CONTACT: Brian Ososky
Director of Marketing & Public Relations

February 15, 2013

Peak Bloom Season Best Time to
Visit Bok Tower Gardens – Bring Your Camera!

LAKE WALES, Fla. — The countdown is underway for peak bloom season at Bok Tower Gardens, one of the best times of year to visit the National Historic Landmark.

It’s an annual rite of spring when visitors watch more than 150 varieties of camellias and hundreds of azaleas along with nun’s orchids, irises, coral bean, Mexican flame vine, and other flowering plants create an explosion of color throughout the Gardens. Since the exact date range is hard to predict, guests are encouraged to return throughout the season to experience Mother Nature’s ever-changing palette of colors, and to take plenty of pictures.

“Cold weather delays the on-set of flowering and this winter has been unseasonably warm,” says Greg Kramer, Gardens’ director of horticulture. “We expect azaleas to once again steal the show, and reach their peak the third week in February and continue through March.”

Violas, snapdragons, dianthus, delphiniums, holly hocks and other annuals also escort the arrival of spring with glorious displays of color. Trees in bloom include native plums and deciduous magnolias.

“We have one native dogwood tree that’s within days of being at peak with its large, white blooms and should continue for another seven to ten days,” Kramer adds. ”It’s going to be spectacular.” The dogwood tree can be found on the northwest corner of the Tower’s reflection pond. Centrally located between Tampa and Orlando in rolling hills of citrus groves, the scent of orange blossoms also adds a sweet fragrance to the Gardens into March.

Another spectacular exhibit features air plants that require no soil. The display around the Visitor Center features dozens of different species of Tillandsia. Many of them are available for purchase in the Tower & Garden Gift Shop. With more than 550 species of Tillandsia, the genus is one of the largest and most diverse of the entire bromeliad family, accounting for approximately 550 of the over 2,500 species of bromeliads.  It is only second to the orchid family in terms of diversity.

What began as nearly 50 acres of woodland gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. has grown to more than 600 acres of woodland gardens, nature trails, conservation lands and groves. The visual centerpiece of the National Historic Landmark is the 205-foot Art Deco and neo-Gothic Singing Tower, a pink marble and coquina stone architectural treasure that houses one of the world’s finest carillons. The 60 carillon bells ring every half hour and during daily concerts at 1 and 3 p.m.

In addition to self-guided tours of Pinewood Estate, a 20-room, Mediterranean-style 1930s winter retreat, visitors can learn about the flora and fauna as well as the history of the Gardens during hour-long guided garden walking tours through April 28. Included with general admission, tour hours are Monday through Saturday at noon and 2 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Visit for special ticket offers and to see what’s in bloom.

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Download printable PDF - Download Peak Bloom File Photos

About Bok Tower Gardens:
Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales in Central Florida’s rolling hills of citrus. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. LEGOLAND ticket holders will receive free admission for children under 12. For more information, contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit


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