Yes We Did! Tim and I did visit the Sunken Gardens yesterday. And it was absolutely lovely. The Sunken Gardens are north of us, up in St Petersburg Florida, roughly an hour away. We've been to St. Pete's a few times now, and always enjoy our time there. It's an unexpected delight of an exit off of a madly busy multi-laned highway after driving along, crazy busy, zooming traffic, big city skylines, and of course that is after driving over the big bridge.....
.... suddenly, I can relax and breath again. It's quieter and gentler and absolutely charming. It's an older, more laid back, quirkier part of the greater Tampa/St Pete's area and I really love it. But while I had heard about the Sunken Gardens we had never been here before.
It's unexpectedly, right in the middle of everything. There we were driving down a city street, seeing banks and restaurants and nail salons on both sides of us and in the midst of all of that, suddenly there it is.
Originally, back in 1903, a gentleman by name of George Turner, a plumber by trade, bought 4 acres of land. He built a home and drained a pond on the property which now revealed wonderful, yummy, rich soil which is like catnip to a gardener. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Turner were both avid gardeners. The level of land behind the house, including the now empty pond, gradually dropped by 15 feet below the street level, hence the "Sunken Garden". Mr. and Mrs. Turner began building their garden with fruits and exotic plants from all over the world which thrived under their care. By 1924, the garden was attracting visitors from all over and Mr. Turner began charging guests a nickel to walk through which they gladly paid. In the 1990's the gardens were designated a Landmark and are now owned by the City of St Petersburg.
It was an absolute delight. First of all, there were mostly shady and interesting walkways winding slowly down and through layer upon layer upon layer of towering trees and beautiful waterfalls!
There were blooming hedges and fern covered rock walls and arbors of every sort:
We walked past lily ponds and unexpected sitting areas:
I'm sure you noticed the large Koi in the photo of one of the ponds just above. Well as it so happens, we learned that quite a few birds and other creatures call the Sunken Gardens home. It was a surprise to us!
Some of the others birds that I did not manage to get pictures of were parrots, macaws, cockatiels and kookaburra! All of them are beautiful, some of them are very VERY loud!
Green things, in an infinity variety of shades of green, abounded. Trees, plants, shrubs of every shape and size. Many with fancy patterns on them:
And of course, the stars of the show, the flowers. So Many Flowers! So many in fact, that I think I will group them by colours! Bear in mind that this is just a sampling of what this place has to offer.
First the Yellows and Whites:
Then Reds and Oranges:
Now Pinks, Blues and Purples:
It was a wonderful way to spend our day and actually that wasn't the end. After we left the Sunken Gardens we moved on to a wonderful park that was only about two blocks away in an adorable residential area and whiled away an hour or so there as well!
But that's a story for another day. So I guess you will have to wait until tomorrow for Part Two.
Meanwhile, suffice it to say that Tim and I had a wonderful Sunday! The smiles tell the tale:
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.