LOCAL + TRAVEL

SPRING GARDEN TOUR

Spring is here, and now is the perfect time to visit our local gardens and enjoy the outdoors. From Indian River to Palm Beach county, we have three must-see gardens to tour this season.

Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens is an expansive site located in the heart of Port St. Lucie. It is managed and operated by Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity organization, that was founded to help support the daily operations of The Gardens. It is divided into varying sections, all themed around a particular habitat and the plants that would reside there. These scenes are connected by flowing trails so you can seamlessly go from the woodsy orchid room over to the striking cactus and succulent garden and on to all the other amazing scenes that the garden houses.

In addition to the beautiful garden spaces, the site also boasts a lake with a fountain, a pavilion, a gift shop, and an array of areas both inside and out for weddings, meetings, receptions, and a host of other events. So no matter if you want to visit to check out some local flora, host an event, or enjoy the serene quiet that only a botanical garden can provide, Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden is the place to go in St. Lucie County. If you are inspired by the greenery and colorful flowers around you, the onsite Garden Center nursery specializes in copper leaf plants, coleus, butterfly plants, shrubs, succulents, and many other unusual plants for you to shop from, so you can start your own garden! To learn more about the garden and visiting information, you can visit www.pslbg.org.

McKee Botanical Gardens

350 US-1 Vero Beach, FL 32962

Photo Courtesy of: McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Garden, which is located on an 18-acre tropical hammock in beautiful Vero, features something for all ages. The garden is known for its horticulture beauty, where native plants and exotic botanicals combine with old Florida charm.  

The Garden features 10,000 native and tropical plants, as well as one of the largest waterlily collections in the state of Florida, comprised of over 80 varieties and over 300 potted and 100 free-range plants, including night and day-blooming varieties. The Children’s Garden at McKee is a natural complement to McKee’s existing offerings and is designed to spark imagination and curiosity in children through interactive exploration where children can explore, discover, and just be a kid. The Garden Café features a delightful assortment of salads, sandwiches, children’s menu items, desserts, and beverages available for purchase. The Garden Gift & Book Shop offers a wide array of garden-themed home décor and gifts, books for adults and children, t-shirts, soaps and lotions, and many other treasurers. 

Now is the time to visit the garden! Master Glass Artist Jason Gamrath’s Garden of Glass Exhibition which features one-of-a-kind sculptures of orchids, waterlilies, and plants, is displaying at Mckee! Each bright and colorful piece is intended to accurately represent its living counterpart on a macro scale, bringing to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature. This exhibition will run through Sunday, April 30, 2023.

Pan’s Garden

386 Hibiscus Avenue Palm Beach, FL 33480

Photo Courtesy of: Shane Srogi

Florida’s first all-native botanical garden was established in 1994 by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Pan’s Garden takes its name from the bronze statue of Pan of Rohallion that graces the garden’s entrance pool.

Designed by Frederick MacMonnies in 1890, the statue depicts Pan – the ancient god of shepherds who protects and guards the flocks – in idealized human form, playing his enchanted pipe of reeds. It is a fitting name and symbol for a garden that serves to protect and showcase Florida’s indigenous plants and the wildlife they support. The half-acre garden consists of 236 species of Florida native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, vines, and orchids. Half of those species are indigenous to the barrier island, and many of them are endangered. A significant feature of Pan’s Garden is the Casa Apava wall fountain. The historic tile wall, which dates to the 1920s, was saved from the Casa Apava estate on South Ocean Boulevard and forms a dramatic backdrop for the western boundary of the garden. The Foundation offers interdisciplinary educational programs for grades K-12 during the school year. 

The garden is open every day from 10 am – 4 pm. For more information about the garden, including volunteering and scheduling private tours, contact Susan Lerner, Director of Horticulture (561-832-0731 x113), or visit www.palmbeachpreservation.org/visit/pans-garden.

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