Get Lost in Orlando's Leu Gardens

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Bees on sunflowers at Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

In the kitchen garden, bees buzz around sunflowers in the lazy summer sunshine. 

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Blooming tree at Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

A stroll through the gardens turns up endless varieties of exotic flowers.

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Two women walk beside statues in Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

Statues pepper the gardens and provide whimsy in some places, glimpses into the past in others. This installation celebrates Central Florida's heritage as a leading producer of citrus fruit.

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A couple strolls in Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

A couple enjoys strolling through Mary Jane's Rose Garden, the largest formal rose garden in Florida.

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Two women, one in a wheelchair, explore Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

Handicap-accessible gardens enable all to enjoy the beautiful, serene environment.

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A butterfly lights on a flower at Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

Butterflies enjoy dipping into flowers for a sip of nectar in the Butterfly Garden.

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Statue in Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

Another statue provides visual interest in the Enabling Garden, which also features raised beds and handrails.

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©Roberto Gonzalez

The Floral Clock, a guest favorite, was inspired by the famous floral clock in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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A rose arbor in Leu Gardens
©Roberto Gonzalez

With endless paths and variety, it's easy to wander for hours in this Orlando treasure.

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©Roberto Gonzalez

Delight in an ethereal green space, located, Secret Garden-like, right in the midst of busy Orlando.

By Brooke Fehr

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs spoke for many of us who seek the solace that green, growing things can provide. If the urge to run for the trees — or the camellias, azaleas, or cycads — hits you while visiting Orlando, Leu Gardens offers the escape that your heart seeks. The 50-acre botanical garden occupies prime space just to the south of Winter Park. Situated prettily on the banks of Lake Rowena, the gardens and the house in the midst of them were a gift from Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane to the City of Orlando in 1961. Twelve different areas make up the gardens, including Mary Jane’s Rose Garden, the largest formal rose garden in Florida, and an impressive array of camellias that comprise the country’s third largest collection.  

Brooke Fehr
About the author

As group editor for WhereTraveler publications in Orlando, Daytona Beach, Tampa and So...