Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Around World Showcase
Given that the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs from mid March to the end of May it is hardly surprising that the earlier of our two bi-annual trips to Florida inevitably coincides with the festival. As keen amateur gardeners (not Chelsea Flower Show standard), and fans of Epcot generally, the festival always makes out visits to Epcot just that bit more enjoyable, interesting and indeed informative.
Having already spent a morning strolling around the exhibits in World Showcase our next visit to Epcot was via the lesser used entrance from Disney’s Boardwalk, which brings you into the park between England, to your left, and France to your right.
We turned right and as we entered France took a turn around the Fragrance Garden where storyboards and ‘lift and sniff’ exhibits educated us about the ‘love story’ between plants, flowers and perfume. Complimentary 20 minute guided tours were available three times a day, but we were unfortunately ‘between’ tours and so did not take advantage of them.
Outside Japan there was a splendid display of Bonsai trees, many loaned by the Florida Bonsai Association, while the exterior of Italy was a riot of colour. Pots of all sizes had been planted to illustrate the dramatic results of combining colourful flowers and textured foliage, including many varieties of herbs used in Italian cookery.
There was more topiary on view at China, where all the animals in the Chinese Zodiac were represented throughout the gardens in front of the Chinese Pavilion. Given that my wife and I were both born in the year of the Rat, we were surprised at first that we were unable to find this particular model around the margins of the water garden. However, as we were leaving China we spotted Mr Rat in front of the Nine Dragons Restaurant. Not being experts on the Chinese calendar we had not realised that 2008 was in fact the Year of the Rat and so he was being displayed in a prime position on the route around the lake.
In Norway we were challenged to find twenty Trolls that had ‘escaped’ from Puffin’s Roost and taken refuge in the Norwegian Garden. Well they were either masters of disguise or had escaped Epcot altogether as we only found three!
We continued our circuit of the lake passing stalls selling paintings, garden ornaments and plants until we came to the avenue that leads back to Future World. Here were splendid topiary statues, made from sphagnum moss and flowers, featuring Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck playing volleyball and a couple of the largest parakeets that I have ever seen!
Having taken a few photos, including an arty one of my wife with a parakeet ‘perched’ on her outstretched arm, we continued on past the Water Works exhibit near Canada then to the English Tea Garden hosted by Twinings, where again complementary guided tours were available.
And so we completed our ‘world tour’ of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, a must for all garden lovers.
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