While visiting with friends in Florida in February, we toured the Eden Gardens and the Wesley House, located in Point Washington FL in the panhandle. What a delight for those of us who like history and gardens.
The Wesley House was built in 1895 by the lumberman William Henry Wesley. The design was inspired by an antebellum plantation where the builder was give given shelter on his way home from the war between the states. It is located on the Tucker Bayou in what is now a Florida State Park where, in 1895, it was a virgin forest of longleaf pines and cypress.
In 1963 the home was purchased by Lois Genevieve Maxon, a collector of Louis XVI furniture. Now it is owned by the Florida State Parks. One can tour the home which has furnishings of the period of LOUIS XVI.
Lois Maxon also planted the many gardens. Camellias and azaleas bloom from October to May, peaking in March (except this year which was unusually cold in March. ) There is a rose garden, a butterfly garden, reflectionpool, and hiking trails. Many playful statuaries are found along the trails. There are several Live Oaks growing here, including a 600 year old tree. Many events occur including a Christmas Festival, a Easter event, music on the bandstand, Bayou American Festival, and a BBQ arts festival.
By Karen Miller