Pictures of the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida

Cypress Gardens in Florida

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Cypress Gardens

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Cypress Gardens

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My mother at Cypress Gardens
My mother at Cypress Gardens | Source
Beautiful grounds with fountains
Beautiful grounds with fountains | Source

Beautiful Garden in Florida


This post will show many pictures of the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida that my mother and I got to enjoy one year while on vacation.

Hope you enjoy them half as much as we did in taking the photos and strolling through the gardens.

We were making our way on over to Florida from Houston to visit my aunt and uncle and did some sightseeing along the way.

After leaving Tarpon Springs "the sponge capitol of the world" and a very interesting Greek influenced town in Florida, my mother and I decided that we had enough time to visit the renowned and beautiful Cypress Gardens before we would be expected to arrive at my aunt and uncle's home in Englewood, Florida.

Cypress Gardens opened in 1936 and was visited by my grandparents along with many other people over the course of numerous passing years.

It was the oldest operating tourist attraction in Florida which is a state filled to the brim with other tourist attractions.


Dick and Julie Pope were the founders and owners for many years until it was finally sold in 1985.


Julie had a "green thumb" and with her involvement over 8,000 varieties of plants were showcased in this scenic garden with waterways and cypress trees adorning this distinctive piece of land.

Water skiing and hang gliding at Cypress Gardens

Some pictures from the water ski show that we got to enjoy at Cypress Gardens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The action packed Ski Xtreme show we enjoyed viewing Some of the acrobatics performed on water
The action packed Ski Xtreme show we enjoyed viewing
The action packed Ski Xtreme show we enjoyed viewing | Source
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Some of the acrobatics performed on water
Some of the acrobatics performed on water | Source

In 1938 electric boats were added to take the touring visitors through the gardens via this mode of transportation.


The water ski shows became a part of this evolving attraction in 1943.


When my mother and I saw it in March of 1998, Ski Xtreme was advertised with water skiers forming a human pyramid culminating the performance. Every type of acrobatic showmanship was shown including jumps off of a ramp and other fast moving entertainment to make for a very enjoyable and memorable water show.

Cypress Gardens

Hoop skirted young ladies roam the grounds at Cypress Gardens
Hoop skirted young ladies roam the grounds at Cypress Gardens | Source

Southern Bells


Young girls adorned like Southern Bells in hoop skirted colorful dresses graced the gardens adding even more pizazz to the already beautiful sight.


Other young women could rent these hoop dresses in all types of colors for photo opportunities and we saw several families taking pictures of their young daughters dressed in this attire.

Cypress Gardens

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Topiary at Cypress Gardens


Besides the botanical gardens, topiary elements were cultivated and punctuate the landscape with fantastic shapes.


This is a gardening art form that takes plenty of tending and constant pruning to keep the desired characters in shape. The topiary forms we saw included things like cute teddy bear shapes, a horse drawn carriage in which people could actually sit for photos, and a hoop skirted woman that was made to look like she was standing outside near a waterway painting a canvas. This is just a small example of the many topiaries that graced the grounds when we were visiting.

Some of the topiary in Cypress Gardens...

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Little girls enjoying the topiary  Whimsical topiary!  Topiary of lady artist working on a canvas
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Little girls enjoying the topiary
Little girls enjoying the topiary | Source
Whimsical topiary!
Whimsical topiary! | Source
Topiary of lady artist working on a canvas
Topiary of lady artist working on a canvas | Source

Fryar's Topiaries (Amazing!)

Patagonian Cavy at Cypress Gardens

Patagonian Cavy
Patagonian Cavy | Source

Learn more about the Patagonian Cavy here:

Animals at Cypress Gardens


A small zoo was also a part of Cypress Gardens when we visited there.



One of the pictures that I took was of an animal called a Capybara.



This interesting creature normally lives in marshes and swamps or wooded areas near water in Central & South America. Their diet consists of eating aquatic plants, grains and fruits. They can weigh from 60 to 110 pounds when full grown.



Another photo was of the Patagonian Cavy.



