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.