Thursday, December 20, 2018

Topiary Park

I don't know about you, but I've always found topiaries to be fascinating focal points of gardens.  If you like topiaries, the place to visit is Topiary Park, in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  The seven acre park is famous for its topiary interpretation of Georges Seurat's famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.

The park was dedicated in 1992, but it goes back to the early 19th century.  It was once a part of the Old Deaf School Park. The concept came from artist, James T, Mason, who teaches sculpture at the Recreation and Park's Department of Cultural Arts Center. He designed and installed the frames and living topiaries.
The garden contains 54 topiary people, eight boats, 3 dogs, a monkey, a cat, and a pond, which represents the Seine River.  The largest feature is 12 feet tall.

The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Admission is free.  The best viewing is April through November, when the greenery is in bloom.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx, New York. It was established in April of 1891 on the grounds of the Lorillard Estate, which was owned by tobacco magnate, Pierre Lorillard. It covers 250 acres and contains 50 different gardens and plant collections. These include a 50 acre old growth New York Forest great for hiking through, wetlands, a rose garden, Japanese garden, children's garden, and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. 

No matter what time of year you go, it's always beautiful, and there are always plenty of activities going on. From November through January, there's a holiday train display that children and train enthusiasts will enjoy.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Grounds only admission for adults is $15.00 and children under 12 is $4.00. If you'd like to go inside the conservatory and see the special displays, the cost is $28.00 for adults and $12.00 for children.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is also known as "Shaw's Garden" for founder, Henry Shaw. Mr. Shaw began the garden in 1859. This makes the Missouri Botanical Garden one of oldest botanical institutions in the United States. Its 79 acres contain Henry Shaw's original 1850 Estate House, a Japanese garden, the second-largest herbarium in the country, containing 6.6 million specimens (New York's Botanical Gardens is first), and the world's first geodesic dome greenhouse, built in 1960.

The garden is open from 9 AM to 4 PM daily. Cost of admission is $12.00 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Michigan 4-H Children's Garden

 The Michigan 4-H Children's Garden is located on the campus of Michigan State University.  It opened in 1993, as one of five gardens that are part of the Michigan State University Horticulture Demonstration Gardens.


The children's garden covers about half an acre, and it features 30 different play areas.  These include a dinosaur garden, a pizza garden, a Peter Rabbit garden, an ABC Kindergarten garden, a Teddy Bear and Animal garden, a Storybook garden, and an Alice in Wonderland Maze which leads to a secret garden.

  Some of the fun things kids can do are find lambs ear and feel the leaves, smell chocolate mint, dance on dance chimes, and cross over the Monet bridge.
 The garden is open Monday through Friday from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free, but parking is $3.00 for 1 1/2 hours or $5.00 for 3 hours.

Before I go, I would like to share my SCBWI Book Stop page. There's a contest to see who can get the most likes and comments. If you feel inspired, please stop by to like the page and comment. Thanks!  Click on this link.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Longwood Gardens

 Longwood Gardens, located about 30 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a gorgeous collection of flowers situated on 1077 acres of land.  (Only 325 acres are open to the public.)  There are twenty indoor gardens, housed in a conservatory which contains 5,500 types of plants.  There are also 20 outdoor gardens featuring exquisite flowers, trees, and dazzling fountains.

Longwood Gardens has a very rich history.  Over two hundred years ago, the land was inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Indians.  In 1700, a Quaker family purchased the property from William Penn (the guy Pennsylvania is named after) and established a farm there.  In 1906, Pierre du Pont, the famous industrialist, purchased the property and created what is enjoyed today.  In 1946, the Gardens were turned over to a foundation set up by Mr. du Pont.


One of the gardens is the Bee-aMazed children's garden.  It features a tree house, a Honeycomb Maze, Flower fountain, and Buzz Trail.  Kids can learn about bees and the various parts of a flower through these interactive features.

The Gardens are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.  Admission for adults is $18.00.  Admission for children is $8.00.

Here's where I am on this last day of my blog tour:

At Crystal's Book Reviews where you can read an excerpt and enter for the giveaway.

At Mason Canyon's Blog with a book review and a chance to win a copy of the book.  (Mason Canyon organized my tour. She did a really nice job! If you are an author and don't have the time to organize your own blog tour, I recommend her services. Also, she is celebrating her nine-year blogversary. so please stop by and congratulate her.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

 The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens are located in Richmond, Virginia.  These gardens are simply amazing.  In fact, they are the winner of the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library service.

