Tag Archives: Rose Garden

Creating Beautiful Gardens with Pantone’s Color of the Year

pantone-color-of-the-year-lee-eiseman-quoteRose Quartz and Serenity are hues that call out for a garden setting. The color experts at Pantone proclaimed the two as Colors of the Year for 2016.

This is the first year that Pantone introduced two colors, instead of merely naming a single color of the year. According to the announcement, “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” And, the colors are “a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace.”

What could be better for a garden?

“With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Blue is always a lovely way to tie a garden together and shades of Serenity sound perfect. And surely there are roses in the shade of RoseQuartz to be found. And don’t hydrangeas come to mind with both of these colors?

If you’re looking for more color clues, the New York Botanical Garden’s website has an excellent primer on color in the garden: Home Gardening Center Tip Sheet: Color Theory in the Garden.

 

2013 Fall White House Garden Tour Goes Social on Instagram

instagram_102113_500This year’s White House Fall Garden Tour is going social.

The traditional 2013 Fall White House Garden Tour will be held:

  • Saturday, October 26th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, October 27th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.

Tickets are required for all attendees (including small children) and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7:30 am on Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets.

New for 2013: the White House Instagram Meetup

If you can’t be there in person, you’ll have an opportunity to take the Instagram tour on Sunday, October 27th.

Follow @WhiteHouse or @MichelleObama on Instagram. Then, apply for your chance to attend at http://www.whitehouse.gov/social. Post a garden photo that you’ve taken on Instagram using the hashtag #WHInstaMeet.

If you’re one of the lucky ones selected, you’ll receive an email with additional information by Wednesday, October 23rd at 6:00pm ET.

kennedy-garden-2004All visitors will be able to tour the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the South Lawn, and the White House Kitchen Garden. (There’s no word as yet if Bo will be there.)

Hillwood Estate – Museum & Gardens

Postrose_trellisFormerly the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal empire, the twenty-five acre Hillwood Estate and Gardens is probably best known for the most extensive collection of Russian Imperial art outside of Russia. However, the gardens were well-loved by Mrs. Post. Shortly after she acquired Hillwood in 1955, Mrs. Post commissioned prominent landscape architects to create thirteen acres of formal gardens. The peak of the gardens was timed to when she was typically in residence, spring and fall.

Landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel created the French Parterre, featuring typical elements of an 18th-century French garden, to complement her collection of 18th-century French art and furnishings.

Landscape architect Perry Wheeler, who helped design the White House rose garden, helped adapt the Rose Garden in 1956. Beds are edged by a green and white border of alyssum and boxwood hedges. It’s also the final resting place of Marjorie Post.

Other highlights are the Japanese-style Garden; the Friendship Walk; and the Lunar Lawn, a large, crescent-shaped lawn that provides a view of the Washington Monument and was a favorite spot of Post.

orchidgreenhouse_slideshow5The orchid was Mrs. Post’s favorite flower and she even hired an orchid curator to oversee a collection of more than 2,500 specimens and hundreds of different varieties.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm,and select Sundays and evenings throughout the year. Closed January and most national holidays.

Website: Hillwood Estate – Museum & Gardens

Salt Lake City: Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Red Butte_rose garden

Salt Lake City, Utah

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Situated in the foothills of the Wasatch Range in Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden is run by the University of Utah. More than 100 acres includes 2-3 miles of hiking trails. 18 acres of display gardens feature the Hemingway Four Seasons Garden, Dumke Floral Walk, Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, Rose Garden, Medicinal Garden, and the Orangerie.

The Garden also offers advice, tips, classes, and workshops for gardening in Utah.

What’s Special

By partnering with the Center for Plant Conservation and other organizations,the Red Butte Garden Conservation Program has been working to protect more than 250 of Utah’s rare plant species and native habitats throughout the Intermountain West.

Visiting

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 24-Jan 1

300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

(801)585-0556 [ info ]

Memphis: Memphis Botanic Garden

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Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Botanic Garden

If you think the most popular attraction in Memphis is Graceland, know that the Memphis Botanic Garden has its own legion of devoted fans.

Here are more than 96 acres, with 28 specialty gardens, among them: an extensive holly collection; a hosta trail designated as an American Hosta Society National Display Garden; a Cactus and Succulent Garden; Conifer Collection; Four Seasons Garden; Hydrangea Garden; Azalea Trail; Magnolia Trail; Rose and Iris Gardens.

