Bok Tower Gardens at Christmas

Bok Tower and Reflecting Pond

Golden Brass Door at Base of Tower

23K Gold Snake Gnomon Timepiece on Sundial

Pinewood Estate 1940s Sparkly Christmas Tree

Holiday Candles

Poinsettia Courtyard

Orange Bowl with Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Bird-of-Paradise “Red Christmas”

Camellia “Sweetie Pie – Red Stripe”

Red Camellia

Orange/Red Camellia

Pink Azalea

Purple “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

Yellow Celosia

Beehive Ginger

Bok Tower Gardens in Lake, Wales, Florida, is spectacular over the holidays!  The decorations are beautiful at the Pinewood Estate, and the camellias and azaleas are gorgeous too (peak bloom time is January and February).  Plus the weather can’t be beat!  More info is at:  https://boktowergardens.org/christmas/

Bok Tower Gardens in December

Christmas Garden by Historic Home

Christmas Garden by Historic Home

Red and White Poinsettias Around Fountain

Red and White Poinsettias Around Fountain

White Holiday Table

White Holiday Table

1940s Toys under Tree

1940s Toys under Tree

Teddy Bear Christmas Tree

Teddy Bear Christmas Tree

Orange Baby Painting in Historic Home

Orange Baby Painting in Historic Home

Red and Yellow Striped Chrysanthemums

Red and Yellow Striped Chrysanthemums

Green Ferns and Moss on Tree

Green Ferns and Moss on Tree

Dark Red Camellia

Dark Red Camellia

Pink Azaleas in Bloom

Pink Azaleas in Bloom

Colorful Caladium Leaf

Colorful Caladium Leaf

Blooming Display Table

Blooming Display Table

Top of Bok Tower

Top of Bok Tower

Pink Marble Water Jar Carving

Pink Marble Water Jar Carving

Gold Door of Bok Tower Reflected in Pond

Gold Door of Bok Tower Reflected in Pond

Bok Entrance Quote

Bok Entrance Quote

 

We always try to visit Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, in December.  The historic home is decorated beautifully for the holidays and the garden is always in bloom.  This year’s theme was a 1940s Christmas.  

Bok said:  “Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to  you.”  It is our favorite garden in Florida!  More info about Bok Tower at Christmas is at:  https://boktowergardens.org/christmas/    All of our posts about Bok Tower Gardens are at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/?s=bok

Florida: December at Bok Tower Gardens

Christmas Garden by Historic Home

Christmas Garden by Historic Home

Holiday Path to Historic Home

Holiday Path to Historic Home

Red Poinsettias

Red Poinsettias

Pink Poinsettias and Amaryllis

Pink Poinsettias and Amaryllis

Holiday Dining Room in Historic Home

Holiday Dining Room in Historic Home

Silver Holiday Table in Historic Home

Silver Holiday Table in Historic Home

Christmas Tree and Harp in Historic Home

Christmas Tree and Harp in Historic Home

Christmas Tree Decorated with Red Hibiscus and Crocheted Garland

Christmas Tree Decorated with Red Hibiscus and Crocheted Garland

Christmas Tree Decorated with Knitted Red Poinsettia Flowers

Christmas Tree Decorated with Knitted Red Poinsettia Flowers

Close-up of Knitted Red Poinsettia Flowers

Close-up of Knitted Red Poinsettia Flowers

Welcome Pineapple on Door Composed of Sweetgum Seed Pods (also called gum balls or porcupine eggs)

Welcome Pineapple on Door Composed of Sweetgum Seed Pods (also called gum balls or porcupine eggs)

Bromeliad Christmas Tree in Visitor Center

Bromeliad Christmas Tree in Visitor Center

Bromeliad Wall and Poinsettias by Visitor Center

Bromeliad Wall and Poinsettias by Visitor Center

Bok Tower Gardens is especially beautiful in December (located in Lake Wales, Florida).  Plenty of flowers are always in bloom, and each room in the historic home on-site is decorated for Christmas.  It is well worth a visit!  More info is at:  http://boktowergardens.org/christmas/

UPDATE May 2018:  Bok Tower Gardens was recently recognized as one of the ten most romantic places in Florida by “Coastal Living” magazine!  Article here:  https://www.coastalliving.com/travel/gulf-coast/most-romantic-destinations-florida

Florida Christmas: Bok Tower Gardens

Bromeliad Wall at Christmas

Bromeliad Wall at Christmas

Staghorn Fern and Poinsettias

Staghorn Fern and Poinsettias

Poinsettia Balls and Spanish Moss

Poinsettia Balls and Spanish Moss

Big Pots and Poinsettia Walkway

Big Pots and Poinsettia Walkway

Entrance to Historic Pinewood Estate

Entrance to Historic Pinewood Estate

Hibiscus Wreath

Hibiscus Wreath

Santa Sleigh

Santa Sleigh

Family Room

Family Room

Cookies and Milk for Santa, and Carrots for Reindeer

Cookies and Milk for Santa, and Carrots for Reindeer

Christmas Treats Table

Christmas Treats Table

Vintage Living Room

Vintage Living Room

Study (insect decorations on tree)

Study (insect decorations on tree)

Bedroom with Window Wreaths

Bedroom with Window Wreaths

Peacock Theme Bedroom

Peacock Theme Bedroom

Twin Bedroom with Swan Paintings

Twin Bedroom with Swan Paintings

Flowers Blooming at Christmastime

Flowers Blooming at Christmastime

Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, is decorated beautifully this time of year.  The historic Pinewood Estate has vintage Christmas decorations on view in every room.  It is a delightful place to visit.  More info is at:  http://boktowergardens.org/christmas/   Info on the December 2014 decorations and tour is at:  http://boktowergardens.org/calendar/holiday-home-tour-at-pinewood-estate/

Bok Tower Gardens: Peak Flower Bloom!

