Saturday, March 17, 2012

Maclay Gardens are in Bloom inTallahassee, Florida

Maclay Gardens in Tallahassee
The most beautiful corner of Florida's capital city is now in bloom, thanks to warm weather and an early spring!
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park spreads across hundreds of acres of hills, forests and water off Thomasville Road in Tallahassee. It is a stunning place year-round, but spring is the season when all eyes turn to the beautiful gardens that give the park its name.

Park officials report that the azaleas and dogwoods both began to bloom in late February and, as they are all across North Florida, the trees and shrubs are alive with flowers and color right now.

Path at Maclay Gardens
Maclay Gardens originated in 1923 when the land was bought by Alfred B. Maclay, a key figure in the New York financial markets. He and his wife, Louise Fleishman Maclay, named their Florida place Killearn Plantation and Gardens and set about creating a wonderland of blooming trees and plants, flowers, water features, open greens and winding paths. Over the next 21 years, the Maclays developed the gardens and even hosted the Duke and Duchess of Windsor there.

Stunning Beauty at Maclay Gardens
Mr. Maclay died in 1944, but Mrs. Maclay continued to work on the development of the gardens until 1953 when she donated the entire property to the State of Florida. Originally called Killearn Gardens State Park, the stunning site was renamed Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park during the 1970s and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

The entire park now covers 873 acres, with the ornamental gardens and related historic structures comprising 28 full acres.

The Maclay House itself will be open to the public through April 30th. The park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle ($4 if the driver is the only occupant) or $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. There is a separate $6 per adult fee to see the gardens ($3 for children ages 2-12).

To learn more about Maclay Gardens and to see additional pictures, please visit

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