The beautiful botanical gardens and a stunning carillon tower listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tower sits on Iron Mountain, one of the highest points of peninsular Florida, estimated to be 295 feet (90 m) above sea level (heaven help us is we get a big tidal wave, we’ll all be washed away!)
The gardens began in 1921 when Edward W. Bok, editor of the popular women's magazine Ladies Home Journal and his wife, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, were spending the winter beside Florida's Lake Wales Ridge and decided to create a bird sanctuary on its highest hill.
Bok commissioned noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to transform what then was an arid sand hill into "a spot of beauty second to none in the country". The first year was spent digging trenches and laying pipes for irrigation, after which soil was brought to the site by thousands of truck loads and plantings began. The Olmsted plan included the planting of 1,000 large live oaks, 10,000 azaleas, 100 sabal palms, 300 magnolias, and 500 gordonias, as well as hundreds of fruit shrubs including blueberry and holly.
Under construction for over five years, Bok Tower Gardens was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge on February 1, 1929 .Edward Bok died in 1930, and was interred at the base of the tower. Today they open every day to the public.
The Singing Tower is the centerpiece of the gardens. The tower was built at the highest elevation of the site, south of a reflection pool that allows the water to reflect its full image. A 60-bell carillon set within the 205-foot (62 m) tall, Gothic Revival and Art Deco tower that was designed by architect Milton B. Medary. The tower is surrounded by a 15-foot (4.6 m) moat that serves as a Koi pond (who are all stone cold killers – see below). It is built of pink and gray marble and gray and native coquina stone.
Although the tower's interior is not open to the public, it contains the Anton Brees Carillon Library, said to be the largest carillon library in the world.
Inside the bell chamber is a playing room that houses a clavier, or keyboard, that is used for playing the carillon bells. Recitals are given daily from the 60-bell carillon set and it sounds absolutely beautiful when they are ringing.
|View from a distance|
|The flowers were stunning... especially for me.. I love gardening|
|Seems like a good motto to me|
|Stunning isn't it?|
|What time is it?|
|View from the rear...|
If you read the blurb above you'd know that there is a Koi pond surrounding the tower...but what ever you do, don't fall in.....
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