Visitors to Gainesville, Fl. owe it to themselves to visit the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. It is a local favorite and residents from the entire area drive here to enjoy the peace and beauty of the gardens. The garden consists of 24 collections spread over 62 acres. The walkway though the garden is a mile and a half long and accessible for most of the way. You don’t need to do the whole mile and a half, the garden is in two parts a mile on one side and half a mile on the other.
Both sides are gorgeous but if distance is an issue, the very romantic bridge, bulb garden, rose garden, children’s garden and butterfly garden are on the shorter route.
Every area has a lot to see. The bamboo is particularly impressive and it should be since it is the largest display of bamboo in the state. If you think bamboo is bamboo you are very mistaken, there are many different types and of particular interest to this writer were the black bamboo and the striped bamboo.
While March is not the prime time for color in the gardens, there was enough to see to make for a fascinating walk with abundant photo opportunities. Camellias, roses, butterflies, azaleas, lilies and more filled the air with fragrance and were a feast for the eyes.
Whether you want to see the sink holes, the herb garden, the hummingbird garden, the butterfly garden or the spring blooms, you will not be disappointed.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is the site of events year round. It is a perfect wedding venue both indoors and out and many other events take place there as well. The Spring Garden Festival and Moonlight Walk are particularly popular. June through September are the months when the gardens are at their most glorious but honestly there is no bad time to visit.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens took almost 10 years to create and opened to the public on October 16, 1987. It is located on the shore of Lake Kanapaha. Kanahapa is a combination of words in the Timucua Indian language and refer to the thatched huts that natives built along the shores of this lake.
You will receive a map of the gardens with your entrance fee but if you prefer, you can come on the first Saturday of the month for a docent led tour at 10:00 a.m. Allow two hours for the guided tour.
To find out all the events that are available throughout the year check Kanapaha’s website. They do have a gift shop which had very few locally sourced items which was disappointing but that certainly was the only disappointment experienced during this writers visit.