Saturday, August 21, 2010

Montreal Botanical Gardens or Bust

This is a place I would definitely like to see someday. This gives a whole new meaning to FLOWER POWER. I remember those days with great fondness as a youngster. my older siblings were at a more impressionable age than I was during the 60's, but it did impact me regardless.

I always invisioned myself owning a "Bug" with Flower Power stickers on it. This car in the photo would of course be quite a few steps up from the stickers.

Gardens to Visit Longwood, Butchart, Lotus Land, and SF Conservatory of Flowers

Longwood Gardens is in the Brandywine Valley just 30 miles west of Philadelphia. It was originally inhabited by Quaker farming families in 1700. Their decendants planted one of the country's first arboretums a century later. Today 800,000 visitors enjoy walking through the picturesque gardens, flowers, and fountains.Though I haven't yet had the pleasure of visiting, it is on my list of places to go.

It reminds me of Butchart Gardens in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. I have had the pleasure to visit Butchart while visiting a dear college friend and her family on two occasions and will always return there when given the chance.  The size of the begonia hanging in the arbor there blew me away.  I had never seen dinner plate sized begonia before.

I just got done touring Lotus Land, a private garden in the Santa Barbara area.  My friends and I took a two hour tour led by a wonderful docent who really knew her script.

The bromeliad section was breathtakingly beautiful.

Lotus flowers were in bloom.

My friends Janie and Kate enjoy the shade of the lemon tree arbor.  This was a favorite part of the tour for me.  The thought of having lemons to use in cooking anytime you want while also enjoying the shade from these deliciously fragrant fruits makes me want to go home and plant a similar arbor.

The garden that has the most meaning for me will always be the one in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.  The gardens in and surrounding the Conservatory of Flowers was the place my husband and I had our first date back in 1986.  We recently celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary and also our 25th anniversary of meeting.  Rob decided it would be nice to retrace our steps and to return to the place of our first date.

The amazing thing about this date was that I wasn't a flower gardener at the time.  It wasn't until I went to horticulture classes at the local college 15 years later that I really learned to appreciate the amount of work that goes into maintaining a garden. 

The outside gardens are just as fascinating as the indoor ones.

I try to play like a photographer even though I don't have the camera equipment that is needed.
Here are some of the close ups of flowers I took.  Someday when I grow up, I will get a camera with multiple lenses and really get the finer details.
These red orange beauties are Dahlia bulbs.  There is a large garden of many varieties of Dahlia flowers outside the Conservatory greenhouse.

Aren't these striking in color?  They were a favorite of mine.

Here are some begonia flowers that were indoors.  Amazing!

No greenhouse is complete without some orchids.  Cattleya's take my breath away.  Here is my attempt to capture the details with my little pocket camera.