Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ithica Children's Garden

The Ithica Children's Garden, located in Ithica, New York, was founded in 1997.  It covers three acres and features an assortment of gardens.  One of the most notable attractions, is a 30 foot by 60 foot snapping turtle named Gaia (from mythology, Gaia is Mother Earth).  On its back is a lunar calendar.

Other features include a Straw Bale Troll House, Wetlands, an edible garden where kids can harvest their own fruits and vegetables (like strawberries and asparagus), a Sod Salamander (and other sod sculptures), a meadow with lovely flowering perennials, a labyrinth, a bird habitat, and a large pinoak tree, affectionately called the "reading tree." 

The gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Viceroy's Palace Garden

The Viceroy's Palace Garden, located in New Delhi, India, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.  It is part of the property of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.

The garden covers 13 acres.  It was designed in the late 1920s by Edwin Lutyens.  There are beautiful ornamental fountains, walls, gazebos, flowering trees, flowers, and shrubs.  Indians call it, "God's own Heaven."

The gardens are open to the public only two weeks out of the year, in late February and early March.  Expect security to be tight, but it is certainly well-worth the visit.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Green Bay Botanical Gardens: Gertrude B. Nielson Children's Garden

Opened in 1996, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Green Bay, Wisconsin, contain 47 acres of gardens and natural areas that showcase Wisconsin's seasonal beauty.  Within these forty-seven acres is the Gertrude B. Nielson Children's Garden.  It covers only a half an acre, but there are so many neat things for kids to do.  Some of the fun features include a tree house, a slide, a vine maze, a re-circulating pond, and a giant sundial.

There are seven gardens within the children's garden where kids can explore natural wonders.  These include the Einstein Garden, Peter Rabbit Garden, sensory Garden, and Frog Bridge.

The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is $7.00 per adult and $2.00 per child.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ness Botanical Gardens

The Ness Botanical Gardens are located near the English and Welsh border in Merseyside.  The gardens were first begun in 1898 by Arthur Kilpin Bulley, a cotton merchant from Liverpool.  Mr. Bully was very much interested in rare species of plants, and also in introducing plants from abroad to England.  He was particularly interested in Himilayan and Chinese mountains plants.  He sponsored expeditions to collect these plants, thus launching the career of renowned British plant collector, George Forrest.  To this day, Ness Botanical Gardens is known for its collect of rare and unusual species.

In 1948, Mr. Bully's daughter, Lois, gave the gardens to the University of Liverpool.  Most of the gardens are open to the public.  They cover about 50 acres, and feature a rock garden, water garden, herb garden, azalea walk, heather garden, and in indoor conservatory with tropical displays.

The Ness Botanical Gardens are open year-round from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.  The cost is 6.50  British pounds for adults, and 3.00 British pounds for children.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are located on the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.  Plans for the gardens began in 1931, when Alexander Elg, chairman of the Botany Department at the university decided to create gardens featuring plants native to the area.

The Gardens were opened to the public in 1985, and they've expanded to include flora and fauna from all over the world.  The gardens feature sections of Australian plants, Mediterranean plants, African, and European plants.  There's also a Bonsai Japanese garden.   In addition, there's a tropical house, an herb garden, and a Bible patch, featuring 70 species of plants mentioned in the Bible.

If you visit, be sure to see the 2000-yer-old burial cave located on the grounds that was discovered in 1902.  The cave has the inscription, "Bones of Nicanor of Alexandria.

The gardens are open daily from 7:00 AM to sunset.  Admission is 20 ILS for children, and 35 ILS for adults.