Monday, December 31, 2012

Jardin des Tuileries

The Jardin des Tuileries, located in Paris, France, is one of the most visited gardens in Paris, due to its location between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.  It was created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564 and was opened to the public in 1667.

It is known for its ornamental ponds, terraces, and collection of bronze figures by Aristide Maillol.  In addition to the beautiful perrenial flowers, the garden is home to 20 species of trees, including Mulberry and Judas trees.

The garden is open daily in April - August from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and in September  - March from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.  Admission is free.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden

Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden, located in Utica, Indiana, is an eight-acre arboretum and nursery that includes fountains, ponds, an outdoor garden train, whimsical sculptures, and woodland and perrenial gardens.

It's a fun place to take kids.  The sculptures are quite interesting (there's a cute dragon that's really popular) and there are many unusual plants.

                                                                   The nursery is open on Friday from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM.  Admission is free.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

South Coast Botanic Garden

The South Coast Botanic Garden, located just south of Los Angeles in Palo Verdes Peninsula, California, is a lovely 87 acre garden that contains over 2500 species of plants.  Visitors can see plants from all over the world, including places like Australia, South Africa, and the Meditteranean.

Founded in 1961, the garden is actually a collection of gardens.  Visitors can enjoy a Mediterranean garden, rose garden, cactus garden, herb garden, Japanese garden, and a cute little children's garden.

The garden is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day except Christmas.  Admission for adults is $8.00.  Admission for children is $3.00.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, France, was founded in 1626 when Jean Herouard and Duy de la Brosse, Louis XIII's physicians, were granted permission to develop a royal medicinal herb garden and school of botany.

The property now includes a natural history museum, botanical school, and a zoo.  Visitors can traverse the beautiful walkways, view an alpine garden, rose garden, tropical garden, and botanical garden.  The statues, water fountains, and flowers make it a lovely place to visit.

The gardens are open daily from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM.  Admission to see the gardens is free, but there is a fee to visit the museum. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oakhurst Gardens

Oakhurst Gardens, located in Muncie, Indiana, covers over six acres.  It was developed by Elizabeth Ball in the 1930s.  Today, visitors can see a series of gardens, a renovated 1895 historic home, and a discovery cabin.

 One of my favorite parts of the garden is the Children's Garden.  There's a garden railroad, a vegetable garden, a Secret Garden, a Pizza Garden, Farmyard Garden, and Butterfly Garden.  There's a fun hedge maze that leads to the Secret Garden, where kids can watch fish playing in the pond.

 The gardens are open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  Admission is free.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How to Make an Evergreen Wreath

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought I'd share with you how to make an evergreen wreath.  It's not that difficult, and the beauty and smell of them are so nice for the holidays.

1.  Pick your evergreens.  They can be collected from your yard or purchased.  Using all of the same kind gives a formal look.  Different kinds can give it more texture.  Some kinds of evergreens to consider are fir, juniper, and arborvitae.

2.  Soak your evergreens.  Cut off the bottom of each branch at an angle and soak for 24 hours in a bucket of water.  This will make the wreath last longer.

3.  Gather materials:  a wreath form, florist wire, evergreen branches, pruning sheers, and decorations like ribbons and bows.

4.  Trim evergreen branches into small, easy to work with pieces.

5.  Lay the form on a flat surface, concave side facing up to hold the evergreens.

6.  Lay a piece of evergreen on the form and loop wire around the woody stem, and then loop around the wreath form to attach.

7.  Overlap with another of the same kind of evergreen, facing the same direction and attach the same way.

8.  After your base is done, you can add other types of evergreens and decorations.

It's a good idea to make your wreath about a week before Christmas so it looks nice for the holiday.

Before I go, I'd like to thank all of you who visited my A-Z post and also thank those of you who voted for Gone Gardening in the blog awards.  I really appreciate it! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Blogger on A-Z Blog Challenge

Hey everybody.  Today, I'm over at the A-Z Challenge blog answering questions about my posts from the A-Z challenge.  If you have a chance, please stop by!   Also, I'm very excited to announce that Gone Gardening is a finalist in Karen's blogs of the year awards!  It's under "Best Kept Secret."  If you have a moment, and you like my blog, please visit and cast your vote.  Thank you Karen, and thanks to all of you for following!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, located in Claremont, California is an 86 acre garden nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.  It's an 80 year old garden dedicated exclusively to California's native plants.

