Harry Leu Gardens


The Harry P. Leu Gardens

1920 North Forest Avenue

Orlando, FL 32803

(407) 246-2620

Written by Julie Greiner

The Harry P. Leu Gardens, consisting of almost 50-acres of botanical gardens and 2,000 species, are located five minutes from downtown Orlando. The Leu House overlooks Lake Rowena and is Orlando's only house museum open to the public. The restored 1880's home, which was originally a farmhouse, opened to the public in 1962 and has been refurbished to reflect an historically accurate decor of the period.

The C. Japonica 'Emily Wilson' Camellia

Leu Gardens is home to one of the largest and most historic camellia collections in the United States. The gardens have a canopy of ancient oak trees, winding pathways weaving through spectacular gardens of showcasing camellias, roses, orchids, palms, daylilies, bamboo and more. There is a native Florida plant garden, desert plant display and a tropical stream garden. The plants are scientifically labeled and have created an outdoor "living museum. "

Leu House Museum

The Leu House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, serves the Orlando community as a meeting place for civic events, weddings and educational classes year round. The property was originally settled and farmed under the Homestead Act of 1862 by Angeline and David Mizell and their seven children. David Mizell was the only sheriff of Orange County who died in the line of duty; he was ambushed and murdered in 1870. The Mizell family is buried in a small cemetery on the garden grounds. The house that serves as the museum today was built in 1888 by son John. Duncan Pell, who came to Florida to seek a speedy divorce, married the silent screen star Helen Gardner, and he added two wings to the house which more than doubled its size.

The Garden House and Art Gallery of Orlando

Harry P. and his wife, Mary Jane purchased the property in 1936. Mr. Leu modernized the house by adding closets, bathrooms, indoor plumbing and screened-in porches. The Harry P. Leu Gardens is a blend of history and botanical beauty that attracts many visitors to experience its treasures. The Garden House opened in January 1995, displaying this state-of-the-art 22,000 square foot multi-purpose facility. The Harry P. Leu Gardens offer a variety of classes and workshops taught by local and national experts throughout the year. Classes range from art to crafts to landscaping for adults and children and a garden camp for kids during summer break is offered through the education department. The Garden House offers meeting space for 20 to 200 people and has been named "Central Florida's Best Outdoor Wedding Location " and "Best Meeting Place In Town " by the Orlando Magazine and the Orlando Business Journal. The Leu Gardens' Art Gallery displays all types of art mediums year round. The rose garden, flowering tree garden and the gazebo in the woods are all popular spots. The Garden House offers on-site catering for any occasion, guided and self-guided tours and free parking accessible to the handicapped. For further information call: 407-246-3621.

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