Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Let’s explore Bok Gardens and Pinewood Estate

We’re back home in snowy, cold, shades of white Michigan this evening. But I have so much more to show you from sunny, warm, colorful Florida, so let’s pretend we’re still there, shall we?

The front of Pinewood Estate.

I last left you with a tease about Bok Gardens, a wonderful place full of magical gardens, a winter mansion and an amazing bell tower. I don’t want to leave you hanging, so here we go!

We wandered under huge trees enjoying the azalea bushes that were in full bloom.

Bok Gardens is a 7 acre slice of heaven, including several types of gardens designed by Olmstead brothers landscaping company (the same that designed the gardens at Biltmore in North Carolina, and Central Park in New York City), a new children’s play and educational area, what seems like acres of azaleas, a Florida desert trail, and towering live oaks covered in lichen and ferns.

I’ve never seen red sugar cane before.

The home, built in the center of all of this beauty, was the winter home of industrialist Charles Buck (not Bok, I know, it’s confusing) from 1932 to 1945. After that it was purchased by a couple of families before being acquired by Bok Gardens in 1970.

The house from the back.

The house, with over 12,000 square feet, feels much more intimate than many of the seasonal homes of the wealthy back in those days.

Dining with color everywhere.


The rooms were smaller, and many had lower ceilings.

One of several bedrooms.

There wasn’t gold gilding, unlike many homes of this vintage, but there were plenty of wonderful details.

An ibis acts as a doorstop, holding up the heavy and intricate door.

Tilework acted as wainscoting throughout the first floor, and ran up the stairs to the less public rooms.

Beautiful tile covers the risers on the front stairs.

The floors on the main level were covered in handmade red tiles, each room with it’s own pattern.

One of many patterns of these tiles.

The docents told us the gardens were put in first, and then the house was built so that each area had a different garden view. Pretty spectacular.

Magnolias, azaleas and camellias were all in bloom.

And then there’s the bell tower, with it’s huge carillon and sixty tons of bells which are played regularly. It is absolutely stunning.

Glimpsing the tower through the trees.

There were two concerts the day we were there, one we heard as we wandered the garden, and another that we purposely sat and listened to.

Details of the top, the colors are beautiful.

Bok Tower Gardens is located between Tampa and Orlando, and I think time spent there is well worth the admission for you and your family. Kids can play in the kid garden and run on the lawns up by the tower.

Stonework at the entrance to the childrens’ garden and play space.

Parents can let the beauty wash over them…and I guarantee everyone will smile.

And after all that, we made it over to the Gulf for the sunset.

A pretty ending to a very good day.

I’ll post more about the beaches in another post. We did spend a bit of time walking those white sands. After all…it’s Flordia.

Door knob detail.


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Cee’s flower challenge

Check out Cee’s blog where she sports a beautiful sunflower and challenges us to show everyone a flower from our own yards.

Well, you’ve seen many of the flowers in my garden, but this one is interesting.

Will be bright red soon!

Will be bright red soon!

It’s a crocosmia. The foliage is green spiky leaves perhaps 3 or more feet tall which remind me of gladiola leaves. The flowers open up one by one from one end of this bud to the other. This one happens to be bright red, but I’ve seen them in other shades of red and orange. They are stunning.

It’s a perennial so it comes up year after year, and each year there are more. I’m going to have to move some of these to another spot, so if anyone who lives near would like a few for a corner of their own garden let me know! (Click the small photo to see more detail.)

Pretty

Pretty


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Force of Nature

 

cropped Katie May 8 2015

Dandelions, those pretty little yellow flowers that so many people work so hard to eradicate from their golf course inspired yards, are incessant forces of nature.  Turn your back on them for one moment and they spring back to beautiful life.

And Katie-girl, a force of nature in her own stubborn, hyper, crazy, joyous way.

The combination is beautiful.

You can see all the other interpretations of forces of nature at the original post.  Or catch a few of my favorites here, here and here.  Each is a totally different take on the concept.

I love these challenges because you see wonderful things from all over the world.  Enjoy.

Imported Photos 00789