Destinations

10 of one of the best Florida gardens for fruit and flowers

Green and fecund year-round, Florida might be thought of one massive Garden of Eden – tempting, aromatic, and juicy. In truth, in north Florida, Eden Gardens State Park feels suspiciously like paradise. There aren’t any apple bushes, however stay oaks, however, drape the grounds in ethereal magnificence and camellias bloom vibrantly.

In southern extremes, native lore dictates that the mango was the fruit that did Adam and Eve in (thus the identify: Man! Go!). It proliferates at various gardens. Many of the state’s public gardens specialise in a specific seductive blossom, fruit or plant – from water lilies at McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach to orchids at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota – and this tour takes in 10 of them with recommendations on how and when to see them at their most spectacular.

Mangoes at Edison & Ford Winter Estates – Fort Myers

Mangoes ripen in the summertime on the Edison & Ford Estates — Photo courtesy of Edison & Ford Winter Estates

When Thomas Edison satisfied his pal Henry Ford to construct a house subsequent to his on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, the car mogul named it “The Mangoes,” after the bushes that grew profusely in his yard.

Today, 18 completely different styles of the candy tropical fruit thrive all through the grounds of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, identified for the gardens Edison first planted when he constructed his house there within the 1885. Mango season runs May via September, and the estates harvest the fruit to promote at its Garden Shoppe.

Orchids and bromeliads at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Sarasota

Selby Gardens excels in its orchid collectionSelby Gardens excels in its orchid assortment — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Orchids get a lot of the consideration at Selby, the place they grace greenhouses, the Tropical Conservatory and the grounds, however its bromeliads are equally vital to the analysis and showiness of the waterfront gardens. Some 4,800 orchids and 4,100 bromeliads stay there.

The orchids are rotated all year long to showcase these in bloom. The backyard’s annual fall Orchid Show runs early October via mid-December with a special theme every year. Colorfully leafed bromeliads flourish open air on the bottom and in bushes. Different varieties turn into even showier as they bloom May via March.

Water lilies at McKee Botanical Garden – Vero Beach

Water lilies fill the waterways at McKee Botanical GardenWater lilies fill the waterways at McKee Botanical Garden — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Like orchids and palm bushes, water lilies aren’t any strangers to South Florida gardens. McKee, nevertheless, boasts one the state’s largest and oldest collections. Throughout its stream- and pond-riddled grounds, greater than 80 varieties bloom evening and day – most aggressively in late spring and summer season.

In truth, the backyard celebrates the explosion of delicate flowers from lily pads, which vary from aspect plate to super-platter measurement, in mid-June with its Annual Waterlily Celebration.

Avocadoes at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden – Miami

Avocadoes come in all shapes and sizes at FairchildAvocadoes are available in all sizes and shapes at Fairchild — Photo courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Also identified for its mangoes, which encourage an annual competition every July, Fairchild historical past sprouts from the avocado as nicely. In 2003, an area avocado farmer donated his 20 acres to the backyard, which turned house to its Fairchild Farm & Tropical Fruit Collection. Fifteen acres of the property, that are dedicated to a mannequin avocado manufacturing grove with roughly 150 varieties, are open to guests with advance reservations. Peak season is July to September, when the backyard sells its harvest on weekends.

Camellias at Eden Gardens State Park – Santa Rosa Beach

Camellia in bloom at Eden GardensCamellia in bloom at Eden Gardens — Photo courtesy of Gina DeFalco

Wrapped round a stately, columned house, the 163-acre backyard at this park in Florida’s Panhandle will get brightened each winter with the beautiful blossoms of the camellia bush. The park grows some 340 of the crops in 150 completely different varieties. The camellias start to bloom in early November, and in February, the park celebrates their magnificence with a Camellia Festival. Peak season runs January via March.

Jackfruit at Fruit & Spice Park – Homestead

Jackfruit is considered one of the most versatile tropical fruitsJackfruit is taken into account one of the vital versatile tropical fruits — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Homestead is known for its farming, notably its tropical fruit crops. At this county park, you possibly can see various fruits, and one of the vital standard is the large, watermelon-sized jackfruit. The tree grows in abundance on the park. Once little identified, the jackfruit is having a second proper now as vegans put it to make use of as a meat substitute superfood. At the Fruit & Spice Park, its season runs via the summer season.

Roses at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park – Palm Coast

Not typically associated with Florida, roses are signature at Washington OaksNot sometimes related to Florida, roses are signature at Washington Oaks — Photo courtesy of Anita King

This state park not solely guarantees you a rose backyard, but additionally ensures a median of 150 blooming crops scenting the ocean air. Ten concentric circles maintain beds, every with its personal distinctive number of rose starting from ivory to deep pink in shade. The roses bloom most spectacularly in early May and proceed via winter till reduce in February. They are freshest and most aromatic within the morning and late afternoon.

Victoria water lilies at Naples Botanical Garden – Naples

Victoria water lilies in bloom at Naples Botanical GardenVictoria water lilies in bloom at Naples Botanical Garden — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

In its Water Garden and Kapnick Brazilian Garden, yow will discover some 500 specimens of water lilies, however the Victoria platter water lilies are essentially the most magnificent. Their gigantic, crimp-edged leaves can attain as much as 10 toes in diameter, and their outsized blossom ranges from white to pink. They bloom year-round, however most profusely in the summertime months and often at evening, so attempt to catch them within the early morning or night.

Bananas and citrus at Harry P. Leu Gardens – Orlando

A songbird pauses on a banana tree frond at Leu GardensA songbird pauses on a banana tree frond at Leu Gardens — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Central Florida is understood for its citrus crops, so it’s no astonishment to search out oranges and lime bushes gracing the stunning grounds of this 50-acre lakeside estate. Bananas, nevertheless, convey a tropical shock. Sounds just like the makings of a scrumptious fruit salad, however the two fruits develop at completely different occasions of 12 months. Citrus is a winter crop, whereas bananas, like most tropical fruit, flourish in summer season from June into September.

Azaleas at Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens – Jacksonville

An azalea blossom in Cummer's English GardenAn azalea blossom in Cummer’s English Garden — Photo courtesy of Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Iconic of northern Florida, azaleas bloom in spring. In the artwork museum’s formal gardens on the St. Johns River – full with fountains, arbors, reflection swimming pools and sculptures – a number of varieties in pink and pink proliferate. Ephemeral as they’re lovely, the blooms final for under per week or two.

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