There are three main sections of the garden:  The Indian Hill Mesa, which is a flat-topped hill with wild lilacs and manzanitas, the East Alluvial Gardens, which is home to the desert garden and coastal dune, and the Plant Communities which has many native California plants, including the California Flannel Bushes.

    The garden is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Park Monceau

Park Monceau is another lovely garden in Paris, France.  It was completed in 1779, and covers over 20 acres.  Visitors will see a miniature Egyptian pyramid, statues, a water lily pond, grotto and waterfall, and of course, flowers.

  Park Monceau is a favorite place for families with children.  There are quite a few playgrounds there.  It's a great place for Parisians to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The park is open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

International Friendship Gardens

The International Friendship Gardens are located in Michigan City, Indiana.  They cover 100 acres and are a collection of gardens representing six leading nations.  Founded in 1936, the gardens were designed to promote friendship and peace among all citizens of the world.

There aren't a lot of flowers in these gardens, but it is a nice place to hike.  Visitors will enjoy wooded trails, and Lake Lucerne, a small, spring-fed lake which is home to muskrats, herons, geese, and turtles.

 The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is free.

Quick advertisement:  I am a guest at greeting card designer, Tracy Campbell's blog.   I'll be giving away copies of my books.  If you have time, please stop by and visit!

Also, if you'd like to see a baby picture of me, stop by Mama Diaries, where I'm particpating in the Baby Faces blogfest.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Garden at the Musee Rodin

The Garden at the Musee Rodin is located in Paris, France at the Rodin Museum, which features works by French sculptor, Auguste Rodin.  The garden covers about 9 acres and contains a rose garden, an ornamental garden, a rock garden known as the "Garden of Orpheus," and a water garden known as the "Garden of Springs."

Visitors can stroll under chesnut and linden trees, follow foot paths through hydrangeas and bamboo in the Garden of Springs, and enjoy peonies and ferns in the Garden of Orpheus.  Throughout the garden, many of Rodin's sculptures can be seen.  (Although I've never understood why The Gates of Hell sculpture is located behind the rose garden!)

 The garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM.  Admission for the garden alone is 1 euro.  If you'd like to see the museum, admission is 9 euros.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mendocino Coast Botancial Garden

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, located in Fort Bragg, California, is also called the Garden by the Sea.  The picturesque Mendocino coast where it lies, is just gorgeous!  The garden was founded in 1961 by Ernest Schoeler, a retired nurseryman.  In 1992 the garden was purchased by the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District.

   The garden is well known for its collection of rhododendruns.  Visitors can also see a perennial garden, coastal prairie, and a woodland with Montery Cypress.

    If you enjoy bird watching, this is a  great place to visit.  The area contains over 150 species of birds.

 The garden is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is $14.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Cactus

Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law brought me a Christmas cactus.  This gave me the idea to tell you a little about the plant, and to give some tips about how to care for it.

The Christmas cactus, or Schlumbergera, is native to the mountains of south-eastern Brazil.  It likes shade and high humidity.  It can be recognized by its leaf-like pads and pink flowers which flower only around Thanksgiving or Christmas (hence the name).

Here are some tips for caring for your Christmas cactus:

1.  Keep away from direct sunlight, drafts, heat vents, or fireplaces.

2.  Provide a source of humidity.  You can put a tray of water next to the plant, so that the water evaporates and provides humidity.

3.  Do not  overwater.  Once a week should be enough.  And if you can, don't water from the top.  It is best to put the plant in a tray of water and allow water to seep through holes in the bottom of the container.

4.  Prune your cactus one month after blooming.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hilltop Garden and Nature Center

Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, located on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, began in 1948 as a one-acre alfalfa field set aside by Indiana University President, Herman B. Wells.  It was to be a place of research and education.  Today, it has grown to five acres, and is a place that supports community gardening.  In fact, it has one of the longest- running youth gardening programs in the United States.

The garden is open to the public, and tours are offered for the Enabling Garden, Gourd Walk, and Pumpkin Patch.  Visitors can also see a Woodland Garden, greenhouses, ponds, and plenty of perennials.

  The garden is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  Admission is free.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Descanso Gardens

The Descanso Gardens, located in La Canada Flintridge, California, is a lovely place to visit if you are ever in southern California.  It covers 160 acres, and was founded in 1953 by newspaper magnate, E. Manchester Boddy, who owed the Los Angeles Daily News.

Descanso Gardens is known as the "garden of gardens."  There are several beautiful gardens on the property, including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, a lilac garden, and a California Native Garden.  Vistors can also ride the Enchanted Railroad, which is a replica of a diesel train that takes visitors around a section of the garden.

