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St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

A World of Horticultural Diversity

Introduction

Discover the captivating beauty of St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve. Located in Hastings, Florida the garden is a welcoming place for nature lovers, plant enthusiasts, and wildlife admirers. This stunning garden offers a wonderful experience that combines conservation, education, and natural beauty.

Nature Conservation

St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve has two important missions. First, it’s all about preserving endangered plant species from around the world. This means protecting plants that are at risk of disappearing forever. Second, it’s dedicated to showcasing and safeguarding delicate native species that naturally thrive in Northern Florida. These native plants, alongside some exotic ones, are available for purchase at the garden’s palm and native plant nursery.

A Unique Oasis

Located on County Road 13 in Hastings, St. Johns Botanical Garden spans 16 acres of natural beauty. The impressive live oak forest offers a unique environment for various plants, including endangered palm species. These ancient trees provide shade in the summer and shelter from the elements in the winter, creating the perfect setting for the garden’s diverse plant life.

The garden boasts over 2,400 different plant species, including more than 300 types of palm trees. Among them, you’ll find over 20 rare and endangered palms, like the Madagascar coconut palm, also known as the Giant Windowpane Palm, the Miami Palmetto, and the Australian Wooly Palm.

A World of Horticultural Diversity

St. Johns Botanical Garden is organized into different areas, each representing a particular region or theme. You can explore desert plants, native species, and admire the beauty of bromeliads. The garden also has sections dedicated to plants from South America, Southeastern Asia, Island Palms, and Mexican Desert Palms. Each section gives you a glimpse of the incredible variety of plant life across the globe.

One of the highlights is the South American area, which houses rare species not found in any other botanical garden. Throughout the year, the garden is filled with flowering plants, ensuring visitors can enjoy nature’s beauty year-round.

A Walk Amidst Nature

St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is not just for plant enthusiasts; it’s also a sanctuary for those who want to connect with nature. The garden features over 2.5 miles of trails that wind through special gardens and a serene nature preserve along the Deep Creek. Here, nature is left untouched, providing a glimpse of old Florida and a space for local flora and fauna to flourish.

Wildlife Encounters

The garden is home to a variety of wildlife. As you explore the trails, you might come across local animals like river otters and familiar birds. You might even spot bird species not commonly found in North Florida, such as migrating hummingbirds, warblers, and sparrows. Migrant birds often make pit stops here during their journeys north and south.

Florida’s biodiversity extends to reptiles and amphibians, which you can often encounter in the garden. There are several species of tree frogs, turtles, tortoises, and even snakes. While some of these snakes are venomous, they tend to avoid human contact.

Mammals like rabbits, bats, squirrels, and bobcats also call the garden home, though they are more active after dark. The garden is also a haven for insects, including moths, butterflies, and dragonflies, adding a touch of elegance to the landscape.

Plan Your Visit

St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is open to visitors. You can explore the garden at your own pace or join guided tours to learn more about its botanical wonders. The garden hosts various exhibits and special events, including plant fairs, encounters with wild animals, and educational sessions led by Master Gardeners. It’s also a lovely place for weddings, with a charming pergola setting the stage for unforgettable celebrations.

Address
St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
8310 County Road 13 South
Hastings, Florida 32145
Website: https://www.stjohnsbotanicalgarden.org/

Admission
Adults (18 – 64): $15
Seniors (65+): $10
Children (8 – 17): $8
Children (under 8): Free

Hours of Operation
Monday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday: by appointment only
Wednesday: by appointment only
Thursday: by appointment only
Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Directions
From I-95 north or south: Take I-95, exit 298, then south on US 1 (1/4 mile), then west on CR 204 / CR 13 (11 miles) to St. Johns Botanical Garden, on your right.

St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is more than just a garden; it’s a tribute to the wonders of the natural world. With its dedication to conservation, diverse plant life, and flourishing wildlife, it offers a unique experience for everyone. Whether you’re a plant enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a tranquil retreat, this botanical garden has something special in store for you. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this ecological gem.


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