Last year I visited a local Botanical Gardens to see the many lovely varieties of Poinsettia flowers that were on display. It was too cold to actually go into the gardens (I had never been before), but I knew I would have to go back when the weather was fine and everything was in bloom. The weather here has been so amazingly nice this summer (have you noticed how little I've talked about the weather lately?) that I thought it was time to finally make a proper visit. Because the city is in the process of a massive sewer separation project, nearly half the gardens are actually closed off and won't be reopened until sometime next year. There was still plenty to see.
So I have to warn you I am not terribly knowledgeable when it comes to knowing the names of the flowers and plants I saw. Had I planned better I would have brought a notebook and paper along to write things down--maybe next time. I can tell you, however, that this is a Victorian Garden ("A dramatic combination of English and Victorian garden styles is enhanced by historic architectural remnants from the area").
This is the same garden, only looking to the right. I imagine that sculpture attached to the wall is an "historic architectural remnant". I love this space. The day started out sunny and warm, but became overcast.
Coneflowers! I do know the names of these--they are amongst my favorite flowers.
Follow me. This way . . .
Do you know I have never seen a Hibiscus flower before. I see them mentioned in books and thought I knew what they looked like, but I guess I didn't expect them to be so big!
The Hibiscus were just one of many flowers in the English Perennial Border ("Nearly 300 different species and cultivars are displayed here to create masses of colorful plants in an informal design"). There were so many bees and butterflies flying around here. Obviously they found it all as attractive as I did.
Isn't this a peaceful space? It is the Tree Peony Garden ("An extensive collection of Chinese and Japanese tree and herbaceous peonies"). Unfortunately the peonies were not in bloom. The sculpture is by Jun Kaneko a local artist who is originally from Japan. My library has one of his heads! (Slightly different design however).
I think these sculptures are really cool. This is known as "The Dango", which is Japanese for dumpling. It weighs more than 1,000 pounds and sits on a 3,300 pound limestone base. In the photo above this one, this sculptures sits just off to the left.
There are lots of little bubbling brooks like this throughout the gardens. Actually this area is known as a "Glen" (Scottish term for "a small secluded valley") which has been designed as a calming and serene space with the soothing sound of running water. I love the sound of water--it is indeed quite peaceful. Just need a nice little bench and a book to keep me company.
Sandhill cranes. Nebraska is a stopover for the cranes during their yearly migration.
There is a very large and very cool model train garden. It's a little hard to see but one of the trains is crossing that bridge--top left.
This is the Rose Garden, where there are nearly 2,000 rose plants and a working sundial. (See how overcast it became!).
Another quiet and peaceful spot. This is known (and it's just one corner of the garden) as the Garden of Memories.
By chance there was a Sweet Corn Festival going on, which was fun to walk through and (people) watch. I didn't try the salsas, but I did have some corn (surprise!) and even tasted the homemade Roasted Sweet Corn flavored ice cream made by a local ice cream shop. Strange as it sounds, it was quite yummy.
It was a really lovely day. I got in loads of walking and think I will have to go back again soon. A little slice of nature in the city.