George Washington was here

South of St. Augustine on Florida’s Palm Coast, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park rests between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River Lagoon. This sign by the Young’s home describes the European and American history of the land.

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Much of the park is left in its natural state of palmetto scrub, cabbage palm, and live oak hammock, with a nature trail going through part of it.

Nature trail at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Nature trail at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

The main attraction is the formal gardens which fan out from an old Live Oak covered in Spanish Moss.

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Ponds, streams and water fountains meander through the gardens.

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One of my favorite plants is the Resurrection Fern which often covers the massive branches of Live Oaks. The ferns curl up brown and crunchy in the dry season, but a heavy rain transforms them to full green.

Washington Oaks Live oak eye-resurrection ferns and trail

And a bonus image! North of the park on Highway A1A is Butler Beach where I made some images of horses at sunrise in the spring. The evening before I visited Washington Oaks, a rainbow appeared over the ocean, and the dunes of Butler Beach created a pleasant foreground for the bow.

Butler Beach rainbow

Butler Beach rainbow