The Daylily Circle is an official Display Garden by the American Hemerocallis Society and features approximately 500 different daylilies. The Herb Garden is one of the largest in the United States, with 750 species represeningt those which will do well in the Mid-South, or are being trialed.

One of the photographed locations in the Memphis is the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En). Originally designed by Dr. P.T. Tono of Tokyo, the garden was redesigned in 1989 by garden designer, Dr. Koichi Kawana who  worked with local landscape architect J. Ritchie Smith. Dr. Kawana pioneered the design of traditional Japanese gardens that employ native plants.

Instead of merely reading a list of plants, the Butterfly Garden is a wonderful place to visit, and see firsthand which plants attract different species of butterflies in terms of color and nectar. Many of these plants found here are natives. Herbs such as parsley, fennel, and chives are food for butterfly larvae, while coneflowers, goldstrum daisies, asters, and joe pye weed are nectar sources.

The W.C. Paul Arboretum is a showcase of rare trees and is a must see for horticulturalists.

A wonderful tribute to honor the men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States, the Blue Star Memorial Marker and Garden is designed to represent the stars and stripes of the American flag.

What’s Special

My Big Backyard children’s garden is part horticultural display, part children’s museum, part playground and part imagination extraorinaire.

Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

Among the many attractions, Seedling Circle is a special spot for toddlers while Nature Play features more challenging activities, like fort-building. Raindrop Stop comes on every 30 minutes, with one minute of clouds and thunder followed by two minutes of “rain”.  And in Wormville, young visitors Wiggle like a worm through larger-than-life worm tunnels.

Visiting

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Phone: (901)636-4100

Address: 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117

General info email: info@memphisbotanicgarden.com [ info ]

Kennett Square: Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Longwood orchid_house_vertLongwood Gardens

Recently included in TripAdvisor’s top 10 U.S. public gardens, Longwood Gardens is considered by many as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. In the early 1900s, industrialist and conservationist Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) decided to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber and bought the small farm near Kennett Square where he proceeded to create the heart of today’s Gardens. In 1946, the Gardens were turned over to a foundation set up by Mr. du Pont.

Today, Longwood Gardens encompasses 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and an extraordinary 4.5 acre conservatory. Longwood has 20 outdoor gardens, among the highlights:

Caryopteris Allee, or border of bluebeard, plus a rose garden, lilacs, peonies, wisteria, and much more.

Chimes Tower and waterfall features a waterfall and the 61-foot-tall Chimes Tower and the  62-bell Longwood Carillon.

The Topiary Garden has more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes – from cubes and spirals and birds to a table and chair. The topiaries are sheared every July and August. There’s also an analemmatic sundial constructed by Mr. du Pont in 1939 which is accurate to within two minutes.

Bee-aMazed Children’s Garden takes its inspiration by honeybees, featuring three major areas: the Honeycomb Maze, Flower Fountain, and Buzz Trail.

Peirce’s Park, where some of the trees estimated to be more than 200 years old, has one of the finest collections of trees in the nation. Noteworthy plants: Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), London plane-tree (Platanus xacerifolia), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata)

Longwood Conservatory.  Pierre du Pont built his first conservatory so he could have oranges in the winter. While it didn’t work out for him, today there are oranges in the conservatory, along with a twenty different types of bananas, from the 30-foot plantain to dwarf varieties that can be grown in a container. The original Conservatory was built in 1919, but has been expanded to 4.5 acres which shelters 5,500 types of plants and 20 indoor gardens.  FYI, according to Longwood: “A leisurely stroll through the display areas takes about 1½ hours and covers about ½ mile.”

The conservatory includes roses, bonsai,  ferns (Noteworthy plants: Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), rabbit’s-foot fern (Davallia fejeensis), staghorn fern (Platycerium), wooly tree fern (Dicksonia fibrosa), bird’s-nest fern (Asplenium nidus), maidenhair fern (Adiantum)). There’s also a display of plants found in Mediterranean-type climates.