These are rodents that live in the dry grasslands of southern South America. They live on raw vegetables, hay and green matter. They get to be 2 1/2 feet long and nest in burrows. Rapid runners, they can also leap up to 6 feet in the air.

Capybara at Cypress Gardens

Capybara
Capybara | Source

Cypress Gardens images

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Gorgeous sculptures adorn the groundsOne view prettier than the next at Cypress GardensNumerous birds of all colors at Cypress Gardens
Gorgeous sculptures adorn the grounds
Gorgeous sculptures adorn the grounds | Source
One view prettier than the next at Cypress Gardens
One view prettier than the next at Cypress Gardens | Source
Numerous birds of all colors at Cypress Gardens
Numerous birds of all colors at Cypress Gardens | Source

More Cypress Gardens images

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Unusual bark on this treeBeautiful stand of bamboo Numerous sculptures in Cypress Gardens
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Unusual bark on this tree
Unusual bark on this tree | Source
Beautiful stand of bamboo
Beautiful stand of bamboo | Source
Numerous sculptures in Cypress Gardens
Numerous sculptures in Cypress Gardens | Source
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Have you ever visited Cypress Gardens in Florida?

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  • Not yet, but it is on my list of places to visit.
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When the Pope family sold Cypress Gardens in 1985, things began to change. Slowly carnival and adventure rides including things like roller-coasters were added. A paddle wheel boat joined the scene in 1999. Splash Island, a water park was added.


After September 11th............our modern "day of infamy" in the United States............the park was running such a large deficit that it had to be closed.


Today Cypress Gardens has pretty much gone back to its roots. What is being featured once again are the spectacular gardens. The water park, Splash Island, is being continued and one can pay separate admission charges to see one or the other.

The adventure rides are being sold off and the zoo animals are being relocated into other good homes. Apparently that is an ongoing project as of this date.

The water ski show will continue to be an attraction, according to what I have read, but the human pyramid will no longer be a part of the show for cost cutting economic reasons.


Personally I believe that eliminating all of those rides and keeping the quiet beauty of the gardens as the focus will serve Cypress Gardens best in the long run. People can go elsewhere to enjoy an amusement park atmosphere. I am happy that my grandparents saw it many years ago and that my mother and I got to see it in almost the same condition that many decades later.


Hopefully Cypress Gardens will continue to offer it's gracious southern charm and atmosphere to generations of visitors to central Florida for generations to come. Enjoy the pictures that I took on that sunny day in March of 1988 and leave a comment if you wish. Thanks!


A look back...Cypress Gardens 1957

Cypress Gardens Butterflies (In Memory of the once Beautiful Butterfly Garden at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, Florida.)

Update...


Cypress Gardens is now forever closed and has been replaced by a LegoLand.


Hope that you enjoyed these pictures of what the beautiful Cypress Gardens used to look like in Florida.


Obviously the physical site itself is pretty and there are still gardens, but strolling through them will no longer be the same type of experience. It is like the passing of an era!

Cypress Gardens (now Legoland) near Winter Haven, Florida

A markerWinter Haven, Florida -
Winter Haven, FL, USA
[get directions]

Full tour of Legoland Florida - A look at all the attractions... (This is what has taken the place of Cypress Gardens)

If you enjoyed this article, please take time to give it a star rating. Thank you!!!

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Cypress Gardens in Florida

© 2009 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 62 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello virtualit,

So glad that you enjoyed these photos of what used to be the Cypress Gardens in Florida. Thanks for your comment.


vertualit profile image

vertualit 3 years ago from Bangladesh

lovely place and beautiful picture. thanks for sharing...


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Indian Chef,

I am so happy that I got to experience Cypress Gardens as it used to be with my mother...and as my grandparents also saw it. Nice to be able to share it with you. The Budda statue and its reflection in the water was beautiful. Thanks for your vote + share.


Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

Very beautiful pics. I really loved the picture of horse carriage. That was so beautiful and I also didn't expect the statue of Buddha there and that too so big. Voting up and sharing.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Linda F,

Too bad that you do not have that picture of Cypress Gardens that once belonged to your parents of which you so admired. At least you have your memories of it! Thanks for your comment.


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