celebrate the extensively landscaped grounds of this world famous Museum. First among its landscaping projects was Mable Ringling's beloved rose garden, which began in 1913. Inspired by gardens she had seen on trips to Europe, Mable built the garden using an Italian-inspired wagonwheel design with a graceful gazebo at the centre. Beside the Ringling's mansion, Ca' d'Zan, Mable next created what is now called the "Secret Garden", probably a private retreat from the demanding obligations she experienced as a society hostess. The landscape continued to flourish after the Ringling's own era. Citrus groves and the creation of a wildflower garden further enhanced the property, and the estate now boasts a variety of exotic trees, from the large collection of mighty banyans to the regal Poinciana and fascinating Sausage trees. The Millennium Tree Trail on the southern border of the estate provides a shady walkway for visitors, while a new palm-lined promenade enhances the beauty of the waterfront. Today's Museum staff have added many new botanical specimens, using Florida native plants to maintain the property's original subtropical nature and ambience.