butterfly on flower

A Tour of The Gardens of Sanibel

The community of Sanibel Island is committed to conservation – living in harmony with the wildlife and plants that are native to the island. The result is an island of floral beauty, some of it natural and some of its landscape, but all of it enhancing its location. 

Across Sanibel and Captiva Islands, visitors will find many public gardens where they can learn about Florida flora and fauna, one of many Sanibel Island family-friendly activities. Expert naturalists are on-site at several locations and can give helpful tips for improving your own garden design, such as showing you how to save rainwater for garden use or making plant choices that are pet friendly. The Beachcomber on Sanibel Island also offers fresh insight into garden management and allocation.

woman in tulips

Here are the top gardens in Sanibel Island to explore. 

City Hall

City Hall grounds are tended to by the City Vegetation Committee, whose members are often willing to provide information about proper planting and care of native vegetation. Only native vegetation can be found at the City Hall garden. Tours are held on city grounds regularly at 800 Dunlop Road. Call ahead to plan your visit at 239 472 3700.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

pink flowers up close

Since 1967, the SCCF has been dedicated to the conversation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva. The organization manages 1,200 acres on Sanibel plus more than 600 acres on surrounding islands. 

In addition to managing natural landscapes, the organization oversees the Native Landscapes and Garden Center where native plants and some planting supplies are for sale. Visitors are welcome to wander the large outdoor spaces and demonstration gardens. Additionally, they will have the chance to learn valuable gardening skills, such as how to:

  • Encourage birds, butterflies, and other wildlife in the backyard
  • Contribute to better water quality in local waterbodies
  • Help fight the spread of invasive plants on wildlands
  • Conserve drinking water supplies

The staff is always available to answer questions. Classes and workshops are also available on a seasonal basis. Drop by the Bailey Homestead Preserve at 1300 Periwinkle Way on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm.

Plan Your Next Visit

Visiting a garden is only one of many things to do on Sanibel Island. Go seashell collecting, hiking, sun tanning, or swimming at the beach. Our Sanibel vacation rentals will be the perfect place to come home to after a long day exploring the natural beauty of the island. Contact us today for more information!

Sanibel Moorings Certified Botanical Garden

The Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens are among the most impressive Sanibel Island gardens. Since 1974, its collection of unusual tropical plants and trees has been constantly expanding. With six acres of trails to explore, you will find hundreds of native plants and non-invasive tropical species such as bromeliads, roses, hibiscus, orchids, palms, fruits, and cycads. From a distance, you can also observe the many resident butterflies, turtles, rabbits, birds, and more!

flowers in a field

A variety of tours are available to guests. The Garden Tour Guide offers 90-minute light walking tours. On Wednesdays at 11am, guests can meet at the big, blue chair for the Sanibel Moorings Guests Tour. Public tours take place on Wednesdays at 9am and cost $5 per person. Private garden tours are also possible with a minimum of 10 people.

Visit the gardens at 845 E Gulf Drive. To make reservations, call ahead at 239-472-4119.

S. Walsh Garden Center

R.S. Walsh Landscaping is a family owned and operated full-serve landscape company that offers landscaping design, installation, and maintenance. Additionally, the company has a beautiful retail Garden Center and Outdoor Showroom, which visitors are welcome to explore. The gardens may be just the thing you need to inspire your own landscaping projects. Professionals are on-site to answer your questions and give advice. 

Sanibel Island Nature

At the garden center, expect to find native and tropical plants, fountains, pottery, garden accessories, gifts for gardening lovers, local art, and more. The center is located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road. Its hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.