Bok Tower Gardens boasts one of the greatest works of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The meandering, historic landscape garden was designed to be a contemplative and informal woodland setting offering a series of romantic recesses and tranquil resting spots, picturesque vistas and breathtaking views of the Singing Tower. Acres of ferns, palms, oaks and pines fashion a lush backdrop for flowering foliage and the spectacular seasonal color of azaleas, camellias and magnolias (a highlight of our spring peak bloom season) showcasing an ever-changing work of art.
One of the wonderful attributes of the Gardens and natural habitats is its wildlife population. It includes 126 different species of birds as well as the threatened gopher tortoise and endangered eastern indigo snake. The grounds of Bok Tower Gardens is a designated site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
The Gardens consist of paved primary pathways and many mulched secondary paths, some of which have an incline. There are two main pathways that lead into the core Gardens, and many routes to choose in making your way to the Singing Tower. It is about an 8-minute walk to the Singing Tower from the Visitor Center.
Select a Garden Highlight
River of Stone
This unique pebble pathway at the Visitor Center features a simple, flowing pattern. The display of Tillandsia, commonly known as air plants, features more than 30 different species of the plant. Tillandsia require no soil and derive all of their nutrients from the air and water
This colorful 22,800 square foot garden features native and non-native perennials along a meandering path. The garden provides a botanical wonderland for birds, butterflies, bees and other nectar- and pollen-loving insects known as pollinators.
Kitchen Garden & Outdoor Kitchen
The Outdoor Kitchen features 6,400 square feet of culinary delight punctuated with a wood-fired pizza oven, top-of-the-line outdoor appliances and much more. Festive café string lights, ceiling fans and vine trellises make the kitchen functional, beautiful and intimate despite its large size. A center island with granite countertop provides more than 15 feet of space for chef demonstrations. The Kitchen Garden includes fruit orchard, grape arbors, and raised beds for herbs and vegetables. This area will be a hub for horticultural and culinary activity showcasing lifestyle gardening and the culinary arts. The Kitchen Garden also complements the Gardens’ new UF educational partnership.
Endangered Plant Garden
This garden is an area to learn about the rare flora found in Florida. The garden’s circular plan allows an up-close view of these rare and endangered plants. An analemmatic sundial is located at the center of the garden.
Window By The Pond
This small observatory overlooks the setting of a Florida bog. Visitors can watch birds, reptiles, butterflies and other animals in their natural habitat. A sign proclaims, “This is nature’s show, not ours. No scheduled performances.” Arrive early for the most wildlife activity.
Visitors will discover four diverse native Florida ecologies as they walk through eight acres of native plantings including a pine savanna, oak hammock, wetland prairie and bog. Over 175 different native plant species were used to re-create these habitats mirroring the biodiversity and beauty of Florida’s Pine Ridge. The Wild Garden also features a spectacular boardwalk that overlooks the Wildlife Pond.
Exedra & Sunset Overlook
The marble Exedra was a gift to Edward Bok from friends in the neighboring Mountain Lake Community where he resided. This sunset view inspired Mr. Bok’s dream of the Gardens during his visits. At an elevation of 298 feet, this is one of the highest points in peninsular Florida.
Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the landscape architect who designed the Gardens, specifically designed the pathway to shield the view of the Tower until reaching this point. This grand view of the Singing Tower is the perfect place for a photo with friends or family visiting the Gardens.
This Japanese stone lantern was a gift to the Gardens as a tribute to Edward Bok from Usaburo Tsujita of Japan. Mr. Tsujita was an attendant in the Bok home in Pennsylvania for several years in the 1920s. This gift was assembled and erected in 1955 within sight of Edward Bok’s grave.