  The history of the gardens is interesting.  They are on property that was once the hunting grounds for the Powhatan Indians.  The land was also owned by Patrick Henry.  In 1884, Lewis Ginter purchased the land.  In 1913, Ginter's niece, Grace Arents, developed gardens on the property.  It was her desire that when she and her partner died, the land be given to the city of Richmond to be developed as botanical gardens, honoring Lewis Ginter.  In 1968, the city took over the property, but the gardens didn't come to fruition until 1981.
The children's garden is one of the best I've seen.  There are about eight different areas where children can learn about the natural world.  One neat feature is the International Village.  There are playhouses and plants that represent cultures from all over the world.  There's a "tukal" African shelter, a Latin American "casista," and a Native American longhouse.  There's also an Asian teahouse and an "everyone's house," where kids can design their own place.

 The Farm Garden consists of six 20 x 20 plots where kids can plant and harvest their own vegetables and fruit.
Other features include the water play area, a bird and butterfly meadow, a super-fun tree house, a children's greenhouse, and a section of weird and contrasting plants.  The gardens are open daily from 9 am-5 pm.  Admission is $11.00 for adults, and $7.00 for children.

In other news, my book tour for Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China continues. Here are the stops from this week:

Book Review at J. Bronder Book Reviews

Guest post about doing school author visits at Writers and Authors Blog

Opportunity to enter a win a copy of my book:  Celtic Lady Reviews

Interview at Literary Rambles

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Leila Arboretum

Leila Arboretum is located in Battlecreek, Michigan.  It's a place with a lot of history!  Battlecreek is known as "cereal city" because cereal was first invented there by Dr. Kellogg in 1894.  The Leila Arboretum dates back to 1922, when Leila Post Montgomery, wife of the big cereal businessman, C. W. Post (of Post cereal), donated 72 acres of land to the city.  In 1924, landscape architect, T. Clifton Shepherd, designed the gardens.


There is a wonderful one-acre children's garden that you'll want to visit, if you have kids.  It features five different sections.  The first is the Healthy Me garden.  It has a big red bowl filled with various salad vegetables.  A huge spoon and fork stick up out of the bowl.  There are also four mini gardens surrounding the bowl:  a pizza garden, a spa garden (growing in a bathtub), a top 10 veggies garden, and an healing herb garden.

There's a Cereal Bowl garden that tells all about the history of the city, and how cereal is made.  The Four Winds garden was designed by local Potawatomi Indians, and it gives the Indians' plant and color representations of the four directions, North, South, East, and West.  One of the most popular features is the Rain and Shine Friends/ABC garden.  It features a giant balloon (pictured above) where kids can step inside and pretend that they're soaring over the gardens.  There's also a feature where kids can be a human sundial.  I really like the ABC garden.  There are plants for every letter of the alphabet.  Finally, there's a Cupola Science Plaza where kids can learn about how plants contribute to science.

 Leila Arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that my blog tour is continuing. I'm at Julie Flander's blog. Please stop by to read an excerpt from my book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China and enter to win a copy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ithaca Children's Garden

The Ithaca Children's Garden, located in Ithaca, 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 pin-oak tree, affectionately called the "reading tree."The gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

I'm continuing my online book tour to promote my book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. Today's stop is at Bookworm for Kids blog. Please stop by to read an excerpt from the book and enter to win a copy.

In case you're interested, yesterday's stop was at The Story of a Writer. You can enter to win and read a different excerpt there.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

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

Opened in 1996, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Green Bay, Wisconsin, contain forty-seven 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 9-4.  Admission is $7.00 per adult and $2.00 for children.

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that this month, I will be doing an online blog tour to promote my book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. The stop on October 5th will be at Writer's Gambit .If you have a minute, please stop by and visit. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Camden Children's Garden

The Camden Children's Garden, located in Camden, New Jersey, next to the state aquarium, is four acres of horticultural fun for kids.  Opened in 1999, it features three indoor attractions, as well as several outdoor gardens.

The indoor attractions are the Four Seasons Butterfly House, a tropical exhibit, and Ben Franklin's Secret Workshop.  Outdoors, kids can play in a dinosaur garden, maze, tree house, picnic garden, and storybook garden.

The gardens are open March through October, Friday through Sunday from 10 AM - 4 PM.  The cost is $6.00 per person.

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I'm a guest on Linda's blog. Please stop by and visit!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Children's Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, located in Brooklyn, New York, has been helping children learn all about growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs since 1914.  Kids ages 2-7 can plant their own crops in late spring and then come back to harvest them in the fall.

The Discovery Garden allows kids to touch and smell plants and experience different habitats;  woodland, meadow, farm, and wetland.  Kids can also dig up worms at the Nature Center. And what kids doesn't like digging up worms?

The gardens are open year round.  Admission for adults is $10.00.  Children under 12 are free.                                                           

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Thank You and How to Clean Garden Fountains

A reader asked me recently how to clean garden fountains.  I thought I'd share the answer with everyone, in case there are others out there who are interested in knowing.

