Gardens

Maclay Gardens
Aug 23, 2018

Gardens are places where the spontaneity of nature and the order of design balance to create living art. The gardens within Florida State Parks are some of the best treasures of the state.

The gardens in state parks offer many places where you can reflect on life’s milestones and take the time to enjoy the moment and breathe in an increasingly busy world.  Gardens can be secluded, quiet places where you can surround yourself in Florida’s year-round beauty.  In fact, many gardens have peak blooms not when you expect but in the winter. Imagine experiencing the array of pink and white azaleas in Washington Oaks Gardens State Park as snow falls in other parts of the country.

The beauty of nature and history are showcased in our state gardens. Florida State Parks are stewards of public gardens that were often once privately owned, such Eden Gardens State Park. Eden Gardens was part of the historic Wesley homestead. The garden and 1897 mansion allow visitors to immerse themselves in another time.

Visitors can witness history by exploring the development by the Civilian Conservational Corps (CCC). As part of the New Deal era program, the CCC was created in the 1930s. The CCC undertook many conservation, restoration and recreational development projects specifically for the public’s enjoyment, including public gardens like Ravine Gardens State Park. Visitors to the park see how the CCC transformed the ravines into a lush, beautiful landscape.

Gardens provide an opportunity to focus on your physical and mental health. Stroll through natural scenery and blooming flora to escape from the stress of the everyday world. Wander the many garden paths and re-center. The lawns can offer a space to mediate or practice yoga, with some parks providing classes.

The legacy of our state park gardens is the testament to the harmony of nature and man.