Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bird Garden of Naples

Located in Naples, Florida, the Bird Garden of Naples contains fie acres of tropical plants, butterflies, exotic birds, and two miles of walking trails.  The place offers refuge for over two hundred birds which have been rescued and need rehabilitation.  There is a tour which visitors can take that is led by the owner of the garden.  On it, she relates personal stories and facts about many of the birds that have been rescued.  There are plenty of opportunities to hold the birds and have pictures taken with them.

The garden is open Thursday through Sunday, but tours must be arranged by appointment only.  There is no set admission fee, but donations are appreciated.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ancient Spanish Monastery St. Bernard de Clairvaux

The Ancient Spanish Monastery St. Bernard de Clairvaux is located in North Miami Beach, Florida.  The picturesque 12th  century monastery was originally built in Spain.  It was dismantled, piece by piece, and brought to Florida by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, in 1925.  It never got assembled until 26 years after his death.

Today, the grounds include extensive formal gardens, and are a popular venue for weddings.

The monastery is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM, and on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  Admission for adults is $8.00, and for children, $4.00.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Albin Polasek Museum and Garden

Located in Winterpark, Florida, Albin Plasek Museum and Garden contains three acres of gardens displaying works of sculptor, Albin Plasek. It was founded in 1961, and contains over 200 works of the Czech artist.  The grounds which overlook Lake Osceola are quite lovely.  It's a perfect place for a leisurely stroll to enjoy the beauty of nature and art together.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $5.00, and admission for children is $3.00.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Brookgreen Gardens

Located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina (south of Myrtle Beach), Brookgreen Gardens is listed in the 2013 Trip Advisor list of Top Ten Public Gardens in the United States.  It's easy to see why.  The 9,100 acre property is simply spectacular!  There are several themed gardens, including the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden.  It was designed in 1931, in the shape of a butterfly, and houses many of the works of Anna Hyatt Huntington.  These include the Goddess Diana Hunting, and Fighting Stallions.

Other gardens include the Diana garden with 300 year old oak trees, the Dorothy P. Peace Garden for Children, the Fountains of the Muses garden, and the Labyrinth.

Also located on the property, are the Low Country Zoo and the Low Country Center.  Tours are available to go to the recent archaeological discoveries of the foundations of several buildings which were part of the original Oaks Plantation.  (The entire 9,100 acres were once part of four rice plantations.)

The gardens are open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $14.00.  Admission for children is $7.00.