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Monday, December 21, 2020

It's Christmastime At The Gardens


We just renewed our Bok Tower Gardens membership so that we can enjoy another year of these beautiful gardens located 15 minutes from our home in Lake Wales, Florida.  And not only can we enjoy our local garden, as members we can take advantage of the reciprocal program that allows us free entrance to more than 300 gardens, aboreta and conservatories throughout the US.

We paid $75.00 for an annual membership for two.  Considering that it would cost us $15.00 each to spend the day at Bok Tower and we go on average of 1 - 2 times per week per year, it is an amazing bargain.  But we really got our money's worth when we used our membership to get into gardens in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Tennessee in February.

When my daughter, Lisa, told me she was going to Texas last month and that she had the San Antonio Botanical Garden on her itinerary, I bought her an annual membership (an early Christmas present) to Arlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC, her local garden.  She was able to use her pass to get into the Texas garden for free and then used her membership to get us free admission to the very popular Enchanted Arlie event at Arlie Gardens.  I couldn't get free admission to this event with my membership to Bok Tower since the reciprocal program only gives you free admission to special programs happening in the gardens you signed up with, but with Lisa's pass we were able to save the $30 a carload admission price.

These cute trees lip-synced favorite Christmas songs.

Lisa and Amelia posed in front of the gorgeous tree inside the butterfly garden.


Last Christmas, me and Soko finally got to Peace on Earth holiday celebration at Bok Tower Gardens.  We had heard so much about it and know people who look forward to going every year.  One of the highlights of a visit to Bok Tower is the tour of the mansion located there but they definitely are not to be missed at Christmastime.  The rooms of the Pinewood Estate are festively decorated for Christmas by volunteers.  The decorations change every year so that you can be sure you will see something new each time you go.  

Unfortunately, Pinewood Estate is not open because of the pandemic this year so we feel very lucky to have gotten a chance to see the beautiful displays last year.  There is plenty of holiday joy around the gardens and of course the music of the carillon coming from the tower is always a treat so I am sure there will be plenty of visitors to Bok Tower as usual in spite of the estate being closed.
Note:  There is a separate fee for the Pinewoood Estate tour.  

Bok Tower

                         We found this cute display in Hammock Hollow, the children's garden at Bok.


Lisa was lucky enough to visit two gardens this season with the second garden being Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC.  Their holiday event is called Night of a Thousand Candles.  Looking at the pictures Lisa's friend Kathy took made me want to visit this garden so badly but the tickets for the event are all sold out.  Guess I will have to wait until next year.
Note: Brookgreen Gardens are not participants in the reciprocal program.

We are hoping to get a chance to visit the Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, NC before they take down their festive displays and if we can get to more gardens this season that would be wonderful.  There is nothing like enjoying some holiday cheer at the most wonderful time of the year! 

Happy Holidays from our home to yours!