Completed & Checked Off | Nature's Escape

Bucket List Check | Botanical Gardens

July 27, 2014

Every county website I browsed noted the Gardens and how beautiful they were. When I’d search for activities to enjoy in the area, the Gardens would always show up in feeds. We finally decided to go and I’m really glad I did. It isn’t like the only thing you do is stroll around and smelling flowers. I may be a bit biased toward natural blossoming treasures hence the name of my website but there was more to the day than just smelling our way through paths.

Our pup Charlie had a dental cleaning scheduled for the evening so we decided to take our other pup. Sadie for a stroll. We were apprehensive initially because she enjoys barking— and loudly at that. I might want to mention that in no way is her bark squeaky like Charlie’s (which is sad). Her bark is deeper and somewhat more aggressive. However, she does not have one mean bone in her body minus the slapping she does all over a stranger’s face with her tongue. She just wants to play with other dogs and kiss everyone she becomes acquainted with.

 

 

Our fears quickly vanished when she kept her loud barks to a minimum. She barked really loudly at other dogs of course just so they knew she was a dog also and kids who seemed to find it entertaining to bark at her and rile her up. Despite her conversation habits, she jumped in just about everyone’s lap who gave her the chance. That’s not to say that we didn’t wear her out and that she didn’t try to swim on a few occasions.

The first portion of the walk is pretty self explanatory. There are variations of flowers on different paths; each garden were spread about for different purposes. There were roses, tropical greenery, vegetables, herbs, Florida natives, cacti, and other sub-categorized types of foliage. Along with these butterfly-lined paths were magnificent fountains, boardwalks, bodies of water blanketed with lily pads, scattered wildlife, and various forms of architecture such as sculptures and mosaics. There were even small carved “children’s chairs” that we kept placing our pup on in an upright seated position. It was quite humorous.

If you can imagine the beauty and class of a wedding among flowers, you will enjoy what I am about to describe to you. There is an area by the name of “Wedding Garden” dedicated exclusively to having a wedding ceremony. Romantic roses, white structures, and various shaped shrubs decorated the garden. There were shrubs shaped as hearts and even a cherub!  The wedding garden could not be complete without the included cottage garden. There were trees that enclosed a bench in a romantic dark corner. The trees even covered overhead so it was almost like a scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. These were probably the only plastic trees in the entire park but they weren’t cheesy; I thought they were real initially.

Since we were expecting a patio area with tables, as described on the website, we brought lunches so we could enjoy a picnic in the garden. We “planted” ourselves next to a large pool with a perky dolphin statue that dribbled water out of its bottle-nose.

The second portion of the walk happened completely by accident. I saw another path as we were leaving our well-fulfilled trip so we decided to see what the path lead to. Lets just say we added another hour to our walk by doing so. The path lead us through a very interesting old-time village mixed with 1800’s and early 1900’s history. 100-year old preserved artifacts and buildings filled the entire village. The first stop was at a general store and barber shop. There were so many items in this store that I could not even keep track of what I was looking at. My mind and eyes were everywhere. Hubby was happy because he found a cold glass bottle of Coke and we had just the right amount of change needed. Oil cans, dishes, car parts, articles of clothing, ancient appliances, games, gas pumps, and even full-sized automobiles were incorporated within these walls. The path lead to other preserved, century old buildings such as train station, a fully furnished log cabin, a schoolhouse with powerful AC, barns, homes, fire stations, and even a farm. Take notice that one of the photos below showcases a barn by the name of “Lowe Barn”. As mentioned in many previous stories, both my husband and I are both very visually impaired. We both called it the “Love Barn” until we get closer and then just laughed to ourselves.

We spent as much time as we could strolling about until we knew it was time to go. We were all tired, especially our pup, and Charlie was ready for pick up from the vet. We had a great time, snapped some pleasant photos, and made some charming memories.

Now that you’ve read every last word I managed to get out, I must mention that this entire experience— minus the $1.25 for the Coke— was FREE! Yes, absolutely free of admission! I would recommend multiple times for a simple outing to just enjoy the environment and your loved ones.


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