The garden is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $8.00.  Children are $6.00. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stanley M. Rowe Arboretum

Rowe Arboretum, located in Indian Hill, Ohio, is literally fifteen minutes from my house - practically in my backyard!  It's a 40 acre arboretum which was formerly the private estate of Stanley and Dorothy Rowe, who started the plant collection in 1926.

Today, there are over 900 labeled trees and plants, including conifers, lilac, oaks, and magnolias.  Visitors can stroll along the paths, enjoying the natural flora and fauna of Cincinnati.

The arboretum is open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

One last thing:  Joanne Faries bestowed this Addictive Blog Award on me.  Thank you, Joanne!  I guess if you really like gardens, this blog can be addictive!

I will pass it on to Arnie at Travel Gourmande and  Elle Sees.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jardin Luxembourg

One of my favorite places in Paris, France, is the Jardin Luxembourg.  It is the second largest public park in Paris, and covers about 55 acres.  Nearby is the Luxembourg Palace, which houses the French Senate.

Visitors can enjoy an expansive green lawn, gorgeous flowers, an octagonal pond of water known as the Grand Bassin where children sail model boats, statues, and two fountains:  the  Medici Fountain, a romantic baroque fountain  built in 1630, and the Fontaine de l'Observatoire, built in 1873.

 There are plenty of chairs and places to sit and enjoy the garden.  I like to  watch the children sail their boats, and watch the old men play chess.  It gives you a glimpse of French life away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Paris.

If you ever visit Paris, be sure to make time to see this garden! Admission is free.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cathedral Gardens

Cathedral Gardens, located in the small town of Henryville, Indiana, covers fifty-two acres, 15 of which are manicured gardens.  The place is absolutely lovely - so peaceful!  The gardens are actually made up of thirteen individual gardens.  Visitors will see ponds, fountains, statues, and of course, plenty of colorful flowers and plants.

 To enter the gardens, you will have to park in front of the property, and take a tour van.  Once there, you can stroll around and enjoy the beauty.  Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and relax in the tranquil gardens.

 The gardens are open May 1 - October 31.  Tours are Monday through Saturday at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 PM.  Admission is $15.00 for the first visit, and half price for return visits.

One more thing, before I close:  I am a guest on author, Virginia Wright's blog.  I'll be giving away free copies of my book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN!    And tomorrow (November 5th), I'm participating in the I'm Thankful for my Readers blog hop  on my other blog, Mama Diaries.  I am very thankful for all of my followers here!  To show my appreciation, I will be giving away an Amazon gift card.  Please stop by and comment, so you can have a chance to win!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Fairy Gardens

Today's post is something a little different - something that would appeal to the kid in you.  One tradition I do with my kids, is make fairy gardens for each season.  Now is a good time to make a fall one, since there are plenty of pumpkins and gourds out there.

To make a fairy garden, you need to find natural things that would make a pretty place for fairy folk to visit.

I like to cut off the side of a small pumpkin and clean out the seeds and goop.  Then I fill it with stones and other assorted natural trinkets which serve as tables and seats.  A few acorns make it look festive, too.  Then I place it outside, in an out-of-the-way location, and make pebble paths leading to tree branch structures and other fairy abodes.  You can decorate your garden dwellings with mums, goldenrod, sedum, or any other fall flowers you can find. 

My kids love doing this, and it adds a touch of whimsy to my garden.  Now if only my dog would leave it alone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Filoli Gardens

Filoli Gardens, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, California, covers 654 acres.  It is the site of a 36,000 square foot Georgian house and a 16 acre English Renaissance garden, which is a series of enclosed spaces within brick walls.  Visitors will see well-manicured gardens with clipped hedges and classic reflecting pools.  Other gardens include a Bonsai collection, magnolias, an olive orchard, and a rose garden.

 A little history of the gardens:  Filoli was built between 1915 and 1917 for William Bowers Bourne II, owner of a very successful gold mine and President of Spring Valley Water Company.  Following Bourne's death, the estate was sold to William Roth, who in 1975 donated it to the National Trust for Historic Presevation.

Filoli has served as the set for many Hollywood films.  You may have seen the mansion on the opening credits for the show, Dynasty.

There are several tours you can take, including one of the mansion.  If you can,I would recommend doing it.  You can also take a 2-hour nature hike.  A word of caution about that - some parts are strenuous, so you should be in good health to do it.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  Admission is $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.