24” x 18” Oil on linen panel
Olmsted associated park: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL.
Bok Tower Gardens is an unexpected treasure located in South Central Florida. Edward W. Bok, editor of The Ladies' Home Journal, retired in 1921 to this area known as Mountain Lake. He wished to preserve the hilltop rising 298 feet above sea level known as Iron Mountain and create a sanctuary of beauty, serenity, and peace. He hired famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to transform an arid sandhill into a spot of beauty. Olmsted spent five years planting native and exotic plants that would thrive in the humid climate, lend a tropical feel to the native oak hammock, and provide food and shelter for migrating birds and other wildlife.
When walking the path to the bell tower located at the top of the hill, you see the tower framed by live oaks, palm trees and ferns all reflecting in a pool filled with lily pads. This was the scene that I found to be the best representation of the sanctuary Bok envisioned and Olmstead worked to create.