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Showing posts from March, 2010

A pinch and a punch ... it's the end of the month!

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Botanical Gardens, Berkeley, CA
A pinch and a punch ... it's the end of the month, and hopefully the end of winter too! I'm incredibly lucky because I've travelled all over the US and Canada and seen some wonderful gardens here in the last three months. So as I reach the end of my time here and get ready to travel to India to work once more on my hospital, I thought I'd post some of the art and statues I've seen during my garden visits - at least they (unlike me) remain in one place!
The Wave Garden, Richmond Point, CA
I spent a wonderful week in California last month, where spring had already arrived; I was lucky enough to go to North Carolina where I saw beautiful blue skies; then I travelled to Canada, where I saw butterflies like I've never seen before; and I even had a quick trip back home to England where I was able to enjoy the snowdrops.
Allan Gardens Conservatory, ON, Canada
I've spent a lot of time in Florida, where I've witnessed the ravages of u…

Rained out at Niagara, but saved by the gardens!

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My husband and I spent last week in Canada and my regular readers will already know that we visited several gardens en route to Mont Tremblant to do some skiing. It was incredibly cold, but we could sense spring in the air as the fast-melting snow made way for new bulbs poking their heads out of the ground. We visited the MontrealBotanical Gardens and Toronto, where I waxed lyrical about the Allan Gardens Conservatory. We also went to Niagara Falls, which was a first for my husband .... where we got soaked and soggy! But thank heavens for the Niagara Parks' Botanical Gardens there, and the wonderful Butterfly Conservatory, where we spent several happy hours watching the brightly-coloured creatures weaving their way through the tropical jungle glasshouse that is their home (above). I've never seen butterflies like this before, so two magnificent displays in a week prompted me to do some research on other facilities like this in the US.
It seems there are several places you can s…

A patch of heaven in downtown Toronto!

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This post is for Helen of Toronto Gardens - we met this week in her home city (that's Helen on the right) and had the chance to talk about gardens, horticulture and blogging - as well as other things - and she's a wonderful lady! It's all thanks to Helen that I got to see one of the most remarkable gardens I've visited on my travels - the Allan Gardens Conservatory - right in the heart of Cabbage Town in Toronto - an absolute gem! It's open daily from 10.00 to 5.00 and it's free - a series of garden rooms inside greenhouses, ranging from the cactus room to the spring flowers, but topped by a fantastic roof (top) which will leave you gasping on a day like today when the sky in Toronto was the same as a Carolina blue sky! This morning was cold .... very cold, with a biting wind and sub-zero temperatures, but once I got inside the greenhouses, I was transported into a magical land of flowers. But what's really interesting about this garden is that if He…

Thanks to Jean for some thoughts on Sissinghurst!

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This post is for Jean at Jean's Garden who wrote about Sissinghurst in a post last week. Thanks for all your thoughts Jean and I thought that as The Galloping Gardener, I should join in the debate here, because I've never yet featured this "iconic" garden on my blog and wouldn't have considered doing so without your suggestion .... just too many coaches and crowds for me! Jean has given a wonderful review of the garden in her post, so I'm only going to add some comment and some additional pictures, because although we English love this garden, we rarely visit because it is so crowded that it is virtually impossible to enjoy it, unless you can get ahead of the coach crowds, which really means visiting at the end of the day, or the end of the season. But if you don't mind being part of the throng, you'll fall in love with this place the moment you arrive and catch sight of the oast houses (above). And of course, it's world famous for its White Garden…

Montreal's majestic Botanical Garden

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Hey and look what at what's blooming in Rajasthan - check out the link to see! GG I know we have many amazing botanical gardens in the UK, but nothing could have prepared me for the gardens I encountered in Montreal, Canada last week. They are quite incredible and even though it is too early in the season for the gardens to look their best, I spent a blissful day there in the glasshouses! The Hacienda Greenhouse Although plans had been in the making for 50 years to make a Botanical Garden in Montreal, it was not until 1936 that work finally commenced on the gardens that are there today, and this was largely due to the tireless efforts of Brother Marie-Victorin, a passionate scientist who was determined that Montreal should have its own showcase devoted to plants. By 1939 the basic structure was in place, and work continued from here. Glasshouses are always one of the best aspects of botanical gardens the world over, and Montreal's were added in 1956. But here in Quebec, "gl…

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who faces the greatest truth of all??

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Now, I don't often get mad, but today I'm madder than any poor cow with Mad Cow Disease and I'm devoting this post entirely to Dung vu Dinh and Love the Flowers. And no, I'm not even going to give links here because I'm going to tell all my readers how to reach them in a minute!
These two bloggers, who have plenty of ads from Google on their blogs, have completely taken my blog and stuck it on their own as though they'd written it and indeed, taken the photos. And what's more ... every time I post, my entries appear on their blogs within seconds!
Now I want you to know, Dung vu Dinh, or Who Flung Dung, or whoever you are, that I really hope you enjoy posting this entry! And for my regular readers, if you care to check out their website, which masquerades under the name of Digital Photomania, you will see that their entire blog is my recent entries - word for word and pic for pic. Well, that's fine, but I sure hope you're going to enjoy this entr…

What can be fairer than Florida's Fairchild?

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No review of Florida gardens would be complete without a visit to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden - I was saving this till last in my Florida section, but then got diverted to California and North Carolina, so I'm submitting this review - just a few weeks late - but still hot off the press. There's no doubt that this is a fabulous garden, whether you're in search of palms, bromeliads, orchids, cycads or open spaces. I also really enjoyed the art in the garden - because there's nothing quite so surreal as staring down the lakes and seeing a dinosaur head peaking out at you! What's more the birds are quite at home with the art, as you can see below.
Fairchild is located just a few miles south of downtown Miami and is home to the largest collection of palms in the world. I spent a lot of my visit with my head in the air just staring in amazement at these wonderful trees and I certainly had no idea how many different types there are - with more than 800 here, I certa…