Wauchula, FL - Events of Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Margery found Leu Gardens located in Orlando last year when doing research for sightseeing possibilities. With our love of botanical gardens, we have been wanting to go ever since. We finally set aside time from all our projects and headed to Leu Gardens last Wednesday.
The property on which the gardens are situated was first purchased by David and Angeline Mizell in 1858. The Mizells used the land to grow cotton, corn, and sugar cane. After the Mizells, the property was owned by two other families before it was purchased in 1936 by Harry and Mary Jane Leu.
Mr. Leu owned an industrial supply company that was successful enough to enable them to travel the world. On their travels, they collected plants and seeds for their extensive garden. The Leus deeded their home and 50-acre estate to the City of Orlando in 1961.
Admission to the gardens is $10, which normally also includes a tour of the house. Unfortunately, the house is currently closed as a result of damage from Hurricane Irma last September. In the next photo, you can one of several blue tarps covering much of the roof of the house.
Adjacent to the visitor center is 50-acre Lake Rowena. There is an overlook near the visitor center where we saw a snowy egret and a blue heron.
The gardens include a variety of tropical and temperate plants. Many of the paths are shaded by palm trees and are lined with various types of shrubs and perennials. Our favorite areas were the Color Garden and the nearby Butterfly Garden because of the many colorful annuals planted there.
The vegetable garden has outbuildings and a picket fence that are reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg.
Next to the Color Garden is the Rose Garden with its central fountain. The roses were in full bloom.
Next to the Rose Garden is the Floral Clock.
Orlando is near the heart of what used to be Florida's citrus country. Most citrus growers moved a little farther south (in and around where the SKP Co-op is located) due to past freezes that caused heavy damage to trees, but Leu Gardens has a couple of bronze sculptures on display featuring citrus workers.
Perennials are scattered throughout the garden. The composite photo below shows a few of the perennials that were in bloom.
On the way to the parking lot, we passed the Idea Garden. The Idea Garden has several distinct areas that illustrate a variety of plants and different horticultural techniques.
Clermont is about 45 minutes from Orlando, and there is an OakWood Grill located in Clermont. Since we were both disappointed by the early closing of OakWood Grill when we tried to go there for Margery's birthday, we headed there after leaving Leu Gardens.
It was baby back ribs that we were after, and they were on special (Sunday through Wednesday) for $13.99. The price includes two sides. Margery had mac and cheese and slaw for her sides, and Paul had lima beans and slaw. The ribs were as good as we remembered them - fall-off-the-bone tender with just the right amount of sauce.
After lupper, we headed back to the Co-op for an evening of TV.