Garden Visits

Beautiful Gardens from Around the World

Planting Tips from Lyndale Park Gardens

Planting Tips from Lyndale Park Gardens

On the Northeast shore of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Lyndale Park Gardens is an absolute gem. The entire experience of the visitor is well orchestrated and pulls you through to appreciate each garden in concert. Read on to learn more about this beautiful space and planting tips for your own home.   History of Lyndale Park Gardens (as written by the Minneapolis Parks) The transformation of Lyndale Park awaited the arrival of Theodore Wirth as park superintendent in 1906. At the end of his first year in Minneapolis, Wirth submitted in the 1906 annual report extensive recommendations for the improvement of Lake Harriet and Lyndale Park. Wirth had two ideas. First, the area from the pavilion east would be filled with material dredged from the lake to create playing fields surrounded by groves of trees.… Read Full Post
Hostas in Florida

Hostas in Florida

Hostas in Florida?  Well, I am sorry to say it really isn’t going to happen the way you hope it will. I had the pleasure of attending the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis and it opened up the wound on my sore spot for hostas. While some Florida nurseries may be selling hosta, they just aren’t the plants you think of from the midwest or the northeast. These puny plants would be quickly scrubbed from most gardens!  Below is a photo of the “hostas” being sold at a local nursery. They really don’t look like the beautiful plants in the other photos, do they? Dennis Carey and Tony Avent from Plant Delights Nursery shared information on the science behind our crappy hostas on their site.  … Read Full Post
Sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Scrolling through my photos I couldn’t believe just how many images I’d taken of the sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. I mean, I probably could have guessed, but these plants were just so beautiful that I couldn’t quit taking photographs! While in Virginia to celebrate our friends’ Grace and AJ’s wedding, this was a great way to spend an early morning before the festivities began. After visiting Norfolk Botanical Garden we even had time to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. Two gardens in one weekend!  This is where my inner plant geek starts bobbing up and down with excitement! We usually make our annual pilgrimage to Richmond each year during the week of Thanksgiving. Their holiday light display is awesome, but the chance to see the summer perennials this time of year was a delight.… Read Full Post
A Quick Visit to Norfolk Botanical Garden

A Quick Visit to Norfolk Botanical Garden

After years of visiting Norfolk during the late fall, our May trip to Norfolk Botanical Garden was long overdue. This enormous garden (more than 175 acres!) could easily take several hours to explore, but on this hot summer day we spent about an hour enjoying the collections and landscape. Here is how we did it: 1. Our first stop was to the Visitor Center where we showed our AHS reciprocal memberships and picked up maps. I almost didn’t make it through the doors however, as the huge beds of hellebores on each side had me mesmerized!  Hellebores are not a Florida plant, so seeing this mass planting right away had me excited.  Helleborus ‘Pine Knot Select’ at Norfolk Botanic Garden 2.… Read Full Post
Visiting South Coast Botanic Garden

Visiting South Coast Botanic Garden

When we travel there is almost always a side trip to a garden involved and I look forward to seeing the gardens, plants and operations of botanic gardens in different parts of the country. I think Mike might think it is a key part of my planning, but with so many great public gardens around the country there is no reason to skip visiting any of them!   During our trip to the Rose Bowl to watch my Iowa Hawkeyes (yes, they lost… badly), I was lucky enough to sneak away with my aunt for part of a day to visit one of these gardens. Our morning visiting the South Coast Botanic Garden was a great way to become more familiar with the California landscape and see some amazing tree collections.… Read Full Post
Agaves and Aloes at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Agaves and Aloes at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Agaves and aloes are two of the toughest groups of plants for a dry garden. In Florida we can use these plants for punctuated form and interesting textures. In California agaves and aloes are becoming increasingly essential as water supplies are limited and plants and landscapes need to be more drought tolerant. Lucky for me, I love these plants and couldn’t wait to explore more when visiting southern California recently. The South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California has a wide variety of plant collections and amazing plants where you could spend an entire morning or afternoon exploring the meandering paths and discovering trees and plants from around the world. There was so much to take in on a recent visit I just couldn’t decide where to start! … Read Full Post
Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida

Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida

The Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History is an amazing place. I should be embarrassed to write I just visited for the first time!  As part of a board retreat for the Florida Wildflower Foundation we spent a day at the museum, discussing future plans for the Wildflower Foundation. It was a special treat to be able to enjoy a tour of the facilities with Dr. Jaret Daniels before beginning the meetings. Visiting the Butterfly Rainforest The Butterfly Rainforest is a 6,400-square-foot screened exhibit exposed to typical Florida weather conditions. On the day we visited the temperatures were cool and the butterflies were not quite as active as on a warm day. Since I wanted to take photographs, I actually thought this was a wonderful thing!… Read Full Post
Winter Interest in the Garden

Winter Interest in the Garden

What is “Winter Interest” in the garden? This may seem like a foreign concept if you live in Florida, but for the rest of the country this is a very real challenge. How do you keep your garden and landscape looking good when covered in snow?   I’ve just come back to Orlando after spending time with my family in Iowa and we were lucky to have a few inches of snow on Christmas eve. Big fat snowflakes kind of snow. It was awesome. As the snow fell I started itching to get outside and get some photos of this beautiful scene. I know I had a better grasp on this at some time, but I seem to have forgotten which plants are really delightful to see with a fresh layer of snow on top.  … Read Full Post
Holiday Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Holiday Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Over the Thanksgiving week I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Illumination event at Lewis Ginter Botanic Gardens and see their holiday season “H2Whoa” light display. Now it seems that I only get to visit this great garden during the last week of November, which is unfortunate because I am quite sure they have beautiful gardens during the summer months! Either way I am not going to complain about getting to see a fantastic public garden with my best friends. We arrived the night of the Grand Illumination event about an hour before it got dark so we were able to run around and try to see as much of the gardens as possible. For a midwesterner living in Florida, I had a blast seeing all of the fall color and changing leaves.… Read Full Post
Visiting Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden

Visiting Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden

During a recent trip to Savannah I managed to convince Mike that we needed to visit the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm. I won’t lie, part of the intrigue for me was the “Historic Bamboo Farm” part of this title (for more on my love for bamboo you can read here and here). To visit the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden from Savannah takes about 30 minutes by car. We visited in late November, well after most of the annuals had peaked but just late enough that the camellias were in full bloom. Unsure of what we would discover, I did some researching on their website and found the following about the history of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens: “The Bamboo Farm was deeded to the University of Georgia in 1983 for use as an education and research center.… Read Full Post

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My name is Keri and I am as comfortable speaking to a group about color in the garden as I am covered in dirt.

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