Fountains are beautiful additions to your garden, but if you don't clean them regularly, you'll notice algae growth and stinky, murky water.  Here's how to prevent problems.

1.  Skim debris out daily.  This is the best way to prevent problems.

2.  Do a full cleaning once a week (some people do this once a season, but I find it is better to do it once a week).  If your fountain came with instructions, read that first.

3.  Turn off the fountain pump and remove it.

4.  Drain the water.  A lot of fountains have drain plugs.  If yours has one, use it.  It makes the job easier.

5.  Remove any leftover debris.

6.  Wipe the fountain thoroughly with a rag.  If necessary, use a soft bristled tooth brush to remove algae. White vinegar can be used for stubborn stains, but test in a small area to make sure it won't hurt your fountain.

7.  Rinse the fountain with a hose.

8.  Clean the pump by removing the cover and picking out any debris that might be inside.

9.  Wipe the inside and outside of the pump and replace the cover.

10.  Re-fill your fountain with clean, fresh water.  There are special cleaning enzymes you can add to help keep the water clean.  You can get these at fountain supply stores.


I would like to thank everyone who helped make my book launch successful last week. Thank you for all the shares, comments, participation in the blog fest, and sales. I really appreciate it!

Here's trailer for Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China if you'd like to take a look:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How to Dry Herbs and Where in the World Blog Fest

Did you plant fresh herbs in your garden this year?  I did.  I love using them when I cook.  You can keep enjoying your herbs in the winter if you take the time to dry them and store them.  Here's how to do it.

First of all, different herbs require different drying methods.  This is due to the varying moisture levels in the leaves.  Sage, thyme, savory, dill, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram require air-drying.  Basil, tarragon, lemon balm, and mints require an oven or dehydrator.  Chives work best frozen.  Whatever you do, don't use a microwave.  The results just aren't good.

To air dry, follow these steps:

1.  Cut your herbs when they are dry.  Shake to remove insects, and remove damaged leaves.

2.  Rinse the herbs with cold water and dry with a paper towel (or regular towel).

3.  Remove the lower leaves from the stems.

4.  Tie 5 or 6 stems together in a small bunch.

5.  Put branches upside down in a paper bag and gather the bag around the stems.  Poke some holes in the bag for ventilation.

6.  Write the name of the herb and the date you started drying on the bag.

7.  In about 2 - 3 weeks, your herbs will be dry.

8.  Separate the leaves from the stem and store them in a glass or plastic container (make sure you mark what it is on the container).  Ziploc bags can also work for storage.

To oven dry:

1.  Follow the first three steps from the air drying directions.

2.  Turn your oven to "warm"  (140-200 F) for 20 minutes.

3.  Turn oven off and pop in the herbs.

4.  Leave undisturbed overnight.

5.  You may need to repeat the process one more time.

6.  Follow step 8 from the air drying directions.


And now an announcement:  
Today is the big day! The release of my new book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China! It has taken ten long years to finally see it in print. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're having a party. A Where in the World Blog Fest.    

Participants will answer the following question: If you could go through the Earth and end up in another country, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand. I've heard it's amazingly beautiful. Since I enjoy hiking and nature, I'm sure I would have a great time there. If I could, I'd get on a boat and take a little side trip to Australia. I would like to see a concert at the Sydney Opera House, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and hold a koala bear. All those things are on my bucket list. My plan is to visit both of those places for my fiftieth birthday. What about you? Where would you like to go?

Page Count: 93 
Digital Price: 3.99 
Print Price: 7.95


BLURB: Squirt doesn’t believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi’an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can’t go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don’t know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant.

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

About the Author: Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Author Links:

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for all of their support through the years. All of the wonderful comments, all the visits to other blogs where I've been a guest, and sharing news about my book releases on social media. You are all amazing! I feel so fortunate to be part of such a caring and supportive community! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

George Washington's River Farm

George Washington's River Farm and Gardens are located in Alexandria,Virginia.  The property covers nearly 25 acres and overlooks the Potomac River.  The farm was owned by George Washington from 1760 until his death in 1799.  It now serves as the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society.

Children can enjoy this historic site, as well.  There are a dozen small gardens made just for kids.  These include a Fairy Tale garden, Hummingbird Garden, Butterfly Garden, Scratch and Sniff Garden, Maze Garden, and Bat Cave.
The Wildlife Garden is a big favorite for kids.  They can hang out at the pond and spot little creatures like turtles, goldfish, and frogs.

The gardens are open Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I am a guest on the DMS blog. If you'd like to read the interview, please click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Huntington Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Botanical Gardens, located in San Marino, California, were founded in 1919 by prominent businessman, Henry Huntington.  They are part of the Huntington Library and Art Collections.  The gardens cover over two hundred acres, and contain 14,000 different varieties of plants. There are more than a dozen
different gardens on the property.

