One man, his passion, and 100 years of Florida history

In 1903 a plumber by the name of George Turner, Sr. purchased the six acres that would become a world famous botanical attraction. Using an elaborate maze of clay tiles, he drained an ancient lake on the property, leaving a rich muck soil that was ideal for his favorite hobby – gardening. Neighbors so enjoyed strolling through Mr. Turner’s garden, that by the early 1920’s, he was charging a nickel for tours. Three generations of the Turner family continued the vision that created this unique tropical garden, with its flowing ponds. For many years, this was a top tourist attraction in Florida.

On a recent warm & sunny day, Niki and I visited SUNKEN GARDENS, which is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum; this 100 year old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. We spent several hours following through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. We found cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, two flamingos, and numerous turtles and Koi. A quiet and tranquil place smack-dab in the middle of a busy city.

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