Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Tour of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Last week we visited the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, Alabama.  It was beautiful and seamless and flowing; one garden spilling into another.  They had large pathways and it was a very easy pleasant walk.  I love visiting different parts of the country and seeing plants that we use and grow and see how they perform in other climates.  Hope you enjoy the tour!!
 Here is the entrance which is also a wonderful little garden shop with all kinds of neat gifts!  
 Upon entering, there are several displays stuffed with beautiful complimentary plants.
I love seeing what other people put together- very inspiring!!!
 Throughout the gardens there were several sculptures which I was intrigued with.
 Do you see the red bananas?  Love em' and love the pairing with the Persian Shield- which adds a great pop of color to just about anything in my opinion.
 Here is the Southern Living Garden.  Lush and full!!
 A photo of the walkways- very inviting.
 More shots of the Southern Living Garden.

 I love the color contrast here.
 The entrance to the rose garden- they were all basically recently cut back so I didn't get any photos of them but the entrance was pretty I thought- again, more sculpture in the back.
 Another shot of the entrance sculpture- there was a wedding there which was really neat to see.  They have a little area off to the right where they hold the receptions.
 A closer shot inside the rose garden.  A few blooms as you see but the beds behind this were basically bare.
And a parting shot.  I have photos of the Conservatory that I will post next.  They have a great Crape Myrtle garden in front of it that was filled with people having lunch on the lawn.  The gardens were inviting and welcoming and obviously cared for.  There is no entrance fee and is funded by the city and "friends" of the Botanical Garden.  Definitely worth a visit and we will be back.  It was so peaceful- a must see for anyone.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Very Late GBBD Post

Better late than never right?
Or I can just say here what has been showing off lately.  =0)
Salvia Amistad
 The hummingbirds are out and about and just so much fun to watch. 
red ruellia
 Never ever do I tire watching them.
palo verde desert museum
 The Palo Verde's are blooming away- such a great tree- ours is HUGE.
bottlebrush bloom
 The Bottlebrush are blooming- no wonder how they got their name.  
almond verbena
 The Almond Verbena are as fragrant as ever. 
sesbania rattlebox
 The Sesbania are blooming away as well.  Also known as the Rattlebox Tree and if you have ever shook their seed pods you know why…..
golden saguaro cactus blooms
And last but not least- the crown not of thorns but of blooms on the Golden Saguaro Cactus.  These guys never disappoint. 
Hope everyone has had a great summer and yes, can you stand it, fall is almost here.
Hard to believe it s back to school time and Labor Day is almost here.  That always for me marks the end of summer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blooms, Cactus and Succulents Oh My!

Flame Acanthus
 Summer is definitely here and plants are blooming and showing off all over the place.  The Flame Acanthus, also referred to as the Hummingbird Bush, provides a vibrant show of red blooms that attract hummingbirds.  I don't have a photo of them on it, but they have been all over it. 
Peruvian Cereus fruit
 The Peruvian Cereus, Night Blooming Cactus, is bursting with blooms and loaded with fruit.  I ate some the other day for the first time- kind of kiwi like, at least to me.
Peruvian Cereus bloom

hibiscus bloom
 The Hibiscus are showing off with their saucer sized blooms.
Augusta Duelberg
 The little Augusta Duelberg's are blooming away- I love this photo- the bee is actually sticking his tongue out- didn't even know they had them!!!! 
Stapelia bloom
 This is a really neat bloom but is incredibly stinky.  It is a cactus looking succulent that has these really unique starfish like blooms.  
orange sedum
These little guys are showing a lot of color with the heat.  In the cooler months they are yellow and as it heats up turn UT orange.  Gotta love that!!  Hook em'!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lincoln Park Visit

 Lincoln Park was absolutely beautiful.  It was full of color, variety.  I love that it is right there in the middle of the city.   Have I mentioned I love Chicago???
 The gardens were full of plants that we use here in Texas which is always so neat to see I think.  I love to see how plants we use here in Austin do in a totally different area of the United States. 

 This was one of my favorite combinations- I adore the Black Pearl Pepper plant just FYI.
 Here it is paired with Bat Face Cuphea.  Love. 
 From every angle it was beautiful.  We spent a lot of time here, easy to do, the weather was incredible.
 The Conservatory was great, though no photos…. my lens fogged up.  Never had that happen before.  
 Can you see the couple off in the distance?  They were shooting engagement photos.
 I can understand why - great setting with a skyline backdrop.

 Great little settings all over the place.
And yes, my favorite combo- have already potted this combo up!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Japanese Garden at Chicago Botanical Gardens

The Japanese Garden at the Chicago Botanical Gardens were phenomenal.  
Hope you enjoy the photos!
 The path leading to the gardens getting you primed and ready…
 Once you turn the corner, you are there.  Peaceful and serene.
 How appropriate was it that this lady was carrying an umbrella while crossing the bridge?
 I adore the weepy and sculptured/manicured looks together.

 Very serene.

This was the area with all the little Bonsai Trees.  Oh the patience!!!!  
We also visited the gardens at Lincoln Park which were amazing.  Since it took me so long to get this one up I promise to get the next up quick.  =0)  
We are having cooler weather here in Austin this morning- it is WONDERFUL!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Chicago.  Who doesn't love Chicago?  
We just returned from a wonderful visit where we had a packed schedule visiting local nurseries, The Chicago Botanical Gardens and the gardens and conservatory at Lincoln Park.  The weather could not have been better.  It was a jam packed time and a wonderful one.  I love going other places to get inspired at how different things are combined and planted together.   Enjoy!

 I enjoyed walking the gardens and their different settings.  Most all incorporated some sort of water feature - a pond, fountain or waterfall.
 I was impressed at all the combinations.  Very well thought out.

 One can never go wrong with mass plantings of Russian Sage.

 Simple yet perfect.
 The Clematis planted next to the Black Scallop Ajuga (one of my favorite little guys).
 Love the color!!!
 So peaceful.
 The entrance- knocks you out with color, texture and variety!!
This will be the last post for this section.  'Wendy's Wish' Salvia, always a show stopper.  I love how they paired it with so many other striking colors.  I will post the Japanese Garden section next- very tranquil and peaceful setting.