UF/IFAS Extension and Bok Tower Gardens have teamed up to help communities, schools and families discover the amazing benefits of gardening. Environmental responsibility and leading healthier lives are at the heart of our Garden programs. The partnership provides educational and technical assistance to those interested in making a difference within their community. The mission of this partnership is to enhance communities through experiential education that promotes healthy living, enriches culture and conserves natural resources, and that is exactly what we are doing here in the Lake Wales community.
The American Beautyberry
Blooming a vibrant purple in the fall, the American Beautyberry is a common species native to the southeast and throughout Florida. Another common name for this edible plant is French Mulberry. It is a beneficial shrub for wildlife, is deciduous, will grow well in shade or sun, and may grow to heights of eight to ten feet. It is easily recognized when it fruits in the fall by its tight clusters of violet to purple berries found near the leaves.
We’re so excited to introduce Bok Tower Gardens to a new generation of enthusiasts. Visitors have always said that everyone comes to the Gardens for a different reason. Some come for peacefulness and tranquility, others come for musical events, and with new garden spaces opening very soon we are ready to attract an even wider audience than ever before.
Bok Tower Gardens was founded as a bird sanctuary, a haven for wildlife to live without the fear of being hunted. And that mission is not changing anytime soon. However, with the launch of Pokémon GO we are encouraging our guests to fill their Pokédex with plenty of digital bounty. Armed with only your smartphone, do your best to catch every last one of the little virtual Pokémon creatures that are highly attracted to places of arts and culture across the nation. Other gardens and museums are wonderful places to test your skills, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you on your way to an enjoyable safari through the wild of Bok Tower Gardens.
So you’ve never geocached before… not a problem Bok Tower Gardens staff have prepared this go-to guide to get you going on your first adventure. Geocaching is a real world, outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers (called geocaches) using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. Follow this guide to get started.
Wildly revered for their blooming majesty and striking emerald leaves, the azaleas of Bok Tower Gardens have been a favorite since their initial planting by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. However many visitors may not know of the controversy surrounding the choice of color. During the Gardens’ early planning stages, Edward Bok wrote, “if a man wishes to see me roaring mad, he wants to plant some magenta flowers in any garden of mine.”
Ever the visionary, Olmsted coolly replied, “regarding the color of magenta that you do not wish to have on the place we would say we have tried to avoid it. There is, of course some remote possibility that some magenta flowering azaleas have crept in… Occasionally, people jump at the conclusion in this connection and so really deprive themselves of a good thing by ordering the removal of the plants.”