Harry P. Leu Gardens - Janet Bellacera

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     Imagine 50-acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens overlooking a large lake, and a large plantation home sitting on a hill perfect for weddings.  If that's something that even remotely sounds nice then you need to head to Harry P. Leu Gardens located in Orlando, Florida.  This oasis is minutes from Downtown Orlando nestled in a small residential neighborhood.  The funny thing about Leu Gardens is that the minute you enter the property, you feel like you are miles from the city.  A few days ago I decided to head out to Leu Gardens and see what was new, so I asked my "oh so eager teenagers" who would like to go, and only my youngest , Kayla, responded with a yes!  This, was going to be a perfect day.  So off we went...just the two of us.

     Kayla and I got very lucky on our trip to Leu Gardens this time around.  Legos set up a exhibit called Nature Connects with over 450,000 lego blocks.  This exhibit features 16 different displays that are set up throughout the lush garden grounds, inviting visitors young and old to walk, explore and imagine.  Imagine seeing a 6-foot wide Hummingbird, or a grandfather gardening with his granddaughter.  We were given a map where we could find each display and it was tons of fun walking the gardens trying to find each display.  It was a real toss up as to who was more excited each time we found a new Lego display me, or Kayla?  I'd say it was definitely me.

     So what else is there to see at Leu Garden?  Well...most anything that involves nature, flowers, birds and beauty.  Kayla and I enjoyed visiting the butterfly garden and the bird garden.  At this time of year it is very typical to hear the sounds of the female Cardinal calling to the male, I was even able to catch a picture or two.  If you are lucky you might see several other varieties of birds darting from tree to tree.  On this day, we also saw a blue jay, several sparrows, warblers, and a few woodpeckers.  

     Your next stop has to be the rose garden, mainly because it's absolutely beautiful and happens to be the largest formal rose garden in Florida.  This garden features varieties of roses from prior to 1867 as well as modern varieties too.

     All and all, if you are looking for a place to sit back and relax, take in some beautiful scenery and walk along some of the most perfect gardens in Central FL, then Leu Gardens has to make it on your list of things to do.  Also don't forget that the Lego displays are only around for a limited time and will be gone soon, so get out there while the FL weather is still perfect and take in some FL sunshine.

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