Bill Curry

McKee Jungle Gardens
One of our traditions while in Florida is to visit the nearby McKee Jungle Gardens in neighbouring Vero Beach. McKee Gardens was founded in the 1930’s and by 1940 had become one of the top Florida attractions for visitors, garnering 100,000 or more visits a year. The lush 80 acre site holds specimens of many of Florida’s native plants and is home to one of the largest collections of waterlilies in the world. In the 1970’s, when I-95 was completed and Disney was born in Orlando, McKee lost popularity, and closed in 1976. Thoughtful and forward looking folks formed a Society to save McKee and so today we still get to see at least a piece of the original vision.
Photography in gardens is special, because you have mainly things that hold still, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your tripod at home. Long exposures can yield some very interesting effects, and in any case, the macro images of flowers you will want require stability. Something many don’t think of is the direction of light on the subject plants and scenery – and for individual plants the addition of a small burst of flash may help bring out the details. I find McKee to be a peaceful and relaxing spot, and the images one can make I think reflect this serenity. A wonderful way to spend a day – surrounded by beauty and peace.

Light on the Overstory

A Fern

The Old Main Building
Oldest Tree
Sausage Tree