Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maclay Gardens in Tallahassee, Florida

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, Florida

Maclay Gardens State Park is a 1,176 acre Florida State Park, Botanical Garden and Historic Site located in Tallahassee, which is in Northwest Florida.

Even the entrance drive into the check-in gate at the park is very beautiful.

There is a lot to do in this park including touring an old historical home, and walking through the amazing gardens.  The nearby lake offers swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.  There is a pavilion with grills along the lake-shore providing wonderful picnic areas.  And there are hiking trails, and horse-back-riding trails.

As you reach the parking lot of Maclay Gardens you will see these beautiful huge old Live Oaks all nicely decorated with lots and lots of old Southern Spanish Moss.

When we visit the park it is usually to walk through the beautiful gardens. And, sometimes we will meet up with family members for a picnic around the lake.

As visitors enter into the old historical house and gardens area, they pass through these old ornamental iron gates that open onto a brick path that curves along through the spectacular gardens

These beautiful old gardens were first planted in 1923 by Alfred and Louise Maclay after they purchased the property for their winter home.  Alfred Maclay was a wealthy New York financier who loved gardening.  He and his wife created this beautiful masterpiece of floral architecture all along the rolling hills overlooking Lake Hall.

The South is known for its dogwoods, azaleas, camellias and other Spring flowers. 

Dogwood blossoms.

Camellia plants at Maclay Gardens grow to huge proportions.

Continuing along the brick walk-way.

Lots and lots of Spanish Moss drapes all over the old huge Live Oak trees.

This is a very popular picturesque spot for professional family photos.

As you continue down the brick path you will reach the Maclay Gardens Historical House.

There is no additional charge to see the inside of the home.  The furnishings in the Maclay House are those that the family used when they lived here starting in the 1920's,  and are their collection of what were already antiques at the time.

View of Lake Hall from the front door of the Maclay Home.

Huge Oak tree seen from the front door of the Maclay Home.

Another view of Lake Hall from the front door of the home.

Dining room of the Maclay Home.  
All of the furniture in the home is just as it was when the Maclay's lived here.

An exhibit area in the home tells of the history of the development of Maclay Gardens.

Leaving the home we walk over to the formal garden area.

Here you will find a secret garden, a reflecting pool, and a walled garden.

Maclay Gardens has been the location of many beautiful weddings.

When the gardens are in full bloom one of the most spectacular sights is a Japanese Magnolia tree reflecting in this pond.  I have seen pictures of it, but have never gotten to the garden at just the right time to get a photo myself.

All of these photos were taken in May of last year just after the peak of the blooming season, but with some of the azaleas still in bloom you can get an idea of how pretty all the azaleas are.

This tree with it's big old roots caught my eye and reminded me of just how old this area is.

As we returned back to the entrance gate I snapped a picture of the Maclay Gardens map.  It is not a very good photo, but you may get a little idea of how the gardens are laid out.  The parking lot is in the bottom of the photo and the Maclay House is at the top of the map ... just to give you an idea.

The temperatures here in Tallahassee have warmed to an amazing 74 degrees today.  So I know it will not be long before this beautiful park is in full Springtime bloom.  Hopefully I can get some time to get there and take some pictures of the park in bloom.  If that happens I will definitely share the photos.

I hope it has warmed nicely where you are too,  and that you are having beautiful days wherever you may be.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment