McKee Botanical Garden situated on eighteen acres listed on the National Register of Historic Places located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach. Walk across the Historic Stone Bridge to the trails, wooden bridges, paths, ponds and streams that surround the garden. Stand at a bridge, look down at a stream and admire the many different varieties of Waterlilies and Aquatics that inhabit them. Trees, vines, shrubs and herbaceous plants provide a canopy throughout the garden. Relax on a bench and enjoy the serenity and calming sounds of a waterfall. Take shelter from the sun under a thatched roof rain shelter.A film and poster displays about the early years inside the Hall of Giants. Arthur G. McKee and Waldo Sexton, both industrialists had a vision to open an attraction that gave people an opportunity to see the many different plant species from around the world as well as the many wild animals that made up the jungle gardens. McKee Jungle Gardens an eighty-acre tourist attraction opened in the early 1930s. Due to low attendance, the park closed in 1976. The garden opened in 2001 after a fundraising campaign to buy the land and restore the garden to its former beauty.
A temporary exhibition through April 29th of this year includes twenty-four African Animal Sculptures created by the Art Collective in Nairobi, Kenya. African artists trained in all forms of art by Moses Ochieng. Animals throughout the garden described in detail through interpretive exhibits.
Edible fruit from Brazil, tropical plants from Asia, a Dragon Tree that originates from India whose root looks like a Dragon’s tail. Royal Palms native to Florida, Cuba and Honduras. The palms grow to one hundred feet and are the tallest in the world.
Stickwork Sculpture named The “Royals” by Patrick Dougherty a world-renowned artist who takes trees and twigs and transforms them into art. The “Tower” a prism made of clear glass bulbs and rods by Hans Godo Fräbel, a glass sculptor. I’ve named a few but over ten permanent landscapes are in the garden.
I highly recommend visiting the garden. McKee Botanical Garden is the first garden that I’ve visited and written about that has traveling exhibits. Admission prices and hours of operation on the website.