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BOTANICAL GARDENS PROVIDE LEARNING AND LEISURE

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Botanical Gardens Provide Learning and Leisure Estuary Explorations Archive from Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Florida Botanical Gardens

 

Looking for some ideas on Florida-friendly gardening or landscapes? Visiting a botanical garden can be an excellent way to learn about plants suited to Florida's hot, humid, buggy climate -- from flowers and herbs to shrubs and trees native to your area. Here you'll find demonstration gardens offering lots of ideas applicable to residential landscapes. These gardens show proper plants for growing in our climate and various habitats, along with water conservation ideas from installing a water garden or rain barrel to selecting ground cover or mulches. You'll also find examples of Florida-friendly butterfly gardens, restful patios for leisure time, herb gardens, tropical fruit trees and more.

Visiting one of Tampa Bay's teaching or "demonstration" gardens can be an enjoyable way to relax and enjoy a peaceful morning or afternoon in the company of Mother Nature.

Florida Botanical Gardens
12520 Ulmerton Rd.
Largo, FL 33774-3602
(727) 582-2100

www.flbg.org ∞
Open daily 7 a.m. - dusk
Admission: Free

In Pinellas County, the Florida Botanical Gardens encompasses some 120 acres of natural habitat with about 30 of those acres under cultivation as demonstration gardens. The remaining 90 acres is wetland, pine flatwoods, oak forest and endangered scrubland that has been set aside as undeveloped natural areas.

More than 150 types of bird, mammals, and reptiles have been documented on site, including several endangered or threatened species including Bald Eagles, Gopher tortoises and Sherman Fox squirrels.

Florida Botanical Gardens

Florida Botanical Gardens

Demonstration gardens include:

  • Patio Garden
  • Native Plants Garden
  • Herb Garden
  • Tropical Fruit Garden
  • Seasonal Plantings Display Area
  • Succulent Garden
  • Butterfly Garden

The garden is dog-friendly and there are several loop trails that will take you back into the oak forest and pine flatwoods. Before you leave, stop in the adjacent Pinellas County Extension Office (closed on weekends) where you can obtain an array of informative brochures and booklets on everything from native plants to insect identification and water conservation.

University of South Florida Botanical Gardens
12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 974-2329

www.gardens.usf.edu ∞
Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 pm
Sunday, noon - 4 pm
Adults $5, seniors (65+) $4, children (6-13) $3

University of South Florida Botanical Gardens

University of South Florida Botanical Gardens

Something always seems to be happening at USF Botanical Gardens, located in the heart of the north Tampa campus. Known for its popular plant fairs and other public programs, the gardens consist of about 16 acres of plants and natural habitats. This is both a public garden and a learning garden for USF students as part of the Department of Geography, Environment and Planning in the College of Arts and Sciences. Several disciplines are using the medicinal gardens in hopes of discovering new treatments for a variety of diseases.

Visit the demonstration gardens and greenhouses where you can see hundreds of labeled plants and seedlings and even purchase some to take home. You can also purchase books and find information on Florida-friendly gardening. Someone is usually on hand to offer advice and suggest the right plant for your home habitat.

Check the online Events calendar for the monthly plant fairs; the annual Spring and Fall fairs are hugely popular and offer excellent opportunities to purchase a vast array of plants from local growers and garden clubs.

If you're hankering to learn about beekeeping, the USF Botanical Gardens offers beekeeping workshops throughout the year.

Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden
Hillsborough County Extension Office
5339 South CR 579 Seffner, FL 33584-3334
(813) 744-5519

www.hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/HomeGardening/Discovery-Garden.html ∞
Hours: 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday - Friday
Admission: Free

Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden

Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden

The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden at the Hillsborough County Extension Office is a "living lab" which demonstrates the nine principles of the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program. The gardens demonstrate landscape design and maintenance ideas, while showcasing plants which are outstanding performers in central Florida

Each small garden features many non-plant elements, too, such as different kinds of paving and mulches, water elements, trellises, containers, lighting, screening, seating, and other decorative features.

Demonstration gardens include:

  • Backyard Barbecue Patio
  • Sensory Garden
  • Florida-Friendly Garden
  • Water Gardens
  • Asian Influence Garden
  • Wildlife Habitat Area

The gardens are on the grounds of the Hillsborough County Extension Office, making it quite convenient to stop in to chat with gardening experts or find information on gardening and landscaping Floridian style.

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