Master Gardener Conference

Pre-Conference Field Trips

Optional pre-conference field trips are scheduled Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 12:30-5:30pm before official conference programming begins. Don’t miss these exciting tours of the Central Florida area!

Field Trip A  |  Amazing

Field Trip A is FULL!


Field Trip A Itinerary
12:00pm Board bus at Embassy Suites
12:30pm Depart hotel for Leu Gardens
1:15pm Arrive and tour Leu Gardens
3:00pm Board bus
3:30pm Arrive and tour Orange County Extension Office
4:45pm Board bus
5:30pm Return to hotel

1st Stop: Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50 acre botanical garden located in the heart of Orlando. You will be amazed by their extensive rose garden, tropical steam garden, and a fabulous idea garden. Our guide for the garden tour is none other than the executive director, Robert Bowden. Robert is a Florida gardening rock star who is well known for his books and lectures. If this is your first time to Leu Gardens you are in for a treat, and if you have been before you will certainly enjoy the cook’s tour of one of Florida’s botanical gems.

For more information:


Photo: Fountain at Leu Gardens


2nd Stop: Orange County Extension Office Gardens

In 2011, the Orange County Extension Office moved to its new location at 6021 S. Conway Road. Extensive demonstration gardens had always been on the bucket list and now the Horticulture Program’s and Master Gardeners’ wish has come true. The Exploration Garden at the Orange County Extension Office has seven themed gardens: an event garden, a butterfly garden, an eco-garden, a home and small farm vegetable demonstration garden, a bog garden, a fruit tree demonstration garden, and a succulent garden. Extension Agent Ed Thralls and the renowned Orange County Master Gardeners will be our guides through these education gardens.

Photo: Gardens at the Orange County Extension Office

Field Trip A Information (PDF)

Field Trip B  |  Beautiful

Field Trip B is FULL!

Field Trip B Itinerary
12:00pm Board bus at Embassy Suites
12:30pm Depart hotel for Disney World
1:00pm Arrive and tour Disney World Horticulture
2:30pm Board bus
3:00pm Arrive and tour Gaylord Palms Interiorscape
4:30pm Board bus
5:00pm Return to hotel

1st Stop: Disney World Horticulture

Disney World and especially EPCOT are known for their topiaries and hanging baskets. If you have ever attended the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival you probably have pictures of these amazing topiary creations. Join the famous Debbie Mola for a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney’s nursery where the topiaries and baskets are created. You will get growing tips on how to create topiaries and make amazing baskets, so you can bring a touch of the Disney magic to your garden.

Photo: Favorite Disney Topiaries

2nd Stop: Gaylord Palms Resort

One of the largest hotels in the Orlando area is the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. This luxury hotel is famous for its polished glass 4 ½ acre (!) atrium and the plants that reside there. We will tour the extensive interiorscape with skilled guides and learn their methods of plant selection, maintenance, and IPM for interior plants. The tropical palm, cycads, and flowers are worth the trip alone. This is your chance to tour an interior tropical paradise.

Photo: Inside the Gaylord Palms Interiorscape

Field Trip B Information (PDF)

Field Trip FAQs

What to Wear & Bring


Comfortable, casual attire suitable for being outdoors is recommended. Be sure to wear a Master Gardener logo shirt and/or your MG name badge for identification. Closed shoes are required on all tours. Sunscreen, bug repellent, sunglasses, hat, jacket (if appropriate), and cameras are also suggested.

Food Provided


Bottled water and light snacks such as granola bars will be provided to all tour participants for these afternoon trips.




You may sign-up for a field trip when you register for the conference via the online registration form. Both conference participants and guests are welcome to attend a field trip for $35 per person. This includes transportation, entrance into the tour sites, bottled water, and snacks. Space is limited to 50 people per field trip, so be sure to sign-up early!




For questions about the tours, contact:

Wendy Wilber,
Conference Program Organizer
Florida Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: 352-273-4521 | Email:

Jasmine Garcia, Conference Coordinator
UF/IFAS Office of Conferences & Institutes
Phone: 352-294-3584 | Email:



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