Blogger On The Scene: Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Jill Staake

I recently paid a visit to Epcot’s 2011 Flower & Garden Festival. For those who don’t know, Epcot is part of the Disney complex in Orlando, FL. The Flower & Garden Festival is included with admission to the park (around $80), and while I wouldn’t recommend spending the money just to see the features of the festival, if you’re planning a trip anyway (I had some out of town guests who wanted to go), garden lovers might want to try to go during this festival, held each spring.

The Festival attractions include numerous topiaries of Disney characters along with demonstration gardens with different themes, such as Water-Wise Gardens and Sustainable Beauty. On the weekends, guest speakers offer lectures and presentations. While a Winne-the-Pooh topiary might not be possible in everyone’s garden, there are still plenty of ideas that gardeners can bring home. Below are a few of my favorites.

  • Large Planters of Curly Parsley: Parsley is a host plant for Black Swallowtail butterflies, and curly parsley is especially attractive in hanging baskets and large planters. I saw these everywhere throughout the gardens, and felt inspired to try some myself.

  • Flags Made of Flowers: One of Epcot’s main attractions is the World Showcase, where different countries are represented. For the Festival, each of the country’s flags were planted in flowers on vertical surfaces. This is something that could easily be done on the ground in your own garden.
  • Mass Plantings of Caladiums: For most, caladiums can only be houseplants, but for those in Zones 9 and 10, caladium bulbs can be planted outdoors. Epcot had mass plantings of these in single colors, and the effect was breathtaking. I plan to add more caladiums now under a tree out front to replicate this effect.

Of the themed gardens, my favorites were the Tea Gardens sponsored by Twinings Tea. Each garden featured a teacup planted with ingredients for some of Twinings most popular teas. These were interesting and informative, and could be done in your own yard as well using herbs like chamomile in smaller teacup planters, available readily at garden centers.

See much more of the 2011 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival by clicking here to visit my Flickr photo album. Enjoy the pictures, and drop by the comments to tell us about your own experiences at the Festival!

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