Friday, April 3, 2015

Why Visit a Botanical Garden?

New York Botanical Garden's orchid chandelier 

I have to drive an hour to a small botanical garden and several hours to "big city" botanical (or as Chicago says: botanic) gardens.  The bigger they are, the farther the drive and the higher the admission charges.  

The smaller gardens shouldn't be missed and they are definitely a step up from my backyard.  But, oh mother of all things beautiful and awesome, the big botanical gardens are worth the cost of all of the above.
Missouri Botanical Garden

Why visit a botanical garden?  Why spend the money, the drive time and the effort?  Because they do it better then we can!

It's a matter of cash; the larger the institution, the more resources they can entice.  So, back to why make the effort?

Have you ever planted five foot tall cement pots of palm trees and hanging succulents?  

Do you have hundreds, maybe thousands, of orchids in your yard and home?
Chicago Botanic Garden

Are the hills of your yard covered in thousands, maybe millions of spring flowering bulbs, all blooming in unison and color coordinated?

Do you have so many butterflies in your home that they cling to the windows and land on your shoulders?

Do you have at least one succulent taller than you?

Is there a statue valued at more than your last house?

Did Frederick Law Olmsted design any part of your flower beds?

Are your gardens so beautiful, someone sells postcards with pictures of them?
Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Garden's
Japanese garden

Does your water feature include boats, two zillion pound boulders, fifty foot falls and rare fish?

Does your greenhouse have it's own heating and cooling system?

Does the BG have one perfect plant variety you have nursed in your garden for years that barely survives?

Do you have hundreds of acres of landscaping so perfect it makes you catch your breath every time you walk out the back door?

Yeah, me either!  And I'm alright with my little underwhelming plot of garden.  But sometimes a little underwhelming gardener like me needs to see the stuff old paintings, royalty and high dollar botanical gardens are made of and let it wash beauty over your soul. 

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