Bok Tower in Early Spring

Bok Tower in Early Spring

Blooming Pink Azalea

Blooming Pink Azalea

Azalea-Lined Trail

Azalea-Lined Trail

Blooming Red Camellia "Royal Velvet"

Blooming Red Camellia “Royal Velvet”

Flowering Jungle Trail

Flowering Jungle Trail

Colorful Blooming Bromeliads

Colorful Blooming Bromeliads

Bok Tower Gardens has been voted Florida’s “Favorite Garden”.  The peak bloom is now!  The trails are filled with flowering azaleas, camellias, and bromeliads.

Florida: Inside Beautiful Bok Tower!

Base of Bok Tower

Base of Bok Tower

Entrance Through Golden Brass Door

Entrance Through Golden Brass Door

Tree Cutout Peephole Above Lock

Tree Cutout Peephole Above Lock

Mr. Bok's Gravesite in Front of Golden Brass Door

Mr. Bok’s Gravesite in Front of Golden Brass Door

Inside Founder's Room Looking Out Golden Brass Door

Inside Founder’s Room Looking Out Golden Brass Door

Inside Looking Up at Soaring Pink Ceilings (capstone is in middle and lantern is at top)

Inside Looking Up at Soaring Pink Ceilings (capstone is in middle and lantern is at top)

Wrought Iron Lantern (spider web base and birds encircling top)

Wrought Iron Lantern (spider web base and birds encircling top)

Wrought Iron Lantern in Front of Carved Marble Window

Wrought Iron Lantern in Front of Carved Marble Window

Fireplace Mantel

Fireplace Mantel

Florida Mural Above Fireplace

Florida Mural Above Fireplace

Tile Floor with Star of Life

Tile Floor with Star of Life

Colorful Animal Tiles

Colorful Animal Tiles

Recently I attended a special member’s only tour of the Founder’s Room on the first floor of Bok Tower. The Founder’s Room was created as Mr. Bok’s private study.  It was exciting to finally go inside the tower!  Access to the top of the tower is extremely limited, but we were told that a man had just proposed to his fiancé there, and she said yes!

The only entrance to the Founder’s Room is the golden brass door. The color was chosen to enhance the glory of the 32 Biblical scenes of Creation on the door. The door weighs 1,000 pounds and is polished monthly. A cutout tree on the door serves as a peephole, and a giant brass key opens the door. Notice the small square of white flowers in the grass in front of the door. That is Mr. Bok’s gravesite situated at the base of his beloved tower.

Once inside the Founder’s Room, you notice the soaring pink marble walls, intricate marble windows (each one carved in place from a single block of stone), hanging wrought iron lanterns, massive marble fireplace with Florida mural above, and elaborate tile floor.

The nature theme of the garden and tower are continued throughout the room. The wrought iron lanterns have birds encircling the top, and spider webs on the bottom. The wrought iron stairway leads to a second level, and from there an inner stairway ascends the tower. Alternatively, an original 1928 Otis elevator (the oldest in Florida) escorts people to the top. The eight levels of Bok Tower are (1) Founder’s Room at ground level; (2) Chao Research Center (archival room); (3) Storage and Mechanical Equipment Room; (4) Maintenance Workshop; (5) Carillon Library; (6) Carillon Player’s Office; (7) Carillon Bells and Soundproof Keyboard Playing Cabinet (bells are too loud to play directly beside them); and (8) Roof Top (statues, finials, and lightning rods).

The soaring ceiling is bricked over with a capstone in the middle. This marks the spot where the heavy carillon bells were hoisted up through the tower. Since the bells were too large to fit through the brass door, they entered the tower through the side. That location is now marked by the fireplace on the inside, and the sundial on the outside. The fireplace mantel contains a marble engraving of bell ringers beneath a quote by Bok’s grandmother, “Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it”. An elaborate mural over the fireplace shows an engraving of the State of Florida with Bok Tower in the middle, a sunrise above, flamingoes and alligator below, a figure blowing the wind and compass star on the left, a Spanish galleon on the upper right, and Neptune riding his horses in the sea at the bottom. Spectacular tiles cover the Founder’s Room floor. At the center of the colorful floor is the Star of Life. The six points of the star are said to symbolize the six days of Creation in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.  Surrounding it are various kinds of animal tiles.

One visit per year to the ground floor Founder’s Room is granted by appointment to sustaining members of Bok Tower Gardens. It is well worth the trip! A video tour of the inside of the tower is at: http://www.youtube.com/user/boktowergardens?feature=watch 

All of our posts on Bok Tower are at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/category/florida/gardens-florida/bok-tower-gardens-gardens/

Bok Tower Gardens: Huge Victoria Waterlilies!

Bok Tower and Reflection Pool with Victoria Waterlilies

ONE Victoria Waterlily Plant

Victoria Waterlily Pads with Pink Bloom

The Victoria waterlilies at Bok Tower Gardens are huge!  Plants are grown every year from a seed the size of a pea. This year the garden’s two Victoria waterlilies have grown exceptionally well.  Each waterlily has over 20 lilypads, and each pad is 5 feet wide!  Flowers are large too – up to a foot in diameter.  The first night the blooms are white, and the second night they are pink. The plants will grow until cooler weather arrives in November. 

%d bloggers like this: