Spotted: Bok Tower Gardens Lake Wales Fl

At least 1 hour of meditation & self reflection should become part of your daily regimen. Tests have shown stress levels and overall health are positively effected by giving yourself consistent quiet, singular meditation time. Yoga is also widely used to assist in meditating and physical pliability. Either way we should all find a way to make time for this life extending practice. While most of my meditation time is in my home or any quiet place I can find at the time, a couple of weeks ago I bumped into the pinnacle of places for self reflection, Bok Tower Gardens. See pics & read more after the previous

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, who would found the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1924, were spending the winter beside Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge and decided to create a bird sanctuary on its highest hill (298 feet above sea level, 91 meters).

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.

Attempts were made to introduce flamingos to the sanctuary several times, which is why early renderings of the tower show flamingos at the reflection pool rather than swans. These early efforts were unsuccessful, however, as the flamingos were not native to central Florida and could not survive the winters that were cooler than those of southern Florida where they may be found.

Under construction for over five years, Bok Tower Gardens was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge on February 1, 1929.[5] Edward Bok died in 1930, and was interred at the base of the tower.

A feeling of calmness over your mind & body is immediately noticed upon entering the Bok Grounds. Explore endangered horticulture, see amazing views of Lake Wales, listen to birds sing and much more while you stroll the property. Designated picnic areas are encouraged to enjoy a full day at the tower.

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