Today’s post, part 1 of 2, features a wonderful garden that I visited for the first time, during my recent trip to Florida. The Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales, Florida, and is 130 acres in size.
The gardens were established by Edward W. Bok. During visits from their Pennsylvania residence to their winter retreat near Lake Wales, Florida, Mr. Bok became enchanted with the beauty and vistas from nearby Iron Mountain. At 295 feet above sea level, one of peninsular Florida’s highest points, Iron Mountain offered views of dramatic sunsets. Awed by the tranquility of the area, he wanted to create a place that would “touch the soul with its beauty and quiet,” and chose it as the perfect setting for a bird sanctuary. He purchased land to transform into a sweeping landscape of lush gardens featuring a majestic Singing Tower housing a 60-bell carillon. Originally called Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, he presented this extraordinary gift to the American people Feb. 1, 1929 as an enduring token of his appreciation for the opportunities he had been given.
Today’s images show some of the interesting facets of this beautiful garden. Upon entering the garden, visitors are greeted with a saying that Bok’s grandmother once told him:
And on the wall at the nearby Bok Gardens Visitor’s Center, is a famous quote of Mr. Bok:
Once inside the garden area, the landscape is a gently-flowing landscape that truly is eye candy:
And at the foot of the 205-foot Bok Tower, is a reflecting pool. One of the most interesting plants here was a giant Amazon Lily … although not in bloom, it was still quite an interesting sight to see:
During my visit, it was quite windy, so images of the colorful flowers/plants were difficult to capture (without a tripod), but still such an inspirational place to visit!
In Part 2, I’ll feature the Bok Tower and some of the interesting things associated with it.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
- ISO 250
- Aperture f/16
- Shutter 1/15 sec. to 1/100 sec.