The Garden Room
The Garden and Garden Furnishings
Gardens were an important center of living for the Victorians, and the Tampa Bay Hotel, with its warm winter weather, offered a particularly ideal landscape. Henry Plant hired German landscape architect Anton Fiehe to create the lavish grounds, and he brought in over 70 varieties of exotic fruits and flowering plants.
The ceramic garden seats, which you see displayed in The Garden Room, were made in England, Germany, China and Japan and purchased on the Plants’ European buying trips. The wall photograph shows that some of the seats were placed on the walkway of the east front entrance, and provided comfortable resting places for guests during their strolls around the grounds.
Garden seats were also used inside the Hotel’s Solarium, along with briarwood benches and Chinese tables. The Solarium was a window-filled room which connected the main portion of the Hotel to the dining areas. Guests who had been advised by a physician to visit the warm Southern climate would often seek refuge in this attractive space.