There is plenty for you to enjoy at The Florida Botanical Gardens, a 100-acre park owned and operated by Pinellas County. Day-to-day management and operations fall to the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources department. Education, fundraising and events in the Garden are done through the FLBG Foundation.
Be sure to each of our gardens during your visit! Our gardens are divided into several separate demonstration gardens, including a few formal gardens.
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Children's Discovery Garden
The proposed Children's Discovery Garden will be a 2+-Acre addition to our existing gardens. We are currently in a fundraising Capital Campaign to raise the final $500,000 or our $1.5 Million budget needed to complete plans and actually construct the garden. It will include a number of items that will help children and adults discover the wonders of our natural environment. This new garden will be situated between the Butterfly and Tropical Fruit Gardens.
Butterfly gardening is popular among children and adults alike. Located next to our Visitor Center, butterflies are seen year-round in this garden.There are many plants which supply both larval and adult food. An archway supports Coral Honeysuckle, a nectar plant. Our Butterfly Bench stands out in the garden, and is the perfect place for a photo-op!
This garden has a wide variety of cactus and succulent plants. Agave, Prickly Pear, Desert Rose, Night Blooming Cereus and Crown of Thorns are just a few of the many planted here.
Many herbs in the garden have strong aromas, while others produce flowers and seeds that are used for food or other medicinal purposes. Everything from Lavender to Chinese Cinnamon to Coffee Arabica can be found here.
McKay Creek Plaza
The plaza is a work of art in itself, as it is patterns of shell and mosaic. Many social events are held here, including our Holiday Lights in the Gardens. The Palm Pavilion is at the North end of the plaza, the Wedding Garden is in the middle, and the Tropical Garden is located off the South side. The bridge crossing the man-made creek leads back to the Visitor Center and Ulmerton entrance to the Gardens.
Native Plant Garden
All the plants in this area are Florida natives, however not necessarily native to Pinellas County. Native wildflowers may looks like weeds at certain times of the year when they are producing their seeds. It is necessary for annual and some perennial plants to reseed in order to have plants for next year's flowers. Native annuals, Marlberry, Oaks, Pines, Firebush, Sugarberry, and Stokes Astor are a few natives found here.
Located off of McKay Creek Plaza, next door to the Wedding Garden, is the Palm Garden. This informal garden has a Florida Beach theme. There are hardy and tropical palms located here. There are also umbrella covered seating areas, fountain features, and a pavilion off the plaza for groups to gather.
Tropical Courtyard and Pavilion
The walled gardens of southern Florida are inspiration for the Tropical Courtyard. Escape the Florida sun under covered porches, plant-laden arbors and shade-giving trees. The pavilion is used for classes, floral displays, educational information and meetings. The restrooms and Bride's changing room are designed to fit the theme. It is also at the South end near the pond that a Florida champion tree is planted, The Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus sericeus).
Tropical Fruit Garden
The Tropical Fruit Garden is popular with visitors and the occasional raccoon or other nighttime animal. There are a variety of bananas, producing stalks of edible or ornamental fruit. There are also avocados, mangoes, figs, papayas, pineapple, citrus, pomegranate in this garden. Enjoy a beautiful mural and a seating area as you relax among the Tropical Fruit.
Take a walk through our tropical paradise. Follow the winding path to experience new colors, textures and plants. Flowing through this garden is a stream with gentle falls. The Tropical Garden features plants from Australia, Japan, China, Tropical Islands and South Florida. Planted among the tropicals are some hardy trees and shrubs to offer protection from any cold weather.
In between the Palm Garden and the Wetlands Walkway lies several "hubbles" covered with both tropical and temperate vines. Most of the vines used here are not native to Florida but are well adapted and add beauty and utility to the landscape. Blue Thungergia, Clerodendrum, and Purple Passion Flower are a few of the colorful vines.
Wedding (Celebration) Garden
The Wedding Garden is a popular place for large or small weddings, as well as other parties and special events. The large area is comprised of four small gardens, any of which can be used for small intimate weddings or other functions. The flower theme of white and purple is carried throughout the common area of the Wedding Garden.
This small, intimate space is a celebration of the world's most cherished plant, the rose. Roses are displayed in our garden with an emphasis on how to grow and care for them in the Florida landscape. Climbing roses of red and pink grace the trellises. Both hybrid and old fashion roses grow together in harmony. Master Gardeners groom, fertilize, spray and weed the Rose Garden to keep it ready for visitors to enjoy. Many a Bride and Groom have chosen this spot to exchange their vows.
This garden is designed to display different forms of topiary and offer a slightly different view of the plant world. A large heart is trimmed from a Powder Puff plant, Podocarpus plants shaped into squares or pruned hedges and Juniper swirls add interest to the Topiary Garden. A whimsical bear stands on a sphere made from sheared ficus plants.
The Cottage Garden is in the Southwest corner of the Wedding Garden. It is reminiscent of an old fashion English garden with lots of perennial flowers, vines and small shrubs. The man-made trellis resembles the gnarled old trunks of large vines and is used to support blue and white Thunbergia and Pink Pandorea. There are old fashion roses on the trellses and herbs intermingled with the flowers. A very rare Hibiscus can be found within the Cottage Garden as well.
The Jazz Garden is a light, informal, happy garden that will celebrate the movement and color found in this American style of music. It's waterfall and walls are covered with creeping fig and the bench tucked away in the secluded corner make this garden a private area to dream of Bourbon Street. Annuals and perennials add that personal touch of color.
Wetlands Walkway and Wildlife Overlook
The Wetlands Walkway is a boardwalk that spans area of our protected wetlands. Our seasonal rains create a diverse aquatic ecosystem that is part of the larger McKay Creek Greenway that includes ponds and wetlands in Walsingham, Ridgecrest and Taylor parks and here at the Florida Botanical Botanical Gardens. The Wildlife Overlook is an extension of the Walkway that opens out into area of uplands ecosystem that has been restored to provide food and shelter for our native birds and wildlife.