Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cypress Gardens (P52 Theme: Detail)

Dear friends,

Last week I took four of my children to LegoLand for a field trip with our home school co-op.  LegoLand is on the grounds of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, a Florida classic since 1933.  Fortunately, they have retained many of the best features of the original park, including the Island in the Sky ride, the water ski shows, and the botanical gardens.  You can read about the LegoLand field trip here on my preschool/elementary blog: Florida Field Trips #5: LegoLand.  In this post right here, I just want to share some photos from the gardens.  Three of my children weren't particularly interested in walking through, so they went on rides with friends and some other parents. One of the moms, a few other kids, and my own youngest daughter strolled the gardens with me.

The Southern belle is constructed out of Legos.
In the old Cypress Gardens, human Southern belles greeted visitors.

Detail of hands and dress.

This close-up, cropped from the previous photo
is my entry for the P52 photo project.I wish I had walked up closer to the sculpture
and gotten a clearer view of it! 
The P52 theme this week is Detail.

There are other photos in this post that I could have chosen
to represent detail, especially the more intricate ones,
but I wanted to be a bit different.
More info on P52 at the bottom of the post!
Now, back to more photos!

The gazebo stands in the distance.
Alligators, turtles and fish inhabit the pond.
Can you see the back of the alligator in this photo?
It is the light horizontal line right in the middle of the photo,
a down and to the left from the gazebo reflection.

Mom and Melody

Banyan tree with several trunks: 
Apparently is was planted in a five gallon bucket in the 1930's.

Are these vines hanging from the banyan tree?

The path goes right between trunks of the same tree!

Yes, that is a Lego monkey in the banyan tree!

I am guessing the purple flowers are bouganvilla.

This is Cypress Gardens,
so I'd better show a cypress tree!
This one stands in Lake Eloise.
Cypress trees love water!

Cypress knees



The spathe is the "pulpit" and the spadix is "Jack."
This is because old-fashioned pulpits were elevated booths with covers.
You can see a picture of one here, second photo down: 

L'Église Saint-Louis-en-l'Île, Paris

Lollypop flower



What are these?  Can anyone tell me?

This is the bud form of the spiky red flower
in the last photo.

St. Francis and the Birds

Saint Piacre, patron saint of gardens 

Shell ginger!  What is that?

The shell ginger plant hides its buds in a "shell."
The buds have emerged from the shell, but aren't in full bloom.

And here we are in bloom!
The colors of the inside were a complete surprise to me!

Another intriguing plant....
A little mystery:
white fuzzy stuff all over one of the lawns.

It came from the clumps of white fluff growing
on these floss silk trees.  That's a very
appropriate name, because that's what it fees like!

This is the trunk of the
floss silk tree.
It's not soft at all!
In fact, it is covered with tough
prickly spikes!

You can't see the prickles very well 
on the previous photo, so here is one I took 
of an even pricklier floss silk tree 
at Leu Gardens in Orlando.

(See here for more: Leu Gardens Again!)

Huge trumpet flowers

More trumpet flowers,
which are in the genus Brugmansia.
Trumpet flowers are toxic!

I don't know what these are since I didn't see a label, 
but these white flowers ere growing on trees!
I tried using Google's "Search by Image" feature to identify
the flower, but it didn't come up with anything close enough.
Never heard of that?  Go to and 
click the camera icon at the right of the search box.
The only luck I've had with it is searching for a copy of 
an identical photo on the web.
Always pay attention to detail!  Then look up background information to get more details. You can learn a lot that way!

You can see more of my flower posts here: Flowers

Click here to see Project 52 at!

project 52 p52 

I post P52 photos on two of my blogs.  You can see them here: 


  1. I think the last white flower is a white orchid tree:
    You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

    We've got some kind of purple orchid tree that grows around St. Cloud. I didn't know what it was called either, but upon searching for "white orchid tree" came up with the above link. Hope that helps solve the mystery :-) I have no clue on the other unknown plant in your photos above. Glad you had such an enjoyable time. We enjoyed it, too, especially the banyan tree. I believe the gardener said it was planted in 1930, and has to be cut back aggressively to keep it as contained as it is.

  2. The finer details are always the ones we miss. Great shots. Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Wow...just amazing pictures. I would love to go there.

  4. Love the Lego Southern belles. I think I have that same photo. :) Beautiful close-ups of the flowers, too.

  5. Fabulous pictures. What a great place.


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