Snuggled along Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland, Hollis Garden is an urban beauty spot and a must-stop for any garden enthusiast passing through Lakeland.
Address: 614 E. Orange St, Lakeland
Land Manager: City of Lakeland
Closed Mondays. The gardens open at 10 AM all other days, and close between 4 and 6 PM, depending on the season.
The garden is in downtown Lakeland between Orange Street and Lake Mirror, 3.4 miles southeast of Interstate 4 via US 98. A large parking area along Orange Street provides access to both Hollis Garden and Barnett Family Park.
Although it only encompasses 1.2 acres, this formal Neo-Classical garden in Lake Mirror Park seems much larger when you walk through it. Part of that is the illusion cast by having many different garden rooms, each with its own theme.
At the top of the hill, closest to the entrance, a secretive fern and waterlily grotto provides a place for contemplation. Nearby is an arboretum of historic trees.
As the gardens flow down towards the lake, they become increasingly ornate, with color-themed rooms centered on sod squares and accented with sculpture and fountains.
The swan theme of Lakeland – based on swans presented to the city by Queen Elizabeth in 1957 – appears as the gardens reach the restored 1920s walkway around the lake.
We found this to be a decent overview of the gardens at Hollis Garden.