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Pictures of the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida

Updated on August 4, 2017
Peggy W profile image

The southern states have a charm all their own. From beaches to deserts, there is a wide array of landscapes to please almost anyone!

Cypress Gardens in Florida
Cypress Gardens in Florida | 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.

Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cypress GardensMy mother at Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens | Source
My mother at Cypress Gardens
My mother at Cypress Gardens | Source

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.

Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens | Source

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.

A picture from the water ski show that we got to enjoy at Cypress Gardens.
A picture from the water ski show that we got to enjoy at Cypress Gardens. | 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.

The action packed Ski Xtreme show we enjoyed viewing with a human pyramid at Cypress Gardens.
The action packed Ski Xtreme show we enjoyed viewing with a human pyramid at Cypress Gardens. | Source

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.

Some of the acrobatics performed on water at Cypress Gardens.
Some of the acrobatics performed on water at Cypress Gardens. | Source

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.

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.

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

Topiary at Cypress Gardens

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

2 girls posing by a topiary at Cypress Gardens
2 girls posing by a topiary at Cypress Gardens | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Whimsical topiary in Cypress Gardens Topiary in Cypress GardensLittle girls enjoying the topiary in Cypress GardensTopiary of lady artist working on a canvas at Cypress Gardens
Whimsical topiary in Cypress Gardens
Whimsical topiary in Cypress Gardens | Source
Topiary in Cypress Gardens
Topiary in Cypress Gardens | Source
Little girls enjoying the topiary in Cypress Gardens
Little girls enjoying the topiary in Cypress Gardens | Source
Topiary of lady artist working on a canvas at Cypress Gardens
Topiary of lady artist working on a canvas at Cypress Gardens | Source

Animals at Cypress Gardens

A small zoo was also a part of these 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.

Capybara  at Cypress Gardens
Capybara at Cypress Gardens | Source

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.

Patagonian Cavy at Cypress Gardens
Patagonian Cavy at Cypress Gardens | Source

Other birds and animals were also seen and some photos were taken of them as well.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo taken at Cypress GardensPhoto taken at Cypress GardensPhoto taken at Cypress Gardens
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens | Source
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens | Source
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens
Photo taken at Cypress Gardens | Source

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 which was a water park was added.

One view prettier than the next at Cypress Gardens!
One view prettier than the next at Cypress Gardens! | Source

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.

Gorgeous sculptures adorn the grounds at Cypress Gardens.
Gorgeous sculptures adorn the grounds at Cypress Gardens. | Source

Today Cypress Gardens has pretty much gone back to its roots. What is being featured once again are the spectacular gardens. The water park called 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 the date of this post.

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.

Cypress Gardens Image
Cypress Gardens Image | Source

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!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Numerous sculptures in Cypress GardensBeautiful stand of bamboo in Cypress GardensCypress Gardens ImageUnusual bark on this tree at Cypress Gardens
Numerous sculptures in Cypress Gardens
Numerous sculptures in Cypress Gardens | Source
Beautiful stand of bamboo in Cypress Gardens
Beautiful stand of bamboo in Cypress Gardens | Source
Cypress Gardens Image
Cypress Gardens Image | Source
Unusual bark on this tree at Cypress Gardens
Unusual bark on this tree at Cypress Gardens | Source

Have you ever visited Cypress Gardens in Florida?

See results

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
Winter Haven, Florida:
Winter Haven, FL, USA

get directions

While these magnificent gardens are now a part of history, there are other beautiful gardens in Florida that you can still visit. See below.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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

      Abdus Salam 

      5 years ago from Bangladesh

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • profile image

      Linda F. 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the lovely pictures and the trip down memory lane. My parents had a huge framed picture on pasteboard of the lovely gardens (about 3 x 4 feet) that I used to gaze at and imagine myself there. Wish she would have asked me if I wanted it before she got rid of it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello East Texas Girl,

      Nice that you also have pictures and memories of the beautiful Cypress Gardens. Thanks for your comment.

    • East Texas Girl profile image

      Shana 

      6 years ago from East Texas

      I went to the Cypress Gardens 30 years ago and have a picture of that same view.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi RTalloni,

      I am thankful that several generations of my family got to see the beautiful Cypress Gardens as it existed for years. Sad to know that it is now gone. At least we can still share pictures of what it used to look like. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      No, I did not know that it had closed and is now a Lego Land. What a shame! The passing of an era that will be long remembered!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Kris Heeter,

      They had many of those topiaries at Cypress Gardens which added to the beauty of the place. Glad that you enjoyed these photos. Thanks for your comment.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      When this popped up it brought back a lot of memories--thanks for sharing. My what changes over the years!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 

      6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Hi Peggy, I am glad I saved all my pictures of CG. Did you know it closed? It is now the home of Lego Land. It just opened last month. We used to visit once a year and sure going to miss it.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      I love the topiary elements - those always fascinate me. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello LeroyShane,

      Thanks for your brief but complimentary comment on this hub about pictures of the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida. :-)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello simon64,

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the pictures of Cypress Gardens in Florida and thanks for the comment.

    • simon64 profile image

      simon64 

      7 years ago from UK

      Great Hub. The pictures are just stunning!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      You are certainly busy reading a bunch of my hubs! Glad you liked this one about Cypress Gardens in Florida. I enjoyed myself taking the pictures and strolling the grounds with my mother. Thanks for the comment.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      It's another wonderful travel hub! The pictures and descriptions with the videos make a fantastic hub. You are just incredible!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello minutecreature,

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this hub about the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida. I had a lot of fun taking pictures...and that pre-dated the common use of digital cameras! I would have a heyday now! Thanks for the nice comment.

    • minutecreature profile image

      minutecreature 

      7 years ago

      Hi Peggy, I really love your posts. They are very informative and nice to read. God bless and more power!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Florida Collection Agency,

      If you live in Florida (which I am assuming from the name of your business that you do) you MUST visit the Cypress Gardens! They are truly amazing and so beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Florida Collection Agency 

      7 years ago

      Amazing pictures. I can't believe this place exists. I have to make it there soon.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello sdp,

      Thanks for adding this information regarding the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida. You were fortunate in living nearby to such a pretty site.

    • profile image

      sdp 

      7 years ago

      I grew up in Lakeland, just beside Winter Haven, and have been to Cypress Gardens countless times. I have pictures from the 70s of myself near or beside these landmarks. Don't forget the swimming pool shaped the state of Florida. The boat ride took you up beside it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Property-Invest,

      Thanks for appreciating and commenting on this Cypress Gardens, Florida hub.

    • Property-Invest profile image

      Property-Invest 

      8 years ago from London

      This is a really stunning hub, thanks!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello annmeadows,

      Hope that you enjoy the beautiful Cypress Gardens as much as my mother and I did when we were visiting in Florida. Thanks for the nice comment.

    • annmeadows profile image

      annmeadows 

      8 years ago from Mobile, Al.

      Peggy, I've got to visit this place on my trip through Florida. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and rich content.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dawn Goodrich,

      So very happy that you liked these pictures of the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida. You certainly live in a pretty State of the Union! Thanks for the very nice comment.

    • profile image

      Dawn Goodrich 

      8 years ago

      Very nice pictures. Thank you so much.

      We are from Florida. This brings us back to our roots

      and makes us proud to see.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Journey*,

      Glad that you liked them. Cypress Gardens is so beautiful that it would be hard not to get good photos in that scenic part of Florida. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      8 years ago from USA

      Hi Peggy W, these photos are lovely! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings blpelton,

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed the photos of Florida's Cypress Gardens. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • blpelton profile image

      blpelton 

      8 years ago

      great journey loved the pix! great hub! THX 4 sharing!!!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello My Digest,

      So happy that you enjoyed this hub about the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida. Going over to your site now to see if you have written any articles about gardens. Thanks for the comment.

    • My Digest profile image

      My Digest 

      8 years ago

      I love gardens and I enjoy gardens and breathe gardens...LOL thank you for this beautiful hub!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello loveroflife,

      They have acres and acres of gorgeous garden scenery at Cypress Gardens in Florida. Not to worry! LOL

    • profile image

      loveroflife 

      8 years ago

      Cypress Gardens is a beautiful attraction. Glad they were able to keep most of it available for viewing.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi swathin2,

      Hope you enjoy your outing at Cypress Gardens as much as we did. Thanks for the comment.

