Thursday, April 8, 2010

A visit to Bok Tower Gardens

We recently took a family trip to Orlando. We celebrated both mine and my eldest daughters birthdays.
During our stay, I was browsing through a catalog of things to do in and around Orlando, when I stumbled on Bok Tower Gardens and remembered reading about it in one of the Florida Gardener Issues.

I was intrigued as I was under the impression the garden was very far away, so I looked it up on the cell phone's navigation system and realized it was sort of on our way back home !

So, on our last day, we packed up and started the trek home, instead of taking the Florida Turnpike, we took an alternate route taking us past Lake Wales and ultimately Bok Tower Gardens.

All I can say is wow, it truly is a wonderful magnificent almost magical garden.
Its located on Iron "Mountain" - ok mountain is an overstatement, but seriously, its the highest post in peninsular Florida and the tower itself is 205 feet tall.

There is a cafe that serves light meals, a nice tourist shop where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, books and a plant store that sells many of the great plants they grow in the garden.

There is also an exhibit with a model of the tower showing exactly whats in each level. You can also view a video about the history of the tower/gardens.

There is a working carillion in the tower and they play music twice a day.

You can pay extra to view the old estate where Bok lived. There is also a short hiking trail that we took, luckily it was quite short as the youngest started complaining very soon. The gardens are flanked by large orange orchards and all the trees were in full bloom, with the fragrance filling the air.

So, if you ever make it to Orlando and have a few hours to spare, take the time to make a side trip to Bok Tower Gardens.

Be sure to bring a picnic basket full of goodies and sit in the shade on the provided picnic tables and have a feast.

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