There’s not a roller coaster, costumed character or water slide in sight, but Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens ranks among the parks best loved by Orlando visitors and residents alike. In 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Harry P. Leu purchased Leu House and 40 acres of land. Leu Gardens are the result of the Leus’ interest in exotic plants, as well as camellias. The Leus traveled all over the world, assembling a wide variety of exotic plants and some 240 varieties of camellias for their gardens. In 1961, the Leus deeded the house and the gardens—their lives’ work—to the city of Orlando. The Leu Gardens is now open to the public and a popular destination for those on an Orlando vacation.
The centerpiece of Leu Gardens is Harry and Mary Jane Leu’s home, now the Leu House Museum and featured on the National Historical Register. Turn-of-the century Florida living may be relived during Leu Gardens home tours twice each hour.
The Leu Gardens Beautiful Plant Life
Orlando is located in USDA climate zone 9b. This mild subtropical climate allows both temperate and tropical plants to thrive. Leu Gardens is known for it’s extensive collections of azaleas, bamboo, bananas, bromeliads, camellias, citrus, conifers, crepe myrtles, ferns, flowering shrubs and trees, gingers, heliconias, hibiscus and mallows, magnolias, ornamental grasses, palms, perennials, roses, trees and vines. You will be hard pressed to find such an extensive collection at any other Bluegreen resort locations.
Many of Leu Gardens’ plants are arranged by type or environment. An annual garden is changed frequently to display plants at their peak. There is also a perennial garden, a bog garden to display plants that thrive in a moist environment, and an arid garden to showcase drought-tolerant species.
Popular Gardens in Leu Gardens
One of the most popular locations in Leu Gardens is Mary Jane’s Rose Garden. The site of many weddings, the lavish garden features more than 1,000 rose bushes representing more than 215 varieties and nearly as many colors.
A white garden, evening garden and fragrance garden are havens for photographers and an inspiration for home gardeners on vacation, while the tropical stream garden is almost impossible to duplicate. The look and feel of the tropics is perfectly replicated in this unforgettable setting. Listen for the gurgling natural spring and look for plants with tropical character such as Bird-of-Paradise, banana, ginger, tree ferns, palms and flowering vines during your next Bluegreen vacation.
A contrast to Orlando’s other sights and sounds, Leu Gardens is a glimpse of paradise. It’s lush, green, quiet and the perfect alternative to those other Orlando parks. A perfect place to relax during vacation to the city.