Monday, October 17, 2011
Huntsville Botanical Gardens Part One
Part one of my two part Huntsville Botanical Gardens starts us out at the very large visitor center. Right away we find a fabulous Japanese maple that was just beginning to show its fall color. I wish I had thought to write down the cultivar of this Japanese maple but did not. It was not a cultivar I was familiar with but I'd like to know it better. Look at how it glows!
Here is another view of the Japanese maple. To the right of it was a large pot that surrounded another tree. This is where we all had our group picture taken. I do not have a copy of the group picture though so this photo will have to suffice.
The next stop on our travels was to a miniature city complete with trains and ponds and streams. It almost looks as though this city is full sized depending on your vantage point.
The bonsai trees were a real treat in this area. That deciduous rounded leaved tree you see in the center of this picture is a gingko. It was miniaturized (bonsai) very meticulously. The Jimster has read my large bonsai book several times over. He is planning to attempt to bonsai a seedling Japanese maple next spring (or sooner if I can find a seedling in the garden).
Ponds were the word of the day in the gardens. This pond was actually inside of a screened butterfly house. I have a small bathtub pond in my garden but the more I see beautiful ponds like this the more I wish for a larger pond here. My friend Naomi says she'll come and help me build a pond but I have not committed to one yet. The work in maintaining one scares me. Plus, in my garden there are a lot of trees and tree roots. I have no idea where I could locate a pond like this. If I ever did get a pond I'd like one like this. I like that you can see the bottom of the pond. It seemed more natural than the deep dark ones that you usually see.
This pavilion would be a perfect spot to lounge around for like forever. It was so beautiful.
This water lily pond was surrounded by a hedge of mature 'Emerald Green' arborvitae. I just read in a pond book that water lilies must have still water. I had no idea and am guessing this pond bears that out since there does not appear to be a pump in this water lily pond.
I happen to be a big fan of arborvitae like those you see in the picture above. I really liked the way the hedge enclosed the pond area in a formal manner. The arborvitae were so green and so lush and so formal. Even if your garden leans more toward the natural like mine these arborvitaes have a spot in all gardens. I have a hedge like this and it is doing okay considering I moved my mature trees earlier this year.
Another shot inside of the butterfly house finds us in the 'Misty Cave'. It was a cool spot where Mr. Fix-it and I were able to relax. This butterfly house had mostly, if not all, native butterflies. Most butterfly houses I have visited seem to have exotic butterflies from other parts of the world. Not so here. We saw mostly frittilaries but there were other types fluttering about as well.
Outside in the gardens the monarchs were busy on the asters. The orange and purple color combination is an awesome combination.
There were many vignettes scattered about the grounds that included scarecrows and other Halloween related creatures. This spider was great. That handsome young man under it is my youngest son Jimmy. He had a fantastic time hanging out with his parents at the garden. We not only saw lots of cool plants, shrubs, and trees but we got lost in a sorghum maze. Have you ever seen sorghum growing? It looks like corn but without the ears and it is much much taller than corn. It grows kind of like Johnson grass. The maze was a lot of fun. I can't remember if I've ever done a maze before but I tell you that you can really get lost quite easily.
Lastly, since I am a tree person I had to show my dear husband looking at a neat tree. Trees are the stars of the show in my opinion because of their structure, their versatility, their interest and their wide variety of types. I am not sure what kind of tree this one was but look at that branching structure. Don't you just want to climb it?
One more post will be coming on the Huntsville Botanical Gardens this Wednesday....
in the garden....
My nearly eight year old point and shoot camera has decided to stop working. I am interested in recommendations for a new camera. I am looking at the class of superzoom cameras. In particular I like Panasonic DMC-FZ100, Fujifilm HS20, or the Nikon CoolPix P500. I usually use my camera for blogging and family pictures and videos. Any suggestions?
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden