Friday we headed over to Mead Botanical Garden for a peaceful morning jaunt. I haven’t visited the Garden in years—so many that I couldn’t remember much about the place. Mead Botanical Garden was established in 1940 in Winter Park. It’s about 50 acres of wetlands, streams, ponds, butterfly gardens, and beautiful Florida landscapes. There’s also a historic picturesque outdoor amphitheater, a garden club banquet hall, and a spacious picnic pavilion on the property.
I was hoping to see some of the natural wildlife while we roamed the Garden. We spotted woodpeckers and a few cardinals as we made our way across the wetlands boardwalk. Eventually, I came upon a large barred owl that stared at me for a bit but not long enough for me to take a good photo. We stumbled upon a hawk that let us get much closer than the owl before dashing off. We also spotted numerous squirrels along the way that seemed to follow us as we walked through the Garden.
After the boardwalk, we strolled through the butterfly gardens. I did get a couple of good photos in the gardens of the colorful flowers—and a few butterflies, too. Many plants were in bloom to include vibrant daisies, caladiums, shrimp plants (I tried growing these several times but never had any luck), violets, and several other gorgeous flowers with names I do not know.
I think my favorite area might be the stroll from the Garden Club to the pond. I do love strolling among the old oaks adorned in Spanish moss and the large Cyprus trees that line the ponds. It reminds me of old Florida and her stunning yet tranquil landscapes that were so common when I moved here before the state’s big population boom.
We saw several turtles and schools of fish but no gators. I looked for them, too. It got hot fast, so we ended our visit after about an hour without seeing the rest of the Garden. We’ll return in the fall once the temperatures have cooled down.
In addition to the wetlands boardwalk, butterfly gardens, and ponds, Mead Botanical Garden has much to offer to include summer camp, plant sales, school programs, and a community garden. You can read more about the offerings at Mead Gardens on its web site. Entrance to the Garden is free.
Mead Botanical Garden
1500 South Denning Drive
Winter Park, Florida 32789
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