Orchid House. The collection includes more than 3,200 different types of orchids with an estimated 200 to 500 plants at peak bloom at any one time. Noteworthy plants: cattleyas (Cattleya), lady-slippers (Paphiopedilum), pansy orchids (Miltonia), dendrobiums (Dendrobium), moth orchids (Phalaenopsis).

Longwood’s performance series. Longwood also has a tradition of showcasing top performing artists since du Pont first welcomed his good friend John Philip Sousa to the Conservatory Gardens in 1922.  More than 400 events are scheduled each year, from organ and carillon concerts to Open Air Theatre productions.

Longwood Gardens is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA and is open daily. [ info ]

Hershey: Hershey Gardens

Hershey gardensHershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Gardens

When asked to sponsor a national rosarium in Washington, D.C., chocolate magnate Milton Hershey instead decided to create “a nice garden of roses” for his local community.

Now Hershey Gardens comprises 23 acres, with themed gardens  including  Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, perennial garden, an Arboretum with horsechestnuts, Persian parrotia, bald cypress, beech, hemlocks and fragrant snowbell , an Oak Grove,

  • Rose Garden. More than 5,600 roses representing 275 varieties, some originally hand-planted by Mr. Hershey’s gardeners — Hybrid Tea, floribunda, shrub, and miniature roses, and new AARS rose variety winners.
  • Butterfly House Walk with 350 North American butterflies of nearly 25 varieties. Open from Friday, May 24 through Sunday, September 15, 2013. The entire lifecycle of the butterfly can be viewed, with nectar plants for food and host plants for egg-laying and caterpillar feeding. Note: Closed during inclement weather and during extreme heat. Due to space limitations, strollers not permitted.
  • Children’s Garden. Of course there are Hershey’s kisses misters, along with 32 themed gardens

Over 5,600 roses, representing 275 varieties,  Visiting:
Open daily for the 2013 season beginning on Thursday, March 28 and continuing through Sunday, November 3. The Gardens is open on select days in November and December. Wheelchair accessible.

170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033, phone 717-534-3492

[ info ]

Bronx: New York Botanical Garden

 

Bronx, New York

Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2016.

In 1888, Columbia University Professor of Botany and Geology Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth Knight Britton, who had a keen interest in mosses, visited the London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Brittons were inspired to create “a public botanic garden of the highest class” on 250 acres of land in northernmost New York City.

NYBG is considered a classical botanical garden, in that plants are studied, exhibited and people of all ages are taught about plants and the environment. The institution operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs.

Today, the New York Botanical Garden supports more than one million living plants.  NYBG is considered The collections include dramatic rock outcroppings, wetlands, ponds, a cascading waterfall, and a 50-acre tract of the original forest that once covered New York City. Among the horticultural attractions are 48 gardens and plant collections, including the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, as well as outstanding collections of daylilies, orchids, hardy ferns, cherry and other flowering trees, and conifers. The Garden is also home to the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Visiting

The NYBG is located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is accessible by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, as well as certain federal holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Winter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., mid-January through February). For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit nybg.org

The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458

Photo: Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory. Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden

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The Missouri Botanical Garden is considered by many as one of the top botanical gardens in the world. Garden founder Henry Shaw originally came to St. Louis in 1819 to sell hardware and cutlery, eventually amassing a fortune. Long interested in botany, his travels abroad inspired Shaw to build a garden in St. Louis like the great gardens and estates of Europe. The Missouri Botanical Garden (known as Shaw’s Garden by many in St. Louis) opened to the public in 1859. Today, it’s one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Its over 79 acres includes a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, a Chinese garden, rose garden, English Woodland Garden, Ottoman Garden, the Climatron conservatory, one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids and Garden founder Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home.

A few highlights:

Victorian District.  The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, opened in summer 2008, stretches from the enclosed Victory (of Science over Ignorance) sculpture to the eastern wall, back to founder Henry Shaw’s original city townhouse. (Photo: The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, courtesy: Missouri Botanical Garden

Kemper GardenThe Kemper Center for Home Gardening provides education and resources for Midwestern home gardeners through partnership with University of Missouri Extension. There are 23 display residential-scale gardens, including a city garden; butterfly garden; secret garden; family vegetable garden; fragrance garden; ornamental displays for landscaping, lawns and shrubs; rock, shade and flower trial gardens; children’s garden; herb garden; garden for attracting birds; and  demonstration gardens.

