Can’t get enough of the beautiful La Florida blossoms? Neither can we. With the warmest weather of the year nigh upon us, we’re taking to the open road, bound for Florida to visit some of the state’s many botanical gardens. Come join us!
Founded in 1938 by a group of horticulturists that included famed plant hunter David Fairchild, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is one of the premier conservation and educational botanic gardens in the world. Located in Coral Gables, Fairchild features meandering paths surrounded by an astounding collection of tropical plants.
The Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo boasts 30 acres of cultivated gardens that feature Florida native and Florida-friendly plants. Its 90 acres of natural landscapes are home to more than 150 types of animals.
Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens maintains a plant collection of more than 20,000 specimens on its 13-acres. The elegant Selby Mansion houses a museum, and one of its eight greenhouses includes a conservatory where unusual flora can be seen all year.
The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is home to many endangered and threatened tropical flora and fauna. The forest has two of the last remaining fresh water ponds in the Keys and is a major stopping point for migrating neo-tropical birds. It is also home to many rare birds.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a 62-acre collection located in Gainesville. “Kanapaha” is derived from the Timucua Indian words for “palmetto leaf” and “house,” which refer to the thatched dwellings of the small village that once was located on nearby Lake Kanapaha. Among the gardens’ collection are the state’s largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast.
McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a historic Florida landmark. It is famous for its 18-acre subtropical jungle hammock, which also features several restored architectural treasures.
If you like a little elegance with your garden, Eden Gardens State Park, located in Santa Rosa Beach on the Florida Panhandle, might be just the thing for you. The focal point is a beautifully renovated, two-story house surrounded by moss-draped live oaks and ornamental gardens where camellias and azaleas abound. The park also has a heritage rose garden, butterfly garden, and reflection pond.
Roses grace the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando—home to the largest rose garden in the state. The 50-acre garden also has palms, cycads, azaleas, bromeliads, tropical philodendrons, and a variety of flowering trees, among many other tropical and semi-tropical plants.
Each garden’s website includes additional information on plants, events, and classes, and most include a “what’s in bloom” feature so that you can time your visit just right. Several of the gardens are also dog friendly! (Check the websites for more information on visiting with your pet.) Find other Florida gardens here.
Share the joy these gardens bring by using the lovely La Florida stamps on letters and cards to your friends and loved ones. The four La Florida Forever® stamps were issued April 3, 2013, in St. Augustine, Florida. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate, which is currently 46 cents.