Thursday, March 9, 2017

Florida Botanical Gardens, 2/28/2017

After some overcast days, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather with a visit to the Florida Botanical Gardens (FLBG) located in Largo, FL. It is a 92-acre site with 2.5 miles of pathways through formal gardens, tropical landscapes and native habitats

FLBG is a Pinellas County Park where leadership and financial support is provided by the not-for-profit organization, the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation. Adjacent to Heritage Village (where you can learn about the cultural history of the area), admission to the gardens is free and leashed dogs are welcomed. Perfect!

Near the entrance are these beautiful Nun's Orchids and this interesting Foxburgh Fig. Check out the crazy growths all over the trunk and limbs. 

Many, many butterflies were flitting around the Butterfly Garden, but this beautiful monarch is the only one I was able to photograph. 

We crossed the bridge over McKay Creek to access the East Gardens. We loved the Adirondack chairs positioned throughout the park, as there are so many serene settings to enjoy. Can you see the turtle and large fish we saw in the creek?

The McKay Creek Pavilion is located a short distance to the south and overlooks the water. This anhinga was drying its wings in the sun and John spotted another turtle in the water (he's really good at that!) Ibises were along the banks of the creek in various locations. And this Common Moorhen was putting on quite a show. 

McKay Creek Plaza provides the entrance to the walled Wedding Garden. It's always fun to see the bird of paradise flowers that were planted in the plaza. Before venturing into the Wedding Garden, we browsed through the lovely Palm Garden

All of the palms were clearly identified. Here are some that I liked and a lovely fountain, too. 

Paurotis Palm Cabada Palm

Triangle Palm Dolphin Fountain

Christmas Palms

The Wedding Garden was designed to host special events including weddings, of course. There are gardens in each corner including the Cottage Garden, where we saw this hibiscus, and the Rose Garden. Two of the inscriptions found in the Wedding Garden are shown below.

We have seen many of these plants (crotons) with variegated leaves in the RV park where we are staying and elsewhere in the area. 

Continuing along the Tropical Walk we came to the Tropical Garden and Courtyard. The mosaic work found throughout the area was beautiful as was this fountain in the courtyard.  

As we continued along the walkway we came to a pond that featured a small fountain. I loved the blue of the plumbago flower and the bromeliad

The Tropical Fruit Garden had lots of interesting plants. Here are just a few of them.

Banana                                           Lime

Pineapple Papaya

The last two areas we saw were the Herb Garden and Vegetable Garden in raised beds. In the Herb Garden was a Kapok (aka ceiba) tree. They grow in the tropical rain forest and can reach 200', towering over most other plants. Also, a section near the Vegetable Garden featured plants native to Florida

This is a beautiful setting where you can enjoy the outdoors with your family (including your dog!) And with no admission fee, it can't be beat. Nearby is Heritage Village that features 27 historical structures and interactive activities. We will probably return to visit it before we leave the area. 

For additional information about the Florida Botanical Gardens, visit their website at or

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