Visiting gardens all across the country and even the world is a passion for me; though I don't usually make special trips just to see gardens. If, however, I happen to be some place new then I will almost always take the opportunity to visit local public gardens. If I am lucky enough to know a gardener nearby I might even contact them for a visit as well. My recent visit to Peoria, Illinois saw Mr. Fix-it and I visiting a public botanical garden called Luthy Botanical Gardens. We happened to be in Peoria Ilinois due to Mr. Fix-it's job. He has the great fortune to be able to travel the country to fix aircraft. I sometimes get to visit him in the various locations and I get really excited to not only see him but to see new gardens and learn about new plants. Botanical gardens and nurseries are one of the best ways a gardener can learn about plants before planting them in their own gardens.
I took a lot of pictures at Luthy Botanical Gardens because even though this botanical garden was tiny by most botanical garden standards, there was SO much to see that the whole garden was a feast for our eyes. I have prepared three posts on the Luthy and hope you'll enjoy this small garden as much as we did back in July. Yes, I am a bit late on posting.
We start with the tropical house situated in a greenhouse you must pass through in order to enter the gardens proper. Here I had Mr. Fix-it pose for a nice picture for me. I don't normally talk about my husband, but I must say he is my best friend and I love him even more now then when we married nearly nineteen years ago. He is a good sport to traipse through gardens with me as I am sure he'd much rather be looking at cars in a junkyard or some local car show rather than garden touring. Look above Mr. Fix-it's head at the plant and what do you see?
A couple of leaves with writing on them! I thought I had taken a picture of the data plate on this tropical plant but I can't find it. I seem to remember it being called a "Write on me plant" but can't find anything about that kind of plant when I Google it. If you know the name of this plant please let me know as I have no idea what kind it is. Many people have 'written' on the leaves by scratching in their names. The leaves heal up leaving white scars where the etching was done. As far as I can see the writing did not harm the plant. We did not etch our names into the plants in case you were wondering.
A bit thank you to Sharon from A Lazy Woman's Garden for identifying my mystery tree! It is called an Autograph tree, aka Clusia rosea.
The textures in the tropical house were nice. I liked all of the color as well as the texture. This greenhouse was not very big but was nicely laid out.
Once you exit the greenhouse you can see the centerpiece of the garden; this water feature.
On our way to the perennial and herb gardens we passed a boxwood hedge. I like the effect of these hedges and really wish I had room for one in my garden. I've seen several gardens around my town that does have the small hedges and they are very nice for edging perennial beds. The natural wooden trellis was also a nice touch.
While in the sunny perennial border I noticed Genista Broom moth larva happily chomping away at the baptisia. I let the volunteers know and they in turn said they'd notify the curator. I tell you this pest has been very widespread this year and I've been hearing how many mature baptisias have been decimated. Even botanical gardens can get pests.
Here is a long look at the conifer collection.
How cool is this bench?
Woodland gardens have my heart always because my garden is more like this than a sunny perennial garden. The Solomon's seal is a real workhorse in shady gardens like mine and this woodland garden at the Luthy. Do you notice the geraniums in the foreground? I am heartened to see them growing in shade. I too have planted some in shade and find they do okay but are not as generous with their blooms as their cousins in the sun.
The last picture of this first of three posts visiting the Luthy is of leaf impressions in a concrete bench. The textures are really nice....
in the garden....
Tip: When designing gardens think about how the plants will look side by side when not in bloom-vary the textures.
There is a lot more to come from the Luthy as I am able to post off and on in the next few weeks.