Time To Stop And Smell Florida’s Flowers

Time To Stop And Smell Florida’s Flowers

By Georgina Cruz

Starting in early March and continuing through the spring Florida celebrates the season with lovely, fragrant floral festivals, so you might say that everything’s coming up roses –and azaleas, camellias, waterlilies and more! This year, with the pandemic on its way to becoming endemic, there is even more reason to celebrate and enjoy the fresh aromas of beautiful gardens. These floral festivals are typically held outdoors and offer flower displays and themed gardens as well as demonstrations, activities, areas for children, and musical entertainment. As with all special events, dates are subject to change, so verify before you plan your next trip to stop and smell the flowers. Here are some festivals to consider at a variety of popular destinations:

  • Gainesville – This central Florida university town offers the annual Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Festival on March 19-20. This is one of the biggest horticultural events in Gainesville with 125 kiosks. Also on the agenda are arts and crafts, kids’ activities, a butterfly conservatory and live entertainment. Info: www.kanapaha.org.

  • Lake Wales – Beautiful Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida present Spring Bloom, going on now and continuing until April 30. During the festival, thousands of azaleas, camellias and other flowers provide color to the gardens. Each day, carillon concerts fill the park with joyful sounds and are included in the cost of admission to Bok Tower Gardens. Info: www.boktowergardens.org.
  • Naples – The Naples Garden Show is a juried floral event in this city on the west coast of Florida. Featured by the Naples Garden Club at the Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Drive, the festival is held on March 18-19 and it is one of the biggest ones in southwest Florida. More than 300 kiosks, talks and demonstrations are planned. Info: www.naplesgardenclub.org.

  • Naples Garden Club

    Naples Garden Club

    Orlando – Arguably the country’s biggest and longest garden festival, the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival displays millions of flowers at this Walt Disney World park from March 2 to July 4. The event offers educational presentations from gardening experts and garden designers, floral displays, themed gardens, interactive areas for children, awesome topiaries of Disney and Disney-Pixar characters including Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy –and even The Three Caballeros in the Mexico pavilion.

  • The festival also offers international flavors in Outdoor Kitchens in the Mexico, France, Japan, Germany, and other pavilions of the World Showcase of the park. Other highlights of the event include Garden Rocks Concert Series with live music from bands such as The Guess Who and Kool & The Gang. The majority of the festival’s events (including the concerts) are included in the price of admission to the park. Info: www.disneyworld.com/flower.

  • 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

    20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

    St. Augustine – Gardeners and artisans offer a variety of merchandise and tips to beautify gardens this spring during the Flower & Garden Expo at Sykes Family Farms March 26-27. There are also talks and workshops. Info: Flower & Garden Expo 2022 – St. Augustine, FL | Oldcity.com.

  • Flower & Garden Expo at Sykes Family Farms

    Flower & Garden Expo at Sykes Family Farms

    St. Petersburg – The Flower Show is a floral event put on by the Garden Club of St. Petersburg in conjunction with The Green Thumb Festival on April 23-24. The event also includes arts and crafts. Info:: www.gardenclubstpetersburg.org.

  • Vero Beach – McKee Botanical Garden presents its annual Waterlily Celebration on June 18. Boasting one of our state’s largest collections of waterlilies, the event features repotting demonstrations, plein air artists, plant vendors and a photo contest. Info: 17th ANNUAL WATERLILY CELEBRATION – McKee Botanical Garden (mckeegarden.org).

    McKee Botanical Garden

    McKee Botanical Garden

 

Georgina Cruz is a freelance travel writer based in Vero Beach.

 

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