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Celebrate the arrival of fall at Rootstock at Bok Tower

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:09 am



By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

In Central Florida, October means time to start working on that garden, and Bok Tower Gardens Gardens celebrates the season with the return of the ROOTSTOCK Plant & Garden Festival. This year’s event will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is especially timely this year, with lots of replanting being necessary because of Hurricane Irma.

The festival features dozens of plant vendors with hundreds of plants for sale, as well as musicians, healthy cuisine and a spectacular display of seasonal foliage.

Admission is free and parking is $10 per car, members free.

Members of the Gardens get a sneak peek and opportunity to purchase plants Friday, October 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

A more indepth look at the festival: Over 40 vendors from across the state will offer a variety of plants for sale including: orchids, plumeria, palms, herbs, tropical fruits, Florida natives, bonsai, aquatic and bog plants, ferns, bamboo, roses, heliconias, bromeliads, tillandsia air plants, and many more. Garden art, bird feeders, stained glass, pottery, wind chimes, lawn ornaments and other garden accessories are also available.

A full listing of plant vendors is available at

Garden Lectures

 camellias,10 to 11 a.m.

• perennial Vegetables

  1:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

• orchids, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Outdoor Cooking Demonstrations

• ultimate Sandwiches

  10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

World Food Championships
Chef Amy Freeze teaches the art of creating over-the-top sandwiches that focus on decadent fillings, mile-high builds, and mind-blowing sauces. Samples included. $25, reservations required.

• craft Cocktails


   – 3 p.m.

Learn creative cocktails using local craft beer and grown up versions of America’s favorite snacks with Chef Amy Freeze. Samples included. $25, reservations required.

Fresh and Healthy Festival Food Options

The Gardens’ Blue Palmetto Café will prepare a fresh menu of garden-to-table favorites. Oasis Catering will also offer additional food vendors with a variety of menu options.

Activities for Kids

Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden will provide additional family fun with nature play guides, interactive displays, face painting and nature exploration.

Event Sponsors include presenting sponsor Duke Energy, Winter Haven Honda and Visit Central Florida. Other sponsors include Ledger Media Group, Max 98.3, Sun Newspapers, Today & Tonight Magazine, WEDU, WUSF, and 97.5 WPCV. Additional support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.