Strassenfest German GardenThe Strassenfest German Garden features native flora of Germany and central Europe, in a woodland setting of herbaceous perennials, as well as deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.

The Fragrance Garden features some of the best fragrance plants for the St. Louis area on display, including examples of shrub and antique roses.

The Children’s Garden is open Mar. 30 through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110, (314) 577-5100. Open daily, closed Christmas Day.

Website: Missouri Botanical Garden

Dubuque: Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Marshall Park

Dubuque, Iowa

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Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Marshall Park

Established in 1980, the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Marshall Park is an all-volunteer effort.

The Arboretum itself showcases more than 60 genus (such as maples, oaks, crabapples, magnolias, birch) and, of those genus, there are more than 200 species and cultivars chosen for their ability to thrive within the Upper Midwest climate and soil conditions. There are also more than 360 conifers, ranging in size from 12 inches to 40- to 50-foot specimens.

The 52-acre site features a rose garden with more than 450 hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, shrubs and climbing roses. There are also Knot, Herb, Perennials Gardens, and an English Garden.  There are more than 13,000 hostas of 700 varieties.

What’s Special

20101221_273-300x450-WThe Japanese garden has been planned and created under the guidance of Hoichi Kurisu, a master designer of Japanese gardens, to provide a place of peace and quiet contemplation by recreating the world in miniature, with elements of the natural world arranged to encourage relaxation and meditation throughout all seasons.

To better appreciate this beautiful garden, here are a few guides:

  • Stone lanterns point the way in the garden.
  • Vertical stone towers contrast with the horizontal aspects of the garden.
  • A Tsukubai (water basin) signifies ritual cleansing.
  • Water adds sound, life, reflection and beauty.
  • Rock signifies solidity, height, background, shape.

Most of all — Listen with your eyes and see with your ears. It’s the yin-yang of the garden accenting the two opposites.

Visiting

Physical grounds open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year

Gift Shop and Library:

April – September: 9am to 8pm daily
October: 9am to 5pm, daily
November – March: Closed

3800 Arboretum Drive | Dubuque, Iowa 52001-1040

Phone: 563.556.2100

[ info ]

Evanston: Ladd Arboretum and Ecology Center

Ladd Arboretum

Evanston, Illinois

Ladd Arboretum and Ecology Center

The Edward R. Ladd Arboretum is a three-quarter mile strip along 23 acres of reclaimed land between McCormick Blvd and the North Shore Channel. Self-guided tours take visitors through the Aspegren Meadow; Oak Grove; Maple Knoll; Pine Knoll; legume trees; birches; and nut trees.

The arboretum’s collection is arranged by plant family (birch, legume, maple, oak, and pine). Gardens include the Meadow Garden, Prairie Restoration Area, Cherry Tree Walk, Nut Tree, Rotary International Friendship Garden (with All-America Rose Selections), Women’s Terrace, gazebo, and bird sanctuary.

The Evanston Ecology Center, located inside Ladd Arboretum, hosts a number of programs, including its popular ecology summer camps.

What’s Special?

The Ecology Center is home to a variety of “critters” — A rabbit, a hedgehog, gerbils, corn snakes, tortoise box turtles, a map turtle, a snapping turtle, a sand skink, leopard frogs, hermit crabs, fish, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The Center is always looking for volunteers to join the Critter Crew – either to sponsor an animal or volunteer to come in and help care for the creatures. For more information, call the Ecology Center at 847 448-8256

Visiting

Evanston Ecology Center:

2024 McCormick Blvd, Evanston 60201

Phone: (847) 448-8256

Email: ecologycenter@cityofevanston.org

Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:30am – 5:00pm year round

Sat,  9 a..m – 4:00 p.m. – from after Labor Day through Memorial Day

[ info ]

Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden

English Walled Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Botanical Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is the second most-visited botanic garden of its size in the U.S., attracting more than one million visitors during 2013. While its 385 acres may seem like a lot to cover, from April to October there are tram tours for an enjoyable overview of the Garden’s highlights.

There are more than two dozen specialty garden areas, including a Children’s Growing Garden, Japanese Garden, Native Plant Garden, Rose Garden, and Waterfall Garden. Home landscape gardens are a source of inspiration for homeowners, demonstrating a variety of plantings that are most suitable. – including easy-to-grow for those of us with less than green thumbs.

