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The dedicated gardener: Dorothy Tinney presides over Sarasota's Jungle Gardens. (Faces).

While Jungle Gardens may be known for alligators and roller-skating macaws, it's really a place for plant lovers. And that's how Dorothy Tinney wants it to remain.

Newspaperman David Lindsay first saw the potential in the 10 acres of swamp in north Sarasota back in the 1930s. He drained the property, built spring-fed ponds and brought in many of the tropical plants, eventually admitting the public in 1940. After a series of owners, Tinney's father, the late Arthur C. Allyn--yes, the same Allyn who flew planes, collected butterflies and owned the Chicago White Sox--purchased it in 1971.

Tinney inherited her father's passion for plants, and in 1985 inherited the gardens as well. She flies to Sarasota from her home in Colorado Springs and spends two weeks here every month, involved in every detail of preserving and planting native Florida plants along the winding paths. She's also growing the garden's educational possibilities with a new museum and a nonprofit foundation. She has no plans to sell: "This was never a real estate investment."
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Author:Burns, Susan
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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