Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota
This tropical oasis filled with rare and beautiful plants is so inspirational, USA Today recently ranked it the top travel-worthy garden in the nation.
On 15 acres facing Sarasota Bay, the Gardens showcase epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants), along with orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and other tropicals; butterfly, edible and fragrance gardens; a koi pond, an interactive children’s rainforest, an herbarium and a research library.
Now through June 30, visitors can enjoy the Andy Warhol silk screen exhibition, “Warhol: Flowers in the Factory.”
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. in Sarasota, is
open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For admission prices and other info,
call (941) 366-5731 or visit selby.org.
Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo
This serene 100-acre wetlands park in Pinellas County is the largest free garden in Florida. It features 25 individual garden zones including an herb garden, fruit garden, wedding garden,
rose garden, and a butterfly garden, which is soon to be the largest in the nation. Home to 1,500 species of native and exotic plants and more than 150 types of birds and mammals, it is a vast and beautiful educational classroom.
The Gardens are adjacent to Heritage Village, where visitors can step back in time and learn about Florida’s pioneering roots.
The Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo, welcome well-behaved pets on a leash. Admission is free; donations accepted. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (727) 582-2100 or visit flbg.org.
Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
The grandmother of Edward Bok, a Dutch immigrant who published the Ladies Home Journal, told him to “make the world a
bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it,” so he set out to build “a beauty spot second to none in the country.” In 1929,
the 250-acre Bok Tower Gardens was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge and presented to the nation.
A sanctuary for native wildlife, the historic Olmsted Gardens, Wild Garden and Hammock Hollow children’s garden provide acres of beautiful gardens spaces. The Singing Tower houses a 60- bell carillon that plays concerts at 1 and 3 p.m. The tower is built on Iron Mountain, one of the highest points in Florida and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd. in Lake Wales, is open daily from
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For admission prices and other info, call
(863) 676-1408 or visit boktowergardens.org.
Naples Botanical Garden, Naples
This 170-acre world-class paradise is so beautiful it has won the 2017 Garden of Excellence Award from the American Public Gardens Association.
The Garden is comprised of seven distinct natural habitats and ecosystems, which yield a treasure trove of flora and fauna right in the heart of Naples. Besides Florida’s native plants, the garden showcases the exotic plants and cultures from places like Brazil, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., is open daily from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. except on Tuesday when it opens at 8 a.m. Call (239) 643-7275
or visit naplesgarden.org for details.