A Trip to Orlando, Florida
Despite being from the UK I had heard a few good things about this particular garden over the years.
I have been to many botanical gardens in England and we have some beautiful ones in the UK, arguably our most famous is Kew Gardens in London but there are other places in London and all over the UK that have luscious history and greenery such as the large Durham University garden and the University of Bristol, amongst others.
Leu is 50 acres long and has remained very well maintained over the years. It is not far from Downtown Orlando and is not a far drive from Orlando Executive Airport.
The cost is $15 dollars for adults and under 17’s is $10 and under 3 years go free, which seems like fairly reasonable prices in this day and age.
Founded by P.Leu in the 1930’s. He was an industrialist and travelled around the world and brought back various unique and rare seeds and plant related goodies with him.
What is great about these gardens is you are unlikely to have the same visit twice as different plants come out in bloom all year so there is excitement and uniqueness in this.
When I was there the lovely colourful and Pink Camellia Japonica had recently bloomed and not in the typical season as well.
It is full of semi-tropical and tropical spaces (fits the Florida theme I guess!), with shady oaks and various larger plants shielding us more sensitive to hot weather people on the pathways(aka me a fair skinned English person!)
Themed gardens are also a big thing here, various themes are implemented such as butterfly gardens, Citrus groves, fruit collections and my personal favourite ,the palm gardens.
It made me feel like I was in the Caribbean or somewhere and palm trees always feel exotic to someone like me ,hotter climates are lucky to have such magnificent trees.
The UK is full of things like Oak trees which are great and in a lot of cases very, very old but there is not always that variety.
We also visited the Leu House museum afterwards which was very insightful.
A 19th century home with a tour of the first floor which is open on all days of the week except for Mondays. (Open at all times during July and also open Christmas Day too however)
Inside the house you can get various information on the previous staff members and all the previous owners of the house, not just the Leu family.
This very much reminded me of the Beaulieu house which is attached to the Beaulieu Motor Museum in the south east of England located in Hampshire, near the famous New Forest.
I very much recommend going there if you are ever in the South of the UK as the New Forest especially is a beautiful part of the country and you get to see all kinds of automobiles from over the last century and before, vehicles old and new at the motor museum.
Overall I’m glad I eventually went to these gardens. Another botanical garden I can cross off the list!
If you are ever around in Orlando you should definitely go visit and there is even a volunteer page on their main website if you love gardens and you have some time to spare and live nearby.
I can imagine they would really appreciate your help and help maintain it’s great condition for years to come. We need to preserve history where we can!
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