Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg, Florida, Part 1

One of the places that I've wanted to visit since we started going to Florida was the Sunken Gardens. I love to explore Botanical Gardens and see the foliage of the areas that we visit. I've been to gardens in Switzerland, San Francisco, New York, as well as other ones. Each visit is inspiring. I love to see the plants in bloom, to walk along the paths, and to just take in the flora.
The Sunken Gardens is a botanical garden in Florida, 4 acres in size, that is owned by the city and maintained by volunteers. The park is extraordinary. I was so impressed.
The sign is a 1930's vintage sign that does not reflect the beauty of the gardens. Don't be fooled in thinking that the gardens are out of date. They are stunning.
A little history.
The land became the Sunken Gardens back in 1903 when a man purchased the land that housed a below sea level, shallow lake. He drained the lake (sinkhole) and planted fruit trees that thrived in the soil. He continued to add plants and created a stunning nursery. He began to charge a nickel admission and continued to add to his plants. Eventually, he increased the admission price to a quarter and was wildly successful. The Sunken Gardens became popular during the 1950's through the 1970's and were one of the most popular attractions in Florida.
It went through some hard times, with one of the buildings housing the world's largest gift shop, a bottling plant for Coca Cola and a wax museum.
In 1999 the Gardens were purchased by the city of St.Petersburg where it was renovated and added to the US Register of Historic Places.
Currently, you can pay an admission fee and walk through the gorgeous gardens, as we did.
 There were blooming plants everywhere.
 There were birds, including flamingos, parrots, and macaws.
 These trees were so tall and covered with vines, airplants, and other tropical plants. Everywhere we looked was thick foliage.
 There was a koi pond with the largest koi.
 Here are 2 of my favorite people standing among some foliage.
 Unusual plants in bloom (at least, unusual for me.)
Look at this adorable girl.
More photos tomorrow.

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