In 1927 Flamingo gardens was established and is now one of the oldest botanical gardens and attractions in south Florida. Today it is the premier Everglades learning center and South Florida Wildlife & Botanical Gardens Sanctuary. Their mission is to depict, preserve, and provide education about the natural and cultural heritage of South Florida and the Everglades. Among these Gardens is the Wray Home that was built by Floyd L. And Jane Wray built in 1933. The Wray’s used this home for weekends to relax & for business. Often entertaining associates, civic groups, and friends. In 1975 it became the Everglades Museum that it is today. Mr Wray is known for saying…” You are welcome to Flamingo Gardens, and are invited to spend as much time as you desire, my only request being that you help us preserve this beauty spot for others.”
Flamingo Gardens has both a Botanical Garden & Wildlife Sanctuary. In the Botanical Garden the Arboretum of Flamingo Gardens features hundreds of native and exotic trees, accented with lush under-story plantings, ponds, stream, and a waterfall. Flamingo Gardens holds the distinction of having the largest collection of towering Florida Champion Trees, fifteen in total, as certified by the Florida Forestry Service as the largest of their species. It contains the largest tree in the Florida Champion Tree register, a non-native Cluster Fig that measures 649 inches (54 feet 1 inch) in circumference, 102 feet in height, with a crown span of 95 feet. Flamingo Gardens also has grown into one of the largest botanical garden orchid collections in South Florida. The collection contains thousands of orchids, including genera such as Cymbidiums, Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Encyclias, Phalaenopsis and Vandas. The Arboretum offers impressive exotic hybrids which allow continual year-round displays of orchid blooms while the Hardwood Hammock and wetlands areas Florida native orchid species. These are just a few examples of the many things the botanical gardens offers you and you enjoy the relaxing walks along it’s paths. The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary opened in 1990 with the Bird of Prey Center, followed by a half-acre Free-flight Aviary featuring the 5 ecological zones of South Florida. One of the first of its kind in the country, the sanctuary gives residence to permanently injured or non-releasable Florida native wildlife.
The beauty of Flamingo Gardens from the Botanical Gardens to the Wildlife Sanctuary is clear, and what better way to support and help protect the nature of South Florida then to take the time to take relaxing walks within it. So next light up the Flamingo Gardens Destination Candle, think about this beautiful spot and maybe plan your next trip to the warmth of Florida.