Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens
What was once one of the most productive and well-known Florida Sugar Mills is today the site of gorgeous gardens and relics from the past, the spot known as Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens. Previously named the Dunlawton Plantation and Sugar Mill, it will be easy to see why certain relics remain throughout the gardens, this area holding a heavy history of local agriculture, industry, and production. With ties to every war from the last 100 years, these gardens have also earned themselves a spot on the National Register of Historic Places list, and rightfully so after being burnt to the ground and reestablished several different times during local tumultuous times (particularly the Indian Wars).
Today at the gardens you will find extreme beauty in many forms, from the native trees and plants to the historic displays and local fauna sightings. Enjoy an onsite butterfly garden, children’s garden, herb garden, tropical plant collection, and Asian landscape collection, as well as the rare human sundial. The main plant collections include bromeliads, ginger, cacti, azaleas, camellias, ivies, magnolias, palms, and succulents, each of which can be learned about within the demonstration area during any daily master gardening courses.
There are 10 total acres to cover here, the gardens also filled with a more prehistoric feature, giant concrete dinosaurs. Between 1949 and 1952 this site was used as a then-popular amusement park, Bongoland. The theme, as you will see, was very dino-related. You will also, of course, see various sugar mill leftovers scattered throughout among the gorgeously green landscape features.