Buck House at Bok Tower Gardens at Christmas

Buck House at Bok Tower Gardens at Christmas


The Path to Buck House, Pinewood Estate

The path to Buck House leads directly from Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida.

This is actually the back entrance that you can access through the sanctuary.


Bok Tower Gardens


The Entrance

Located at:  1151 Tower Blvd.

Lake Wales, Florida  33853

There is an admission fee. 

I would check with their website to find out more.



Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is a wealth of information about the sanctuary so you will want to spend some time there in order to learn more about the place.

Bok Tower Gardens, also known as Bok Mountain, Lake Sanctuary, and Singing Tower, is a historical landmark located in central Florida.

Edward W. Bok, along with his wife, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, decided to create a bird sanctuary in 1921 on the highest peak in Florida, 298 ft. above sea level.  Edward Bok was of Dutch ancestry.  Bok commissioned landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.  to transform this land into a sanctuary.

Mr. and Mrs. Bok

There are more than 100 bird species located at Bok Tower.

Bok wanted the gardens to feature a myriad of  lovely trees, flowers, citrus orchards, and of course the centerpiece would be The Singing Tower.

The Singing Tower


Bok Tower Gardens are so big and massive that you do have to consult the maps they provide.


A Christmas Arch

Walkway to the Singing Tower

The main attraction at Bok Tower Gardens is the Singing Tower


Click Here For:  Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens

Gordon and I spent a lovely December Sunday at Bok Tower Gardens. 

If you would like to read about it then click on the link above.


Click Here For:  Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens

Nestled in the heart of seven and one-half lush acres at Bok Tower Gardens is Pinewood Estate, the enchanting 20-room Mediterranean-style mansion. Originally named “El Retiro,” meaning “retreat” in Spanish, the Estate was built in the early 1930s for Charles Austin Buck, a Bethlehem Steel vice president. Now this historic Estate is open for tours throughout the year to visitors of Bok Tower Gardens.

(I took this info from the website of the link above.)


Buck House, El Retiro, 1930’s owner Charles Austin Buck, is not be confused with Mr. Edward W. Bok.  They are two different people.  There is an admission fee to get into Bok Tower Gardens, there is also an admission fee to tour Buck House.  I believe we paid $8.00 per person to tour the home when we last went.

Beautiful Spanish Inspired Mansion

As I state above, this is the back entrance to Buck House, Pinewood Estate, from Bok Tower Gardens.

Right Through the Kamquat Trees…..

Kumquat Trees

Gordon walking through the Kamquat’s

I did find a few of them in the camera bag when we got home.  Wonder how they got there?  🙂

Beautiful Kamquat’s

It’s like entering an enchanted home in the middle of some forest.

Because we did visit the home around Christmas, it was especially beautiful.

This is a Spanish style home and the Spanish touches are everywhere.

I so LOVE all the Tile

Me, Julie, I found a lovely bench to sit and reflect.

The moldy moss covered urns with beautiful poinsettia’s.

A Beautiful Stairway

I Found an Enchanting Pond

What I love about this property and the entirety of Bok Tower Gardens is all the lovely nooks and cranny’s that you don’t even know exist until you happen to stumble upon them.  It’s as if this pond just appeared out of nowhere!  🙂


I KNOW There are Snakes in Here!!


So very lush. 

I almost expect little leprechaun’s to run by.

To me the outside of Buck House is more beautiful than the inside.

The Pathway to the Enchanting Pond

Touches of Red Everywhere

Poinsettia Balls Hanging from the Trees


Beautiful Trees, Twisted Branches, Spanish Moss


I love these Spanish looking touches around the house.

  It does look a bit Gothic to me.

The Roof Tiles are Magnificent

The Cut Outs in the Shutters

Pinewood Estate History

(As taken from the website link I posted above.)

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. had designed Edward Bok’s Gardens and several private gardens inside Mountain Lake Estates, a neighboring private community. Charles Austin Buck engaged Olmsted’s firm to design the landscape of his winter estate. In 1929, landscape architect William Lyman Phillips of the Olmsted Brothers firm began to design the gardens and the placement of the house. In 1930, architect Charles Wait was hired to design the house that has become one of the finest examples of Mediterranean-style architecture in the state of Florida. The Estate was the result of the collaborative inspiration of Buck, Wait and Phillips.

Because Buck was a lover of nature and an amateur horticulturist, the gardens were designed first and the house was positioned later to provide a natural flow from garden to house. The estate’s external landscape and ornamental touches were designed by Phillips, who later designed the world-famous Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables (Miami).

The Iron Grate, the Keyhole Window

A beautiful Juliette balcony.


The Bromeliad Christmas Tree


Gordon and I around the Frog Fountain


I happen to love frogs and I do appreciate this lovely fountain in their honor.

The Frog Fountain

William Lyman Phillips’ contributions to the Estate include several wonderful elements: a formal Mediterranean-style garden with a Spanish frog fountain that leads guests into an enchanting stone grotto at the front of the house; an Oriental moon gate fountain off the dining room porch; and an English-style country garden with a rolling lawn and a pond that reflects the afternoon sunsets.


The first thing I saw when entering Buck House. 

The coat rack with the fur and muff.

An Antique Santa

The Kitchen/Butler’s Pantry

Mermaid Oyster Company AND…….

The Downton Abby Bells  🙂

The Christmas Dining Room

The Sitting Room?  I think?

A Recreation of the Dessert Table

The Gingerbread House

An Enchanted Hallway Through the House

Beautiful Tile Around the Fireplace and along the Floor


Me  🙂

I do love that each bedroom had a Christmas tree in it.

The Champagne Bathroom


Beautiful Life Sized Antique Santa


Rack Full of Derby’s (Hats)


I LOVE this little Squirrel!  He stole that cracker from a baby stroller.  🙂


The Secret Garden

When we finished our tour inside the house it led us to this outside where this lovely looking “secret garden” appeared.

A Doorway to a Secret Garden

Gordon having to stoop down to get through the small door.


Spooky Trees

We are Roaming the Grounds of Pinewood Estate


Bismarck Palm, my Favorite

Many Citrus Trees Around, These are Oranges




The Cones of the Magnolia Tree  (Love them!)

I found another enchanting spot to just sit and have a think.

What a beautiful home Buck House is!


I don’t know what this is?

It is so beautiful though!  I tried looking it up online but I cannot find it to identify it.

  It looks a bit firecrackery to me.  It is beautiful!


This is a section of garden and architecture beside Buck House to the right as you view the home from the front.

These are Roof Tiles stacked to add character.

A Lovely Fountain/Pond

More Tile Roof Touches



This trellis resembles an antique mattress spring board to me.

The Foliage and Plant Life are so Lovely




The Long Beautiful Front Yard



I do believe this was once the stables, but is now a garage area?  I think?

I do love the hardware on the doors.

Yet More Enchanted Steps

The Stables/Garage

Gordon Entering Through a Back Kitchen Area


Buck House grows it’s own salad/veggies for the restaurant at Bok Tower Gardens.

I Believe this to be Cabbage.

The Salad Garden

I would like to end with this, Callicarpa Americana. 

Beautiful little purple berries that birds and deer eat.


Visiting Bok Tower Gardens and Buck House are so worth it.  Both are so beautiful and educational.  If you are on a budget then you will only need the money for the cost of the entrance to Bok Tower Gardens and Buck House.  Food and drink is allowed for you to bring into the park which will make it more affordable for you and your family.  Going around the Christmas season is so very worth it.  And so very beautiful!  The Singing Tower playing Christmas music just enhances your visit.  We highly recommend it!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Gordon and Julie Whann