The Fragrance Garden
A natural place for plant lovers, the Fragrance Garden section of the Lakes Park Gardens is a place everyone in southwest Florida can enjoy. The Fragrance Garden encompasses 18 acres within the park. It presents opportunities for creative exploration, passionate inspiration, quiet contemplation, and an appreciation for nature. The Fragrance Garden includes such distinct areas as:
- a succulent collection
- heritage croton preserve
- butterfly garden
- heritage rose garden
- water garden
- and a bromeliad garden.
A propagation shed and a Certificate of Nursery Registration allow volunteers to create new plants. Some of these are offered for sale at the Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays from October through April.
The Community Garden
The Community Garden was a welcome addition to the Lakes Park Gardens. It provides a place for locals to learn to grow their own food. Veteran gardeners coach “newbies” about soil, drainage, pest control, maximizing yield and other subjects that will lead to their success. This is a progressive effort to revive the practice of growing and consuming produce close to home. Full-time Lee County residents can rent one of the 4′ x 8′ raised beds for just $75 annually, for the purpose of growing food and flowers. The foundation provides soil and tools. Seedlings are propagated in the Fragrance Garden and offered to gardeners at the beginning of the growing season for a modest price. Volunteers harvest food from several dedicated beds plus excess from the renters every other week during the growing season (October through April) for donation to a local soup kitchen.
Last year, the Foundation implemented a phased approach to replace the aging beds. A donation campaign is underway to help fund this essential maintenance effort. Want to get involved in the Community Garden? Learn more.
The Children’s Garden
The Children’s Garden is the latest addition to the Lakes Park Gardens. It has come a long way, but is still a work in progress. Distinct areas offer maximum opportunity for families to explore, learn, and play together. The Living Wall grows just to the left of the Children’s Garden archway, and has recently been repaired and replanted. The archway, attractive fencing, and cement walkways were installed circa 2015, in partnership between the Foundation and the County. The Fruit Loop section is a favorite with children, who love to hide in the “banana fort” and watch for wildlife lured by the different varieties of fruit growing there. The ABC Garden is a raised, worm-shaped bed that grows vegetables. Cooper the Caterpillar stands nearby, demonstrating lifecycle of a plant. The Pollination Station was recently installed as a Girl Scout “Gold Award” project. It was enhanced by the Foundation with additional plants and educational signage. The long term plan for the Pollination Station is to further cultivate it into a Certified Butterfly Garden using native plants. During the winter of 2020, the Foundation added musical play stations to the Children’s Garden, whimsically designed in the shapes of flowers, lily pads, and trees.
We are developing a garden to enrich each child’s sensory appreciation of plants and understanding of how life is woven in a web of interdependence. Through sponsorships, the donation of bricks, and other fundraising methods, the Foundation has been investing in this space for several years. Near-future plans include an interactive sundial and the possibility of murals on the high garden walls along Gladiolus Drive.