As Clare Ansberry once wrote, “Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.”
And in Pinellas County in Largo where the Florida Botanical Garden is situated, it also brings visitors out of their hotels, condos and campgrounds and off of the beaches to reflect on its natural beauty. Depending on the time of the year, the temperatures and humidity may vary. To avoid the heat of the day, one may need to risk dewy grass but in those early morning hours when the sunlight is softer, it provides excellent photo-taking opportunities.
Careful planning has allowed so many different gardens to flow into and out of five separate parking lots, neighboring Heritage Village, the47-mile long Pinellas Trail and a natural trail. Bridges cross over a creek and water features. Paths take visitors past wetlands, a demonstration pond, native gardens, a vegetable garden display, herbs, azaleas, cacti, roses and topiaries.
Summer vacation and school breaks are a perfect opportunity to introduce the younger generation to Flora, the garden’s mascot. She’ll share info on the things that live and grow along the Children’s Trail including heron, ducks, turtles, frogs, raccoons, owls, woodpeckers, snakes and ladybugs among others.
If you’re wondering what type of citrus tree to plant at your central Florida home, visit the Tropical Fruit Garden. It was further expanded to include additional types of producing trees. You’ll leave wanting to go home and plant your own.
Due to its popularity, the Butterfly Garden was increased in size and now is one of the largest outdoor gardens in the state. As you dress for your visit, remember that colorful clothing draws the attention of these winged creatures.
A number of events are held each year including plant sales, orchid re-potting and private and public garden tours. Each November through December, the gardens is transformed into a magical wonderland. Holiday Lights in the Garden is held from early to late evening and features over 1 million LED lights. For many, it is their first experience at the garden but won’t be their last.