Bring Mom to the flowers! If you’re lucky enough to be here on the Treasure Coast this weekend, there’s no need to agonize over a perfectly planned day for Mom. National Public Gardens Day is May 11th. Created in 2009, the intent was to raise awareness of public gardens and the vital role they play in their communities and on a global scale. It’s no accident that it historically takes place the Friday before Mother’s Day and many of the nation’s gardens mark the entire weekend with special events and stunning exhibits, bringing families together to appreciate and enjoy nature’s splendor.
The Treasure Coast is home to two spectacular gardens, and both have plenty to offer this weekend. In Fort Perce, Heathcote Botanical Gardens has been educating and inspiring visitors for over 30 years. Situated on five acres, this lush green space is home to a variety of themed gardens including the Herb Garden, Children’s Garden, Butterfly Garden, and a Palm and Cycad Walk, just to name a few. Heathcote Botanical Gardens also features the country’s largest tropical Bonsai collection. The historic Heathcote House, a replica of an 1870’s pioneer home, is also a unique and popular attraction.
This weekend starting Friday, May 11th visitors to Heathcote Botanical Gardens will enjoy free admission for the annual celebration and plant sale. A variety of propagated plants will be available for purchase making it the perfect opportunity to tour and enjoy the gorgeous gardens and take home a treasured remembrance of a day well spent. Free admission continues for mothers of all ages through Sunday.
In Vero Beach, McKee Botanical Garden has been enchanting visitors since 1932. Most recently it was recognized by Coastal Living Magazine as one of the "Ten Most Romantic Places in Florida." The stunning grounds feature over 10,000 native and tropical plants, historic structures and one of the most extensive collections of waterlilies in the state of Florida. One of McKee’s most popular exhibits, “It’s A Jungle Out There!”, has been held over through the end of summer making it a perfect opportunity for families to stroll the grounds and encounter 24 life-size metal jungle animal sculptures on display.
Visitors can also treat Mom to an elegant lunch at the Sealantro Café which features a lovely terrace as well as indoor air-conditioned space. There is a full menu offering plenty of options including gluten-free and vegan dishes. The Sealantro Café also serves beer and wine. In addition to reduced summertime admission rates, McKee Botanical Garden will offer free entry for mothers this Sunday with any paid admission.
McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to5:00 pm and Sunday from Noon to 5:00 pm. Summer admission rates are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for children 3 to 12. Children under 3 are free. For additional information call 772-794-0601 or visit the website here.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens are located at 210 Savannah Road in Ft. Pierce. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from Noon to 4:00 pm. Admission rates are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free. For additional information call 772-464-4672 or visit the website here.
(Photos courtesy of McKee Botanical Gardens, Heathcote Botanical Gardens and Inside Track Almanac. Cover Photo by Inside Track Almanac)