    • swathin2 profile image

      swathin2 

      9 years ago

      the photos are really wonderful and pleasure to watch. i am going to make my next outing to this place

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Glad you liked them Scott. Enjoy your day also. Thanks for commenting.

    • scottaye73 profile image

      scottaye73 

      9 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Wow, this is gorgeous, I've always loved Florida. Thanks for showing these pictures and writing this hub! Have a great day. ~ Scott

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Laila, Imagine having a place this beautiful in which to relax and unwind every day. A bit of paradise on earth! Thanks for commenting.

      And, hello gpetrou85........thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi ripplemaker, Happy that you could enjoy this journey via my photos. I agree about nature being a wonderful place in which to bask and unwind. Thanks for commenting.

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile image

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Wow..thanks for sharing these amazing photos!Yes,just keeping the quiet beauty of the gardens is a great idea as they are so relaxing and soothing to the mind!Thanks!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hey this is so cool. I love watching the photos and the well tended gardens and would definitely love to watch the shows including the acrobatics performed on water. Oooh, I would love that a lot! Nature is very soothing and calming and it would be a joy to bask in it. Thanks for sharing the photos you took Peggy W! :-)

    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 

      9 years ago from greece

      very nice,good hub.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi frogyfish, Glad that this brought back some good memories for you. Writing about places that I have seen does the same for me. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 

      9 years ago from Central United States of America

      I visited Cypress Gardens as a young teen, and that day there were none of the 'workers' in uniform'. It is or should I say was a quiet beautiful place. Loved traveling with you!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi katyzzz, So happy you liked every square inch of it. Thanks for commenting.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What an exquisite journey you have taken us on. I loved every square inch of it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi kiran, Glad that you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for the comment.

      Hello Birte, So many places in the U.S. and the world for that matter...it would be difficult (almost impossible) to see them all! That is one nice thing about hubpages. We can all learn from one another. Hope you get to see Cypress Gardens if you would like as well as other places high on your list of things to view. Thanks!

      Hi Pete, Glad that this brought back memories for you of the water show. Did you get to see the human pyramid? That was an amazing sight! At least for those that will never be able to see it in the future....I have a photo of it in this hub. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      And....hello Dolores. I couldn't agree with you more about gardens being quiet places of beauty. Somehow roller coasters and gardens do not fit my idea of something that I would enjoy seeing blended together. Glad to read that they are getting rid of those rides. Thanks for reading this and leaving your comments.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics, Peggy. I think you are so right about getting rid of the rides, gardens should be places of quiet, except for birds and frogs etc. The topiary is out of this world especially the horse and carriage.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      9 years ago

      It is a beautiful place. I had forgotten about the water ski shows.

    • BirteEdwards profile image

      BirteEdwards 

      9 years ago

      Thanks Peggy for showing yet another side and place of the US that someone like me has not yet had the chance to see

    • kiran8 profile image

      kiran8 

      9 years ago from Mangalore, India

      Wonderful pictures peggy, thanks a lot for the article and the pics :)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Melody, Thanks for reading and my wish is that you get there and many other beautiful places in the world!

      Hi K@ri, Where in Florida do your parents live? I've only seen parts of the west coast of Florida and some of the interior of the state. But from what I have experienced, Florida is a wonderland filled with attractions worth seeing. Intend to write more hubs regarding things we have experienced. Thanks again for commenting on this and many other hubs. Appreciate it. Enjoy your hubs as well.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Beautiful pictures Peggy! I can't believe there are people sitting in that horse and carriage! I never knew you could sit in topiary. The ground look lovely. My parents are in Florida, I'm going to have to see how far away they are from Cypress Gardens and Tarpon Springs!

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Oh, wish I could go to this beautiful place, thanks for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi G-Ma, The Butchart Gardens in Victoria are beautiful also. We also loved the ones in Vancouver equally well. Guess we simply like beautiful gardens where ever they happen to be! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Awww that was great..Loved it sweetie...reminds me of The Butchart Gardens in Victoria Canada....I also was impressed with the water pictures, very nice..Thanks for sharing...G-Ma :O) Hugs

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