Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flamingo Gardens

Going to Flamingo Gardens is like revisiting old Florida. There were many citrus groves and farms in Broward county sixty years ago. Most of the farmland has given way to strip centers, shopping malls and housing developments and our food is brought in from other areas. Flamingo Gardens provides a link to the past.
Flamingo Gardens was created in 1927 as a citrus grove of 320 acres. Back then there was very little development in Davie. The main owners Floyd L. and Jane Wray lived in Hollywood and did not move onto the property until 1933, when they built a house there. The charming home is now a museum and is opened to the public. Step back in time as you enter the house and revisit the 1930’s with furniture, knick knacks and a fully stocked kitchen with gadgets from yesteryear.
A favorite place to visit for locals and visitors alike, Flamingo Gardens has a multitude of attractions. The gardens were created about eighty years ago and now contain some of the state’s largest specimen trees. Known as champion trees, there are signs marking which ones have attained this prestigious status. Lush gardens are easy to walk, with paved paths and sitting areas. The gardens are grouped in the front of the property just after the gift shop.
As decades come and go, changes to the garden have occurred. There used to be a barn with antique cars on display years ago. This has given way to a large meeting room where educational lectures, special functions and events are held. A nice sized well stocked garden center with garden whimsy has come and gone. The old quaint animal area remains intact and has been updated, with a wonderful wild bird outpost as well.

There are tram tours daily that take visitors around the garden. Tour guides explain the garden history and provide names of the botanical plants. Flamingo Gardens is a special place in Broward County. Every time you go you learn something different about plants, birds and more.
The aviary is like a nursing home for injured and sick birds. This bird sanctuary provides a wonderful opportunity to visit Florida birds close up. There is a large shade cloth area where several Florida ecosystems have been successfully recreated. Each area blends into the next, providing the birds a place to feel at home. The area has many, many birds and it is a photographer’s paradise.

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