Hillsborough County's First Garden Park

Our mission is to provide education and to serve as a sustainable model for organic gardening, native landscaping, and related technologies while providing opportunities to participate in healthy outdoor activities, responsible environmental leadership, growing organic food, and community building.

Take a look around this web site to learn more about our garden, its members and find links to helpful gardening resources.

Plant Nursery

House of the Rising Seeds

Pre-order seedlings and seed packets now.


Viva Florida

VISTA Gardens awarded the Viva Florida 2021grant from Florida Wildflower Foundation

Developed on the site of an abandoned water treatment facility, the Village Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Agriculture (VISTA) is a fully off-the-grid community garden in Tampa’s Carrollwood suburb. The 3-acre site is powered by solar energy and includes organic vegetable and herb gardens, a Monarch Waystation, nature trail, freshwater pond and an active managed bee hive. The Viva Florida demonstration garden will weave a diverse palette of native groundcovers, grasses and wildflowers into areas previously planted with Coontie (Zamia integrifolia), Dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis) and few other native species. With this expansion, VISTA aims to be a native plant ambassador to its members, neighbors and the public by showing how native wildflowers and plants can be used in a landscape to feed pollinators, create wildlife habitat and beautify our suburban neighborhoods.

Gardening Tools

Donations Needed

Time to start getting our supplies ready for the upcoming growing season

Items that we need for the upcoming growing season.Scissors, clippers, gloves, hoses, nozzles, and hand trowels.

Gardening Tools

VISTA In The News

VISTA Gardens was recently spotlighted by Charley Belcher on Fox Good Morning Tampa Bay. 

Thank you to those who participated both on and off camera. This interview would have not been possible without all of your hard work. 

Did you miss the VISTA Gardens TV appearance??

You can watch all of the segments here.

Compost Project Update

The Compost Committee has completed a major upgrade to the compost system.VISTA Gardens is thankful to the countless hours that Bill, Hugh, MJ, and Lucio spent designing and constructing the new bins. Their efforts will aide the garden achieve a more efficient composting operation, produce more compost.






Pollinator Gardens

With approximately 75 percent of all food crops grown in the United States depending on pollinator animals, the Pollinator Gardens at VISTA aid in producing ample crops. 

The Laddon Pavilion is Complete

March 20, 2021
Ready for use
Nearly complete
Corn tassel producing pollen to encourag
Concrete slab installed February 18, 202
Work in progress


Native Plants at VISTA

Plants native to Florida are not the same as plants introduced from other places. Native plants provide conservation benefits that others rarely measure up to. When you select plants adapted to your growing conditions, they require very little attention once they are fully established. They will not need additional water and fertilizer to thrive, nor will they need pesticides to cope with typical insect pests. They also are the plants that will literally bring life to your landscape. Native plants form the only real foundation for Florida’s butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, hummingbirds, songbirds, and other interesting wildlife. Living landscapes connect us to the real world and create a sense of wonder in what would otherwise be sterile and uninteresting. You will not be limited in your choices or aesthetics. There are hundreds of wonderful plants to choose from. 

Craig N. Huegel

Learn more about native plants at VISTA

Watch slideshow of native plants garden installation at VISTA



VISTA's herb spiral enhances our ability to grow herbs and add beauty to our lovely garden.



Dwarf Moringa
Pollinators at work
Cranberry Hibiscus

Our Garden Has Grown

Despite the heat and humidity, several of our gardeners sweat it out and added seven new raised beds plus repaired the wood decay in our existing beds.

A big thank you to the tireless members of our Infrastructure Committee for your perseverance.


To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

Explore VISTA Trail

Come take a walk on the wild side. Enjoy one of the latest additions to VISTA Gardens, a walking trail. Enjoy a shaded walk through the woods and commune with nature.

crawling on milkweed.jpg

VISTA's Monarch Waystation

Thank you to Vicki and Ken Kuse for ALL of their work to create lovely pollinator-friendly habitats, culminating in our registration as an official Monarch Waystation.

Get in Touch

VISTA Gardens

13572 S Village Dr, Tampa, FL 33618


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