Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales will break ground on Friday, October 24 on a $12 million expansion… the largest expansion in its 85-year history.
Components of the expansion will include pathwork, Tower and Gardens restoration, and several new garden spaces including a Children’s Garden, Outdoor Kitchen and Edible Garden, Wild Garden and Pollinator Garden.
The new 2.7-acre Children’s Garden will be a place of hands-on fun, natural beauty, learning, and creative play. There will be beautiful art, cooling water features, vibrant plantings, a boardwalk, performance stage, and music area. Children will have things to climb on, under and through, as well as places to build, dig and create.
Adjacent to the Children’s Garden will be a new Outdoor Kitchen and Edible Garden that connects farm to table. Lake Flato Architects of San Antonio has designed an inviting outdoor open kitchen space in harmony with the landscape. Edible display gardens surrounding the kitchen will be a welcoming destination for daytime or nighttime educational programs and events showcasing lifestyle gardening and the culinary arts.
Seven acres of the northern garden are being transformed into a haven for wildlife and native plants. The expanded Wild Garden, encompassing the existing Window by the Pond and Endangered Plant Garden, will showcase a variety of Florida native plants and landscapes including an oak hammock, wet prairie, sandhill preserve, wetland and bog. A 170-foot boardwalk through this area will provide visitors with an immersive experience into the new landscape.
A gentle grade to a spectacular new oval walkway and special event lawn is being constructed behind the Visitor Center to help guests more easily find their way to Pinewood Estate, the Singing Tower, and the new expansion gardens to the north. This new gateway also features expanded outdoor cafe seating and a pollinator garden to attract birds and butterflies.
The expansion is scheduled to be complete by late spring of 2016.