Hollis Gardens in Lakeland, FL: Who says you have to leave home to find paradise?

Hollis Gardens in Lakeland, FL: Who says you have to leave home to find paradise?

While we love finding new gardens to explore when we travel, one of our favorite garden spots is just around the corner from our home: Hollis Garden in Lakeland, Florida. Whether you're getting married, celebrating a quinceañera, or just looking for a peaceful spot with unique plants, this paradise is a must-visit destination. 

Hollis Garden central fountain on the shores of Lake Mirror

What Makes Hollis Garden Special?

Hollis Garden is a botanical garden located on the shores of Lake Mirror in Lakeland. The garden features a vast array of plant species, meticulously curated into themed "rooms." For example, there are rooms united by color (yellow, red, white, etc.) and rooms themed by plant type (vegetables, butterfly plants, etc.) 

Secret grotto waterfall amidst greenery

Exploring the Garden

Take a leisurely stroll amidst peaceful classical music. Don't miss the central fountain, hidden alcove grotto, tranquil pond, or secluded bamboo. The Garden Bistro--a gourmet cafe featuring outdoor seating that looks into the garden--is just a few steps away. Be on the lookout for edible plants. If you come in the right season, you can sample Jabuticaba berries (Brazilian Grapetree) straight off the tree or a nice, juicy papaya if you can reach it. 

Papaya fruit on a papaya tree

Ever seen a Frankincense (Boswellia genus) tree? The resin from this type of tree was a highly-prized gift from the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. At Hollis Garden, you can see how the baby tree Wellspring Gardens donated long ago has grown up compared to our 18-month baby girl.  

Frankincense (Boswellia) tree

Photography Paradise

Photographers will find endless inspiration at Hollis Garden. Capture the beauty of blooming flowers, graceful swans gliding across the lake, and the play of light and shadows among the foliage. Whether you're a professional photographer or just snapping photos with your phone, Hollis Garden offers picture-perfect moments at every turn. 

Calathea plant

Plan Your Visit

Hollis Garden is open to the public year-round and admission is free. Pack a picnic, bring a book, or simply enjoy a quiet moment of reflection in this botanical paradise. Whether you're a local looking for a peaceful escape or a visitor exploring Lakeland, Hollis Garden is a destination not to be missed.

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