It took 4 years for completion but, Flora, our sweet copper Monarch butterfly sculpture, is in residence in the Butterfly Park located between the splash pad and the Exchange building in downtown Winter Garden. The Monarch sculpture is a beautiful public art addition to an already charming downtown area and is there for all to enjoy.
The club presented the sculpture to the City of Winter Garden for their help for 20 years of partnership in presenting the Spring Fever in the Garden festival. With their help, the festival has thrived to make it the premier garden festival in Central Florida.
In April of 2024, Spring Fever in the Garden will celebrate its 22nd anniversary in downtown Winter Garden and the festival will run for almost the entire stretch of Plant St. with an entertainment area, chalk art contest, Kidzone, Ask the Garden Experts booth and, of course, lots of plant vendors.
Bloom & Grow commissioned noted sculptor and artist, Don Reynolds, to bring the sculpture to life. If you want to see some of Don’s public art in the Central Florida area, check out the iconic cast bronze knight with lance on horseback located outside the main entrance to UCF Bright House stadium. At Blue Jacket Park in Winter Park, Reynolds designed and sculpted a bronze statue of a woman Navy recruit called “Blue Jacket Recruit”. He also made a large totem sculpture for a Disney event which now resides in Calloway Gardens in Georgia. (Link to bio)
Bloom & Grow member, Gretchen Boyd headed the Monarch Project. Gretchen is a founding member of the club and its first president. In 1997, she conceived the idea for an area garden club to celebrate gardening and love of nature. Bloom & Grow is now in its 25th year of service to the West Orange area and beyond.
”The Monarch butterfly is a symbol of metamorphosis and represents significant change. Bloom & Grow Garden Society, the City of Winter Garden, and our festival, Spring Fever in the Garden, have gone through a significant metamorphosis over the past 20 years! The Monarch butterfly also represents the change in our own lives...from birth to our rebirth. This sculpture would not have been possible without the generous support of a member of our garden club and her family in honoring the memory of their mother and father. May we all be like the mighty Monarch and be the change” Gretchen Boyd, The Monarch Project Chair
The monarchs exhibit great strength and tenacity by making the 3000 mile trek to the mountains of Mexico when migrating. The members of Bloom & Grow aspire to be like the monarch butterfly acknowledging their capacity to change and grow.
When you come to downtown Winter Garden be sure to stop at Butterfly Park and see Flora. If you’re lucky, you will also see the flutters of the Monarchs and other pollinators taking advantage of the lush pollinator garden surrounding the park.
Available at Plantation Jewelers in downtown Winter Garden
Alex Ramos of Plantation Jewelers, Winter Garden, Florida, was asked by the members of the Bloom & Grow Garden Society to design a sterling silver monarch butterfly pendant to look like the copper Flora sculpture. At that time, the Monarch Project was just testing its wings and sculpture could only be seen in artist, Don Reynold's sketched renderings.
Being the craftsman that he is, Alex was able to capture the beauty and intricate nature of the sculpture. He used sterling silver with shiny and satin finishes to give the design more texture. He bent the wings and positioned the bail on an angle giving it a sense of impending flight. The approximate size of the pendant is 29mm (1 3/8 inches).
This beautiful pendant depicting Flora is now available for purchase at Plantation Jewelers at 115 W. Plant Street in Winter Garden. They are closed on Monday. Hours Tuesday thru Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday from 10am to 3 pm. (Necklace not included.)