What’s Special

English Walled Garden.  Designed by John Brooks, there are six garden rooms representing a variety of English garden design styles with plants best suited for the Midwest: a Cottage Garden, Vista Garden, Daisy Garden, Pergola Garden, Courtyard Garden and Checkerboard Garden. Plantings feature boxwood, catmint, clematis, foxglove, English lavender, roses, and yew.

Chicago Botanic Garden Model RailroadModel Railroad Garden. During the summer, the 7,500-square-foot Model Railroad Garden features fifteen trains—including the new Rock Island line, the Santa Fe Super Chief and a Napa Valley train—that travel through miniature scenes of America’s most treasured sites including a St. Louis Riverboat, a Midwestern farm, an old-fashioned main street and the Statue of Liberty.

Shoreline. Nearly one-quarter (81 acres) of the Garden is water. A 60-acre system of lakes winds throughout the gardens and research facilities, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor, with about six miles of shoreline encircles the Garden’s lakes. It’s an excellent resource for erosion control and native plants recommended for shoreline habitats.

Birding. Approximately 255 species of birds have been sighted throughout the Garden. Good to know: April and May are when migratory songbirds are to be found.

Photo: Chicago Botanic Garden [ info ]

Calendar

The Orchid Show February 15 – March 16, 2014

Visiting

Admission is free, parking rates apply.

1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

(847) 835-5440

Chicago Botanic Garden photos

[ info ]

Huntington Gardens

Chinese garden Huntingtoncgmain

Huntington, California

Huntington Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a research and educational center founded in 1919 by railroad and real estate magnate Henry E. Huntington. The renowned Huntington Library Collections houses among its treasures a Gutenberg Bible (ca. 1450–55); the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (ca. 1410); original letters of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as early editions of Shakespeare.

TripAdvisor recently ranked the Huntington Botanical Gardens as among the top 10 public gardens in the U.S. The Gardens began in 1903 when Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch. Huntington relied heavily on his superintendent, William Hertrich, to develop the plant collections.

Today there are about 120 landscaped acres and more than a dozen principal garden areas with more than 14,000 different varieties of plants open to visitors.

Featured gardens include: Desert, Japanese, Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, Palm and Rose Gardens, as well as one of the largest collections of camellias in the country.

HuntingtonchildgarddwgThe Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden has the themes earth, air, light, and water. Its interactive sculptural elements are sure to delight children, with based on, with a fog grotto, magnetic sand, pebble chimes, prism tunnel, and other attractions.

The Huntington’s Chinese Garden, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, or Liu Fang Yuan, eventually will be one of the largest classical Chinese gardens outside China. The words liu fang, or “flowing fragrance,” refers to the scent of flowers and trees, including the pine, lotus, plum, and other native Chinese plants found here.

CGterracejadeAccording to the Huntington, “A Chinese garden can be compared to a scroll painting composed of carefully arranged scenes. . . As you stroll through its pathways and pavilions, new vistas are revealed as if a scroll were being slowly unrolled. In the garden, as in a painting, several key elements play an important part in creating balance and harmony in the composition.” In the garden, water symbolizes change and rocks, the eternal, combining to create harmony, balancing nature’s yin and yang.  Plants may represent the seasons (peach blossoms for spring, pine for winter), while others stand for attributes such as purity (lotus) or uprightness (bamboo).

Located near Pasadena in the city of San Marino. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA  91108

Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day. [ info ]

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A Garden Traveler’s Pilgrimage: Charleston

Whaley Garden

Where’s your Holy Grail?

Will you follow the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) across northern Spain, a route walked by millions of pilgrims since the Middle Ages, and who, even today, make the journey on foot, or by bicycle or even on the back of a mule? Are you one of the legions of Elvis fans across the world who make the annual pilgrimage to Graceland in Memphis?

For gardeners, Charleston, known as “a city set in a garden” is Mecca – the ultimate destination for gardeners. For me, within this Celestial City of Southern Gardens, my own Mecca remains steadfast: Mrs. Whaley’s Charleston garden on Church Street.

It was early on a Sunday morning and the garden wasn’t open to the public the first time I made it there. But we were heading back to Atlanta and I could not/would not leave Charleston without making an attempt to see one of the most visited private gardens in America.

