Saturday, January 7, 2017
Powell Gardens, located in Kingsville, Missouri has something for everybody. There's a 12 acre lake, water gardens, woodland plants, a wildflower meadow, and a hiking trail. Some other attractions to see are North America's longest living wall, the nation's largest edible landscape, known as the Heartland Harvest Garden, and a giant ant.
There are special exhibits, too, that change with the seasons, keeping visitors returning throughout the year.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Rousham House and Gardens, located in Oxfordshire, England, is a place of breathtaking landscape. It was laid out by the iconic designer, William Kent (1685-1748). The Gothic style house, built in 1635, is still owned by the original family, and Kent's work remains as he designed it all those years ago.
The gardens cover about twenty-five acres, and include small temples and statues of Roman gods and mythical creatures. If you visit, wear comfortable walking shoes. Your wanderings will take you past a herd of longhorn cattle, to grottoes and pools, and onward to vast, open spaces. One path, known as the Watery Walk, follows a slim stone channel that curves downhill under beech and oak trees and leads to a beautiful view of the River Cherwell.
The gardens are open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Children under fifteen are not allowed. (Neither are dogs.) Cost of admission to view the gardens is 5 pounds. Tours of the house must be arranged prior to visiting. The cost per person is 10 pounds, but you must come with a group. The minimum fee is 120 pounds.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
The Beth Chatto Gardens, located in Essex, United Kingdom, are the work of award-winning plantswoman, Beth Chatto. In 1960, she began planting a series of gardens in a rather inhospitable patch of British terrain. Naysayers said it couldn't be done in this place of nutrient-deprived soil and less than twenty inches of rain per year. But she followed her mantra, "the right plant for the right place," and created lovely gardens. The Gravel Garden is a shining example. She used one of her parking lots, with its well-draining soil, to study which flowers tolerated little water. More than twenty years later, allium, iris, Oriental poppies, catmint, and sage stand bright and beautiful in this place.
Other gardens include the Water Garden with four ponds, and a Woodland Garden, which shows visitors that beautiful gardens can be created in shady spots.
The gardens are open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Cost of admission is 6.95 British pounds.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Located in the United Kingdom in Dungeness, on the coast of Kent, the Derek Jarman Gardens surround Prospect Cottage, which was once the home of Avante-gard film director, Derek Jarman (1942 - 1994). The garden is most unusual, in that it was created in a desert landscape. It's flat, bleak, and barren - a stark contrast to the nearby rolling green hills and farmland. Basically, it's on the equivalent of a sand bar.
The garden started out by accident. Jarman bought the four-room fisherman's house in 1986. He began using bits of stones and driftwood as outlines of the property. Then he experimented with local plants to see what could survive in the inhospitable terrain. He found that oxeye daisies, California poppies, and sea kale worked. He added things that had washed up on the shore - rope, metal, driftwood, and created sculptures that served as focal points. In the end, Jarman created a colorful and eye-appealing area that surrounds his tar-black cottage.
Visitors may not enter the house, as it is privately owned, but visitors can carefully tread around the garden exterior. The best time to visit is in June and July. There is no charge to see the gardens.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Great Dixter house and gardens are located in East Sussex, Great Britain. They were the home of legendary gardening writer, Christopher Lloyd. Every nook and cranny of the garden's six acres is crammed with flowering plants. This gives the garden abundant color and texture. Plants seem to dance together here. As Lloyd himself wrote, "If I think a yellow candelabrum of mullein will look good rising from a quilt of pink phlox, I'll put it there."
The gardens are open from the end of March to the end of October, daily from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The house is open from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Cost of admission for adults is 11.55 pounds, and for children, 1.65 pounds.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Alaska Botanical Gardens is located in Anchorage, Alaska.
The gardens, opened in 1993, cover about 110 acres and contain over 1,000 varieties of plants native to southcentral Alaska. There's an herb garden, rock garden, and a wildflower walk. It's a great place to hike with spectacular views of the Chugach Mountain Range. Nature lovers will enjoy it for bird watching, and occasionally will spot moose and bear.
The gardens are open year round from dawn to dusk. The cost of admission for adults is $7.00. For children, admission is $5.00.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Smiley Park Children's Garden, located in Van Wert, Ohio, was opened in 2007, and was created so that children could learn about the gardening process and all that is involved with caring for a garden.
One very nice thing about the garden, is that produce that is grown in it is given to a local food pantry.
Children will really enjoy the butterfly house, which is a colorful green and pink house with window boxes filled with petunias. The back part of the house is screened in, so that butterflies can fly around inside.
There's another cute garden called Melody's Secret Garden where children can pass though and arched entry way with climbing roses. There are two weeping Mulberry trees, so kids can see what Mulberry "bushes" actually look like.
Kids will also get a kick out of Roscoe the Rhino who guards the International Garden.
The newest feature is a crooked house. Kids can have fun playing inside.
The garden is open daily from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Admission is free.
One more thing before I go: I shared this on my other blog, but if you don't follow me there, you haven't seen it. This is a video of me playing at Dragoncon in Atlanta. I'm the violist on the far left. Thought you'd like to see it.