Walter Sparkman moved to Sarasota in the 1930's, bought 4 lots in what is now known as Bayou Oaks. He began experimenting with the growing of different plants and became intrigued with succulents. In 1950 he and 5 others chartered the Succulent Society. The house and the lots were purchased from him by the Society in 1954. In 2004, the cottage (original Sparkman home) and one of the outlying buildings received a historic designation by the City of Sarasota.
Over time, the Society's plant collection, beds and grounds have seen many changes. After years of much growth, popularity and support, membership, volunteer involvement and visitors eventually waned. There became a real concern for the future of the Succulent Society and its garden. It remains a totally volunteer run nonprofit/charitable 501 (c) (3) organization and as luck would have it, experienced a resurgence in all areas in latter half of 2022 that continues today. Unfortunately through the tougher times, nature has taken its course. The gardens have begun to flourish again under the care of the growing volunteers, but some of the buildings and infrastructure needs maintenance. Presently, we find ourselves in need of a new roof on our propagation shed and badly needed electrical work around the grounds. To this end we must look to friends and others for additional funds to our only income, plant sales. Please help us sustain this wonderful local resource with a tax-deductible gift to the Sarasota Succulent Society.