The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
According to the website for Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, the prime time to visit the park is in spring when the azaleas and camellias are in bloom. But we went in the heat of summer and the park was still very pretty.
After the main entrance there is a park on the lake with pavilions and many families were barbequing and enjoying swimming and fishing in the lake. The road continues on to the parking area for the winter home of Alfred B. and Louise Maclay. The gardens were planted in 1923, and the gardens were donated to the state in the 50’s.
An oak covered brick driveway leads to the old homestead and along the way there are lake views and garden views and little trails that wind back to secret portions of the gardens. Around every twist was another “room” of the garden. Even though the picnic area was full of people, I was the only one in the garden area! I was able to see a rabbit, a toad and two hummingbirds amidst the flowers while I toured the garden.
As we walked the sky was getting darker as a summer thunderstorm rolled in. We hurried to the old home, but it wasn’t open and didn’t have a covered porch! We ran to the back and luckily found another cottage that had a small front porch. As soon as we made it to cover the sky let loose with a downpour of rain! A really close bolt of lightening made us think the house was hit! Luckily the storm passed quickly and I set up to paint the view down the reflecting pond to the lake. The whole time I painted it was dreary and gray, with another line of storms moving in. I packed up before finishing and we made it to the car before the next round of rain hit. The painting could be more finished, but I kind of like the feel to it.
For more information about this park, visit their website