I was in Florida for two weeks in February visiting my children. We wanted to do something everyday, but also keep the cost as low as possible. Because I love flowers, one of the things we did was seek out all the local botanical gardens in the Orlando area. We ended up finding three gardens to visit! Today's post is about a free botanical gardens called Mead Botanical Gardens.
Because it was February, there was not much in bloom except for Azaleas and Camellias. But coming from snowy, cold Wisconsin, that was just fine with me! I was so happy to see green anything again...and the blooming Azalea bushes were an extra treat!
Mead Botanical Gardens is a fifty acre park located in the city limits of Winter Park, Florida. To me, it's more of a nice park than a true botanical gardens. They have several nice facilities.
An open-air setting where you can experience musical and theatrical productions, youth orchestras, choirs, plays, film festivals, symposiums and a variety of annual and ongoing activities.
This beautiful outdoor setting perfect for weddings boasts a stage and bench seating that will hold over 300 people
The Picnic Pavilion is a great place to hold a picnic, family birthday party, class reunion, and more. It is located near the entrance of Mead Garden, offering shade and an array of picnic tables.
Winter Park Garden Club:
A 3,000 square foot building that accommodates up to 175 people for weddings, receptions, business meetings, retreats and other special occasions.
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Hall and Garden:
Ideal for wedding ceremonies, receptions, banquets, community functions, seminars, anniversary parties, office parties or any other special events.
Pictured below is the Amphitheater. It is nestled amongst tall cypress trees dripped in Spanish moss and lots of azalea bushes.
I had my daughter stand in the center of the stage so you could get an idea of the scale of the place. Wouldn't this be a beautiful spot for a wedding?
And a close up of one of the flowers from the Azalea bushes.
In addition to all the facilities, the park also has several small gardens: The Legacy Garden and Greenhouse (I think we missed that, because I don't remember seeing a greenhouse), The Camilla Garden, Butterfly Gardens, Native Plant Collections, and Natural Areas.
Although we saw lots of monarchs flying about, we didn't see much in bloom in the butterfly garden other than this plant (sorry, I don't know the name) and a red verbena.
The Natural Areas were a lot of fun (other than seeing scary alligator and venomous snake warning signs. It really put me on edge, and I found myself jumping at every sound).
We really enjoyed this boardwalk and seeing some beautiful Florida birds.
Although the tropical foliage was not well maintained, we were extremely impressed with the size of the palms and their leaves.
There was a river running along the back of the Amphitheater which separated the property from private homes and the street. It was very peaceful, but it was here where we saw the venomous snake warning signs.
Once we were done with the river walk, we hiked over to the center of the park where there was another butterfly garden, and more monarchs, and this pretty lake. Although the lake was beautiful and had a lovely path, again, I was jumping out of my skin at every noise after seeing this sign.
I never did see any gators, but I did see this beautiful mirror reflection in the lake.
On the way out of the park, my son spotted this pretty palm and said he liked it. So of course, I snapped a picture.
And that was how we spent the morning of day three of my vacation in Florida. It only took a few hours to hike through the park, so we went to lunch, and stopped at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens on the way home. But I will talk about our visit to that little park next week!
Have a Great Day! Amy
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