San Diego, CA
Ravine Gardens - Florida's Hidden Treasure
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© Christine Till
Right in the town of Palatka, but on a somewhat hard to find back street, lies the Ravine Gardens State Park, a quirk of Florida geology. Florida has been shaped geographically and culturally by water and Ravine State Gardens is representative of the never-ending shaping that occurs. The steep ravine was created by water flowing from beneath the sandy ridges that flank the west shore of the St. Johns River.
The 59 acre Ravine State Gardens, described in the 1934 Florida Municipal Record as the 'Nations Outstanding C.W.A. project', were planted with over 95,000 azaleas in 64 varieties, 11,000 palm trees and more than 250,000 ornamental plants. The park is one of nine Florida state parks with New Deal Era structures, and the only park with a formal designed landscape. The extensive fieldstone terraces, rock gardens and massive cypress building construction is typical of the era.
Ravine Gardens State Park, a cool green oasis in hotter months and a floral showstopper in winter and spring, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Don't miss the swinging bridge experience! Two old picturesque suspension bridges with water lilies below take you over the ravine.
June 12th, 2013
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