Traveling with the Top Down: Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

I haven’t been posting for the past several weeks because I was in North Dakota cuddling my newborn granddaughter and enjoying the mild temperatures. But it was getting a bit chilly so we have returned and I’m back to posting about our Florida adventures.


Ever heard of the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville? Me neither. Kind of sounds Hawaiian to me. But no, Kanapaha means something about Native American's living in palmetto thatched huts along a lake. When we saw that the Citrus County Corvette and Camaro Car Club was planning a driving excursion there, we said "why not?"
And that garden was amazing! It was actually 25 specialty gardens on sixty-two acres of beautiful land bordering Kanapaha Lake. Unusual plants, both native and from around the world, shade meandering paths; flowering vines entwine pergolas and gazebos; concrete mythical creatures hide in quiet corners; a bamboo forest shades a contemplative Buddha. Lovely.

We had two hours to explore and wander through the various gardens. Most of the plants and trees had markers and I was able to identify some of the unknown plants in my own yard, plus decide what plants I needed to add to my gardens. (I can't stop thinking about those brick paths bordered with mondo grass and how good that would look in my shaded areas or how much I want to put in my own bamboo forest and Buddha.)

I took about 150 photos--all beautiful. But 150 might be just a few too many to post here. So I've just put up a few of my favorites.

Kanapaha Botanical Garden is about a 1 ½ hour drive north of Citrus County. According to the literature from the Garden, the best time to visit for blooms is from June through September. They allow dogs as long as they are on a leash and we saw one little adorable Westie enjoying the day. It would be a lovely spot for a wedding or just for a family photography session. The admission fee for adults is $7 and there's a discount for large groups. A fun and inexpensive day trip.