Must-See Gardens in Tallahassee
Originally a 1,600-acre cotton plantation, the home is now on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as museum. With 20 acres to explore, the land is lushly landscaped around its centuries old live oaks and flourishing gardens. The grounds include over 20 structures dating from 1835 to 1925 and provide the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. Along the pathways and structures, flowers bloom amidst grasses and groundcover. Spot blue-eyed grass, pink knotweed, peacock ginger, daylilies yellow butterfly ginger and cape lily bloom among the multitude of Iris throughout the property. The shaded landscape comes alive with forest gardenia, hibiscus, firecracker plants and more. Find the rose garden where tea and old blush china rosebuds bloom. Make your way to the historic home’s front port, sit for a moment and enjoy the view where you can imagine your yourself in another time sipping a spot of tea or lemonade on a hot summer day.
A masterpiece of floral architecture, the gardens feature a picturesque brick walkway, secret garden, reflection pool, walled garden and hundreds of camellias and azaleas. These beautiful ornamental gardens were first planted in 1923 by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay after they purchased the property for their winter home. Today close to 100 varieties of camellia and 50 varieties of Azalea bloom December through April. In addition, near the entrance to the garden, there is a native plant arboretum dedicated to the display of plants native to Florida’s Big Bend region including perennial ground covers and native woodland wildflowers, many of which attract plentiful butterfly. Maclay Gardens appeared on a 2020 First-Class Forever United States postage stamp celebrating the natural beauty of American gardens.
Peak blooming season is from Jan. 1 through April 30, with the floral peak in mid-to-late March.
Located minutes from downtown and in the heart of more than 6 acres of lush North Florida gardens overflowing with azaleas, camellias, palms and other fragrant flowers giving the park its unique ambience. The camellias found here are noted as some of the finest in the area. The property is alive with a variety of garden paths and fountains making this park one of the most photographed in town. Once a year beginning in late November the park twinkles with more than 250,000 holiday lights, displays and holiday music.
Take a lovely walk at the nursery that earned the Southern Living magazine’s award for “Best Garden Center in the South.” Locally owned and operated since 1938, Tallahassee Nurseries has been a vital part of the Tallahassee Community. What started as only 5 acres of fresh produce has now grown into a fabulous garden experience, complete with a flower/gift shop, garden center, koi pond and greenhouse earning the title of Southern Living magazine’s Best Garden Center in the South! A wide assortment of blooms can be found here year-round. Stop by and wander the grounds to find the perfect Tallahassee souvenir to plant in your own backyard.