Flowers receive full focus this spring with Zoo and Gardens’ Botanical Bash


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is more than just animals and shares in the wonders of nature as a whole, which will be in full focus during the Botanical Bash scheduled to take place from April 13 to May 12.

There are plenty of fun and interactive exhibits and events going on throughout the spring as the beauty of the world’s flowers will be on full display.

What makes the Botanical Bash so special is that the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the country’s only combined zoo and botanical gardens.

The month-long showcase will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will start with a horticulture plant sale April 13 and 14.

The plant sale will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. where residents can come and purchase various plants and interact with the zoo’s horticulture staff who will be there to answer any questions.

There are plenty of unique things families can do together as adults and children can have fun with together, including the seed bomb activity which will be held every Saturday and Sunday.

As the name implies, a “seed bomb” will be made by attendees using dirt, clay and seeds. The seed bombs made can then be taken home and planted as they will all be flowers that are wildly grown in Florida.

Another interactive way to help educate about local plants in the area with be the native plant scavenger hunt.

On Arbor Day, which is April 26 this year, the zoo will be giving out tree saplings that can also be planted at their home, as the zoo looks to do its part to educate and preserve the importance of trees.

Several lecture series will also be held from guests who specialize within the field of botany.

The lectures will be each Thursday and will be held in the Samburu room at the main camp.

There will be four separate lecture series, including Jody Willis with the Florida Native Plant Society, who will speak about what is native on April 18.

Urban forestry will be the discussion point on April 25 as Joe Anderson will go in-depth about the topic as a forester with JEA.

Water conservation will be the focus during a lecture by St. Johns River Water Management District’s Deirdre Irwin on May 2 and wrapping up the lectures will be Lindsey Spears with Paintings and Stuff, who will discuss the various art options one can place in their garden.

Just like the focus of the first two days was the plant sale, the final two days will be an Art in the Garden Festival on May 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than 30 vendors will be part of the festival, as some of the forms of art on display to be shown in the garden will vary.