During my two week vacation in Florida I visited three gardens: Mead Botanical Gardens, The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, and the Harry P. Leu Gardens. Today's travel post is my favorite gardens of the three Orlando botanical gardens.
The first thing you see after you pay the $10.00 admission at the Welcome Center and walk through the gates, is this magnificent tree. I had my son stand at the base of this tree so you could get an idea of the incredible size of it. The branches are so huge, and form an arch over the sidewalk.
We were fortunate to be there during the David Rodger's Big Bug Invasion! When you pay your admission fee, you get not only a map of the grounds, but a map showcasing where all these giant bugs are located. It's so much fun to find them. Some are slightly hidden, and not that easy to find, but we eventually spotted them all!
Leu Gardens is not your ordinary botanical gardens. Yes, they have a rose garden, and a butterfly garden like most botanical gardens do, but it is primarily a tropical garden. It is filled with winding, shaded paths with towering palm trees and low tropical foliage on either side. My favorite part of this park was the Tropical Stream Garden.
There was so much bamboo in this park! I am always fascinated with bamboo as it something we can not grow in Wisconsin.
This pretty path leads to the idea gardens where miniature types of gardens are on display that you could use in your own backyard.
Isn't this gazebo just lovely? I like the blue jay stained glass piece at the top.
The rose garden was lovely, but unfortunately we were there when they had just cut most of them back. According to a tour guide, they cut the roses back three times a year. She said the best time to visit the rose garden is in June. I was surprised and happy to catch this little honey bee in action on this white rose.
We did get to see some rose bushes that weren't cut back yet. This garden blooms just outside the Leu House Museum. You can see it beautifully from inside the house!
Here you can see some of the roses that have been cut back. They still gave off some pretty coral blooms to match Ashley's dress though!
In addition to insect sculptures, the gardens also have lots of permanent sculptures as well. We loved these farmer sculptures in the vegetable gardens.
A cottage and vegetable gardens.
One of our favorite things about the Harry P. Leu Gardens was getting to see this beautiful historic home. Free tours are given every thirty minutes and the best part is, you get to see both floors ALL fully decorated in the time period of the house. I've toured a lot of old homes in my life, and trust me, that's a rarity! Usually part of the home is either off-limits and/or turned into a museum and is not decorated like a house anymore. This home is absolutely gorgeous inside! I would love to live in this house!
Along with lots of other interesting things, like the bark of this palm:
We loved the gated entry and the swing in the Idea Garden.
Ashley used her amazing photo editing skills and created this photo of me sitting on the porch swing. You will see more of these pictures and this outfit on a future fashion post!
We loved the size and silver color of this palm frond.
This is the Butterfly Garden and one of my favorite spots in the Harry P. Leu Gardens. Notice the box by the bench? It is filled with Monarch Chrysalis.
Aren't these monarch chrysalis just gorgeous! Such a miracle!
We were both humored and perplexed by this sign. Why the singular nature? I'm sure there is more than one alligator in that big lake...unless they have a pet alligator as my daughter joked.
Another part of the Harry P. Leu Gardens was the Northwoods Gardens which contained giant bamboo, palm trees, and cycads. It felt at times as if I were walking in a scene from Jurassic Park. I kept expecting a velociraptor to leap out at me from behind a palm branch. Just look at the scale of this bamboo with my daughter standing at the base of it. I assure you, it is not a photography trick. That is really how huge it was!
This scary spider web sculpture was right in this forest.
Once you make it through the scary, prehistoric part of the park, you reach this pretty landing which has a view of the rose gardens and the floral clock.
The South Woods Garden is a beautiful, tranquil wooded garden path that is filled with white and pink camellias. This pretty gazebo was also one of it's blessings.
Have a Great Day! Amy
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