23 May 2016

Garden Destinations

I’m feeling a bit rambly this morning. You know that feeling you get when you’re not sure where you want to go and what you want to do? With the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival winding down, let’s take a quick tour through some of my favorite places to stop and smell the flowers. These may not be anyone’s specific highlight of the festival, but they are definitely worth taking note of as you make your first, last, or only trip through the festival.

Florida Fresh Truck – This truck has loaded down with Disney references, from citrus from the Disney Springs area of Walt Disney World to our beloved Orange Bird. Perhaps no one label brings out the Florida boy in me more than the Red Ruby Strawberries, hailing from Plant City, FL, my hometown and the strawberry capital of the world. I love the display here that digs into the history of produce, but more specifically, citrus, labels.

Japanese Mini Gardens – The bonsai garden has long been one of my favorite exhibits during the festival. However, the addition of the miniature gardens, each with its own story to tell, may be my new favorite thing. The tea garden may be my personal favorite, but the art meets horticulture aspect of each is something to be admired.

English Tea Garden – I know, I know, everyone knows about it, and everyone loves it, but it still deserves a spot in our wandering post. As a dedicated tea drinker, and someone who is partial to several bags that Twinings produces, I love the oversized tea cups as planters, each containing the plants that go into crafting the perfect cup of a specific tea. Anyone need me to top off their cup of Earl Grey?

Prehistoric Plants – Sure, vegetables and flowers are great, but the prehistoric plants display looks at ancient plants like cycads and ferns. Not enough to do it for you, huh? What if I said they had dinosaurs tucked away inside the plants for you to look for? Seriously, I’m considering using dinos in all of my landscaping!

Backyard Habitat – It has long been a personal goal of mine to create a certifiable backyard habitat in my yard. Here there are real world, functional examples to help everyone make that possible. Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, the garden even has ideas for habitat creation in cities, where an abundance of land is a luxury.

There you have it! Stroll through the butterfly garden if you must (it’s gorgeous by the way), take note of the additions to the miniature train village in Germany (wooo-woooo), and check off the topiaries on your list (these are works of art), but make sure you take time to notice the lesser frequented gardens. There have been some incredible additions this year and some truly inspirational gardens that definitely left their mark on me. Soak it all in before the festival is over and then stop back by and let us know what your favorite corner of the festival is!

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