One of Vero Beach’s little secret hideaway is Waldo’s Garden
Tucked away in the heart of Vero Beach, widely unknown except to those who have been enlightened, Waldo’s Secret Garden is – by all accounts – aptly named. It has been called “a rustic venue in a little beach town”, and after setting foot on the property, one immediately understands why. Waldo Sexton began work on The Garden’s main house in 1911 for his family. Piece by piece with pride and dedication, Sexton took his love for rustic ambiance and created what would ultimately become another historic landmark in his legacy. A second home was built on the property in the forties for his daughter and her husband, with parallel primitive charm. Sexton’s affinity for driftwood and penchant for wrought iron translates to both structures, along with pieces from the collection of architect Addison Mizner. With open, airy breezeways and decorative ironwork, as well as an abundance of intricate tile throughout, the details of the houses are no doubt of Mizner’s influence.
But beyond the alluring and imperfect beauty of the architecture, The Garden grounds create a simply ethereal ambiance for those lucky enough to be offered an invitation. Deliberately overgrown foliage and perfectly manicured, dense jungle envelope the property. Enchanted walkways lead visitors deeper into seemingly impossible Old Florida charm. Ancient trees reminiscent of something straight from childhood storybooks dwarf those who seek the solitude of their beauty. With its dichotomy of eclectic and elegant, Waldo’s Secret Garden really is one of Vero’s best-kept secrets.
This hidden utopia is available for weddings and other special events, accommodating up to 300 guests on its twelve acres.
Written by Elaine Ryan
Photographer Aric Attas