Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Honors Longterm Partnership by Creating the Better Gro Boutique at New Garden Shop

Gardening

Pictured: The Better Gro Boutique at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Photo Courtesy of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Visitors to the popular Garden Shop at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus will see a familiar and respected name emblazoned at the entry to the tropical plant-filled outdoor portion of the store located in Phase One of the Master Plan’s new Living Energy Access Facility, LEAF, which opened to the public on January 11, 2024.

Selby Gardens and longtime partner Better-Gro have reimagined the shop’s outdoor area as the “Better-Gro Boutique.” The concept, which features plants and accessories provided by Better-Gro, recognizes the third-generation local business’ significant and long-running contributions to the success of Selby Gardens’ horticultural shows and the organization as a whole. The shop is a key element in the first net-positive energy botanical garden complex in the world and will be powered by solar energy.

“Better-Gro products and the Hollingsworth family have been integral to the success of our major exhibitions, our popular retail operation, and Selby Gardens as a renowned institution,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We are so pleased to commemorate this vital partnership in our new Garden Shop, which we know will be a visitor favorite.”

As a key plant supplier for Selby Gardens’ annual Orchid Show and Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, Arcadia-based Better-Gro provides quality plants to enhance the Gardens’ living collections for its two largest annual exhibitions. The company is also a significant wholesale provider of orchids and other tropical plants sold in the new Better-Gro Boutique Garden Shop, along with growing supplies including potting media, plant foods, baskets, containers and accessories.

“Selby Gardens is known for having the largest epiphytic plant collection in the world. Their botanical collection, plant knowledge and historical preservation efforts are extraordinary. We are so fortunate to have these historic gardens right here in Sarasota, Florida,” said Rod Hollingsworth, President and CEO of Sun Bulb Company, the parent brand of Better-Gro. “My family has been involved with the Gardens over the past six decades through volunteerism, contributions, and leadership. It’s a very special place, and we’re excited to see the Gardens enter their next phase of transformation under the vision and guidance of Jennifer Rominiecki and team. We look forward to continuing to supply our tropical plants and gardening products to this great organization.”

While renaming the Garden Shop’s outdoor plant boutique speaks to the current partnership between Selby Gardens and Better-Gro, the close relationship between the two organizations goes back decades and three generations. The founder of Sun Bulb Company, A.P. Hollingsworth, and Selby Gardens co-founder Dr. Carlyle “Carl” Luer had a long-standing friendship and mutual love of botany and the Gardens as you see them today. The relationship with Selby Gardens continued to blossom when A.P.’s son, Tom, served on the board of directors in the early 2000’s. Today, grandson Rod Hollingsworth, continues that tradition of volunteerism and support by serving on the Selby Gardens advisory committee.

Pictured: The Better Gro Boutique at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Photo Courtesy of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

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