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Florida's Flower Power

Discover beautiful blooming gardens at these popular Florida destinations.


Flower Power at Walt Disney World
Compliments of Walt Disney Company
Florida was discovered in the spring at the time of Pascua Florida, the Spanish festival of flowers. Ponce de Leon named the land he discovered Florida because of the beautiful flowers and trees he found. Today, Florida's flowers are just as beautiful, and just about any time of the year you can discover blooming gardens all across Florida. Here are a few of my favorite gardens. If you are in the area, they are worth the trip.

Bok Tower Gardens
Lake Wales

Located on the highest hill (by Florida standards) in Central Florida, the Bok Singing Tower is surrounded by a sanctuary of beautiful landscaped gardens.

A reflection pool provides guests with one of the most memorable experiences in the Gardens. Its location catches the reflection of the Tower and is one of the first images that visitors see upon entering the Gardens.

There is a gift shop and cafe on the grounds. Bok Tower Gardens is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 5 to 12, with children under age 5 admitted free. >Photo Tour

LEGOLAND Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)
Winter Haven

Cypress Gardens finally closed its turnstiles for good in the fall of 2009, but guests can again encounter nature at its most glorious in the historic botanical gardens as they stroll along the boardwalk over a magnificent sea of vibrant flowers at LEGOLAND Florida.

The kids-themed park opened in the fall of 2011 to the shrills of excited children and their parents. Fashioned out of colorful interlocking blocks (and larger-than-life replicas), the adventure park is the main attraction; but, those familiar with the historical garden will not be disappointed either, as much of the gardens remain intact. And, you can even catch a ski show, although the beautiful girls on skis have been replaced by skiers dressed as Lego figurines.

Walt Disney World Resort

The entire Disney World Resort is always ablaze with colorful flowers and lush landscaping, but special effort goes into the preparation for Epcot's annual garden festival.

Blooming bulbs, colorful gardens, and topiaries spring up during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival each April to June. The festival also features presentations by horticultural experts plus special musical fun.

The festival busts at the seams with new and bigger displays each year and often includes Floating Gardens, Terrific Trees, Florida Dooryard Gardens and Power of Flowers. For budding gardeners, the Kids Garden features story telling and favorite character topiaries from Disney films.

The festival fun always continues into the evening with the "Flower Power" concert series, which rocks with popular groups.

Regular Disney/Epcot admission and park hours apply.

Fairchild Tropical Garden
Coral Gables (Miami)

One of the world's preeminent botanic gardens, visitors to Fairchild Tropical Garden will enjoy an extensive collection of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines. The 83-acre Garden is among South Florida's most popular visitor attractions.

The Garden is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for senior citizens 65 and older, and $10.00 for children ages 6-17. Garden members and children under five are admitted free.

Flamingo Gardens

Sixty-acres of beautiful gardens showcasing rare, exotic, and native plants provide an historical view into Florida's botanical past.

Guests to Flamingo Gardens can enjoy the Wray Botanical Collection of citrus groves, a butterfly and hummingbird garden, xeriscape garden, and a tropical plant house. The citrus collection includes all known types of commercial and ornamental varieties.

Visitors can tour a "free-flight" aviary, the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Historic Wray Home. Also enjoy a close-up view of natural habitats for river otters, flamingos, alligators, iguana, and birds of prey.

Flamingo Gardens is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $17.00 for adults, and $8.50 for ages 4-11. The tram tour is $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 4-11. Ages 3 and under are admitted and ride free.

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