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VISIT: Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Punta Gorda, Florida is a precious gem set on more than 30 pristine acres of gorgeous natural and cultivated gardens with world-class sculptures from all over the globe.

If you haven’t visited the Gardens, I highly recommend it. Paved and natural pathways wind through this beautiful setting, and more than 1,000 feet of boardwalks take you out over the Peace River and through natural mangrove wetlands.

Plants are located throughout the property including in specialty gardens for dry xeriscapes, tropical hibiscus, sensory garden, bamboo, bromeliads, and more. And, beautiful flowers like bougainvillea climb towering trellises into the sky.

This post today by The Daily Artisan is the first in a series of “VISIT” places I go and photograph. I’m pleased to share the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in this first installment!

I lived in the downtown historic district of Punta Gorda for many years, and I was in awe the first time I visited Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens. Their tagline is “A short distance away … a world apart,” and words could not be truer.

When you’re walking through the beautiful, sprawling property, you hear nothing but the sounds of nature – perhaps feeding koi fish breaking the water’s surface in the reflection pond by the Gardens Community Center; the buzz of a bee enjoying pollen on fragrant flowers; or maybe, if you’ll listen very closely, the faint flap of wings in the new Butterfly House I saw today for the first time.

What you won’t hear are road sounds, loud noises, or actually anything that would disturb your peace. Visitors greet each other with reverential voices because as you walk the grounds and boardwalks, it feels much like a chapel built to celebrate natural Florida in all its glory.

As a photographer, I’m like a kid in a candy store over all the beautiful things that catch my eye. But, even if I didn’t bring my camera when I visit, I would enjoy and appreciate what has been put together in this uniquely Southwest Florida setting. You’ll learn so much about our native habitat and beyond.

For 15 years, founders Robert and Linda Tetrault planned and developed the Gardens, which then opened to the public in 2017. Their travels around the world are reflected in the sculptures which grace the Gardens, and they’re unlike anything I’ve seen in Southwest Florida. Sadly, Mr. Tetrault unexpectedly passed away in 2020, but his wife continues leading the Gardens’ development and future expansion. Their stunning residence, which can be seen from the end of one of the boardwalks, will become a permanent part of the Gardens one day.

Each December, a Gardens Aglow event is held as a nighttime showcase with holiday lights and decorations. While I’ve not attended Gardens Aglow, the pictures of it are stunning! Below is information on accessing the Gardens website, including the remaining December dates for this year’s 2021 Gardens Aglow.

The Gardens website also provides information on its participation in the reciprocal admissions program at more than 330 gardens across North America. Other highlights are a nursery where you can buy plants; a gift shop inside the spacious Gardens Community Center; a gazebo over top the Peace River; art installations; and comfortable benches, tables and chairs spread throughout the property.

My next visit to the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens will be for the ZimSculpt event February 4 through April 18. Zimbabwean artists will display hundreds of original stone sculptures for viewing and purchase. Artists will be onsite creating new pieces for visitors to watch during the event, like other ZimSculpt shows held in leading conservatories and botanical gardens across the United States and Canada.

I’m looking forward to visiting different parks, zoos, gardens, beaches, and towns for The Daily Artisan blog’s VISIT series, and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens from my visit there today.

Visit Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens – you’ll enjoy this beautiful treasure in Southwest Florida!

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens is located at 5827 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda, Florida 33982. For more information, call 941-621-8299, or visit www.peacerivergardens.org.

VISIT is a series of blog posts about visited and photographed locations in Southwest Florida and beyond by The Daily Artisan.

December 16, 2021



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