6 Gardens that Grow on You
Wake up and smell the palm trees – and the lemon trees, water lilies and dozens of other tropical vegetation thriving in Southwest Florida’s botanical gardens. Beyond the shell-filled beaches and crystal-clear waters, there’s a greener kind of beauty awaiting you offshore. Take a stroll through these six, sun-drenched gardens you absolutely have to visit.
1. Bailey Homestead Preserve
This 28-acre preserve is the gorgeous home to an array of native plants and wildlife. Enjoy a walk through the gravel walking trails, looking out at the scenic gardens teeming with a variety of amphibians, reptiles and waterfowl. Sign up for the weekly guided tour, every Wednesday morning at 8:30 AM.
2. Burroughs Home & Gardens
Sitting on two lush acres of gardens along the beautiful Caloosahatchee River, the veranda of this famed Georgian Revival Mansion serves as the picture-perfect setting of many weddings and family reunions. Beyond the romance of these gardens, the inn itself is similarly adorned with colors and vintage décor that will take you back to a simpler time.
3. Everglades Wonder Gardens
You’ll find much more than leaves and blossoms in this tropical paradise. Since the 1930s, the gardens have been known for its wildlife rehabilitation programs. To this day, they continue to populate their grounds with rescued birds and reptiles. Visit and take in this beautiful fusion of plants and creatures thriving in their natural environments.
4. Leoma Lovegrove
This is perhaps the most whimsical of all the gardens in Southwest Florida. Guests here will find a lush greenery blended seamlessly with neon-painted bridges, fences, buildings and mosaic walkways. The gardens feature an assemblage of tropical botanicals indigenous to Matlacha Island and Florida. Visit and peruse this curious mix of art and nature.
5. Botanical Gardens at Sanibel Moorings
With an ever-expanding collection of tropical plants and trees, this 6-acre garden at Sanibel Moorings Resort is constantly exploding with new colors. As they marvel at the dense greenery woven around the labyrinth of paths, guests are encouraged to keep an eye out for butterflies, birds and wildlife.
6. Edison and Ford Winter Estates Garden
Dominated by enormous ficus trees planted by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, this historic garden also includes varieties of palms, citrus and bamboo in addition to more than 1,700 plants. To this day, the garden caretakers continue one of Edison’s favored traditions of changing a few elements from year to year to maintain botanic variety.