Like many of the gates and fences standing sentinel at the gardens of Charleston, the grillwork here was fashioned in black wrought-iron; a flirtatious Southern belle offering just a glimpse of a well-turned ankle. It was a charming gate, but still, it was keeping me outside of this particular Eden and I wanted to see more. Was that pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira) around the corner? I fancied that I caught a whiff of Confederate jasmine. Perhaps that sweet scent was a tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans)? Somewhere nearby a church bell was chiming.

Mrs. Whaleys garden view Church Street rosesThe current occupants of the house were undoubtedly enjoying a leisurely second cup of coffee, lingering over the Sunday paper, oblivious to this strangers lurking just outside. But I was determined to catch a peek at the masterpiece the late Emily Whaley created, based on the plan originally drawn up for her in 1940 by Mr. Loutrel Briggs, the renowned landscape architect who designed many of the wonderful gardens in Charleston.

Alas, my traveling companion was tugging on my arm, mumbling about trespassing on private property, and I was forced to retreat with only a hasty look at my Holy Grail of Charleston’s gardens. In my mind I was not trespassing. After all, when your garden is the title of a book – “Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden,” by Emily Whaley in conversation with William Baldwin — as well as the subject of numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has even appeared on the cover of the Charleston telephone book, it’s inevitable that stray gardener pilgrims will pop up from time to time.

Luckily for me (and everyone else), during the Historic Charleston Foundation’s Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, owners of the private gardens in the Historic District of Charleston graciously open their signature wrought-iron garden gates – and in many cases their front doors – to welcome visitors. During the month-long celebration, daily tours feature the interiors and gardens of nearly 150 historic private houses in 12 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods during the peak of the city’s blooming season.

I have visited Mrs. Whaley’s garden several times – legitimately, courtesy of events like these in Charleston – and I am always inspired and always vow to return. After all, inspiration is what we’re all searching for, in one form or another.
The late Emily Whaley said it best: “Inspiration is the bottom line. Without it the first move could not be made. . . . We see, absorb, winnow, and sift, and finally our imaginations take wing and out of all this come our gardening plans.”

Thank you, Miss Emily.

 

Dothan Area Botanical Gardens

Dothan, Alabama

Dothan Area Botanicagallery-19_dothanl Gardens

Construction began in 1996, and today the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens features 50 acres of cultivated gardens with plants and trees indigenous to Alabama. There are over 15 specialty gardens: the Demonstration Garden with a working windmill; Butterfly Garden; Azalea, Camilla and Hydrangea Gardens; The Bernice J. Dykes Memorial Garden; Succulent Garden; the Daylily Garden with over 200 cultivars of daylilies; a Rose Garden with more than 400 roses, a Shade Garden and others.

The Southern Heirloom Garden (photo)is a collection of bygone plants that are often overlooked with the arrival of hybridization — poppies, larkspur, old roses and Confederate Jasmine in spring, followed by petunias, zinnias, and Black-eyed Susans and others in summer. Many of the specimens were collected throughout the Southeast from family gardens, old homes and roadsides.

 

Free of charge and open daily, most gardens are accessible to visitors with disabilities. Group tours are available by reservation.
Location: 5130 Headland Avenue, just off U. S. Highway 431 North. 4 Miles North of Dothan
[ info ]

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens

BirminghamCrape Myrtle
Birmingham,   Alabama

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Alabama’s oldest municipally owned garden, the 67.5 acre Birmingham Botanical Gardens is comprised of Gardens of Collections, Gardens of Nature and Gardens of Culture.
Gardens of Collections focus on a plant genus. Some of the gardens are the Abroms Rhododendron Garden, the Crape Myrtle Garden, Fern Glade, Hess Camellia Garden, Hosta Walk, Ireland Iris Garden, Jemison Lily Garden and the Dunn Formal Rose Garden.
As one of the Gardens of Nature, the 7.5-acre Japanese Garden features traditional components such as a tea garden, the meditative Karesansui garden, the hill and stream garden, and a stroll garden.
Other features include the largest clearspan greenhouse in Southeast, C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center with plant diagnostic lab, restaurant, gift shop, tours.

Admission is free. Gardens open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk.[ info ]

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