Get Lost in Leu Gardens
Spend the day exploring this hidden treasure located minutes from the heart of Orlando. Photography by Roberto Gonzalez Text by Brooke Fehr
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
American naturalist and essayist John Burroughs spoke for many of us who seek the solace that green spaces can provide. If you have the urge to run for the trees—or the camellias, azaleas, or cycads—Leu Gardens offers the escape your heart seeks. The 50-acre botanical garden occupies prime space just to the south of Winter Park. Situated prettily on the banks of Lake Rowena, the gardens and the historic house in the midst of them were a gift from Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane to the City of Orlando in 1961. Twelve different areas make up the gardens, including Mary Jane’s Rose Garden, the largest formal rose garden in Florida, and an impressive array of camellias that comprise the country’s third largest collection.