SARASOTA - "We are mixing the expected with the unexpected,“ said Jennifer Rominiecki . Selby Garden’s exhibit is called "Salvador Dali: The Gardens of the Mind.”

Rominiecki,  President and CEO of Marie Selby, says its the first of its kind. Exploring Dali’s work in a botanical garden. Rominiecki says he was an artist fascinated by nature, but not many think of his artwork in this context.

The curator-at-large, Carol Ockmam, explains.

"We determined that actually there was a body of work that featured full-forward flowers, which is the print series for Dali,” said Ockman.

Through the garden’s collaboration with The Dali Museum, the exhibit includes lithographic series Flordalí, exclusive photos of the artist’s life and work, and special photographs of Dalí’s Catalonia Spain by Clyde Butcher. Surreal displays are found throughout the garden.

"We have living plant displays all connected to the key themes of Dali’s artwork,” said Rominiecki.

Three key principles were applied in the garden: Juxtaposition, perspective and patterns. Those themes guide the exhibit throughout the horticulture vinyets they’ve created.

"So that notion of incongruous elements don’t see in reality more a product of the unconscious mind and dreams," said Rominiecki. "Dali was all about the dream scape,” she said. "It’s an unbelievable Dali dream scape that you walk through when you come here.”

You don’t have to worry about walking on eggshells, because Selby Gardens provides an audio tour, explaining all of Dali’s work and symbolism.

As you walk through the tropical conservatory, Ockman encourages you to think about the centrality of landscape. People who know about Dali might be surprised by flowers… little known… rarely seen.

The exhibit opens Sunday, February 9th, and runs until the end of June.