One of the many gardens, is a children's garden in which kids can get a hands on experience with things related to earth, fire, air, and water.  It's not just about plants - it's about science.  Kids can crawl through a tunnel to view a prism of light.  They can feel the effect of sound waves through moving water in a sonic pool. They can experience what clouds feel like in the Fog Grotto.

Other features in the children's garden, include a topiary volcano, magnetic sand, pebble chimes, a fragrance garden where kids can smell citrus, rosemary, and lavender scents, and water bells.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Children's Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

The Children's Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, is two acres of fun for kids.  It's a collection of ten different gardens.  Some of the highlights are the Dinosaur Garden, where kids can dig up fossil replicas, a vegetable garden with an odd assortment of produce like purple tomatoes and polka dotted watermelons, and a Sunflower Garden, where in the summer months, kids can be watered by flowers in the sunflower fountain.

The garden is open from April through October, Tuesday-Sunday from 9-7.  Admission is $18.95 for children, and $21.95 for adults.

Before I go, I would like to thank everyone who signed up for the "Where in the World" blog hop. I really appreciate it! If you missed the information, you can go here

Also, I will be doing a book tour through Mason Canyon Book Tours. She's another blogger. It'll be during the month of October. If you are interested in having me as a guest on your blog to promote Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China, please sign up here. It can be a review, an interview, a guest post, or a book feature. You choose. Thanks in advance to anyone who signs up!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Highfield Discovery Garden at Glenwood Gardens

The Highfield Discovery Garden at Glenwood Gardens Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of my kids' favorite places to visit in the summer. It features a 25-foot tall Discovery tree, which kids can climb and discover all kinds of hidden animals and treasures.  My personal favorite is Grandma's Scent garden which contains many fragrant plants and herbs.  There's also a Wizard's Garden, a Vegetable Garden, a Trolly Garden (sure to be a hit for train lovers), a frog pond (my son's favorite), and a Fairy Garden (my daughter's favorite).   The garden is open from May 1 to August 31.  Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children. 

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I will be doing a blog hop to help promote the release of my newest book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. If you'd like to participate, the information is as follows:

When:  September 4-7, 2018

Where:  Your blog

Prompt:  If you could go through the Earth and end up in another country, where would you go?

Info:  All posts will have cover art, blurb, and buy links for Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China which I will email during the last week of August.

The sign up is below. Thanks to everyone who participates!
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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Stowe Landscape Gardens

Stowe Landscape Gardens, located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, is a spectacular place to visit.  It covers 750 acres, and includes 40  historic monuments and temples, as well as beautiful lakes and an endless variety of walks and trails.

It was created in the year 1710 by Charles Bridgeman, and has been a source of inspiration for poets and writers through the ages.

The gardens are open year round.  In March to early November, the hours are Wednesday - Sunday from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM.  From mid November to the end of February, the hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is 5.90 British pounds for adults and 3.00 British pounds for children.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stagshaw Garden

Stagshaw Garden, located in Ambleside, Cumbria, England, is a lovely eight acre woodland garden on a steep hillside that overlooks Lake Windemere.  It is known for its collection of flowering shrubs, including rhodedendrons and azaleas.  There are also a few small waterfalls.  It's a nice place to visit and hike the winding trails.

The garden is open daily, April to June from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM.  From July to October, it is open by appointment only.  Admission is 2.50 British pounds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

RHS Wisley Garden

The Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Garden is a 240 acre garden located in Woking, Surrey, England.  It's the place where gardeners go to get inspired.  It includes model gardens for different kinds of homes, rose gardens, a glass house with tropical plants, and a demonstration garden full of design ideas and cultivation techniques.


The garden is open year-round, Monday -Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  Admission for adults is 11.85 British pounds, and 5.10 British pounds for children.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Palaise Het Loo

 Palais Het Loo is a Dutch baroque garden in the Netherlands which was made in 1684 by William and Mary, the same people who later became king and queen of England.

Palais Het Loo has been called the "Versaille of Holland" because of the layout, fountains, and statues.  As is typical of Baroque gardens, they follow perfect symmetry.  Within the gardens are four individual gardens:  a King's garden which has a bowling green, a Lower garden with beautiful statues, a Queen's garden, which was the private garden of Queen Mary, and an Upper garden.

If you visit the gardens in warmer months, you'll see orange trees planted in square white tubs.  These are placed in the garden as an emblem of the Prince of Orange.  They are returned to the orangery in the colder months.

The garden is open year round Tuesday through Sunday from 10 -5.  Admission is 12.50 euros for adults and 4.00 euros for children.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Devonian Botanical Garden

 The Devonian Botanical Gardens are located in Edmonton, Canada.  They were started in 1959, and contain over 190 acres of manicured gardens, woodlands, and hiking trails.


There are eleven featured gardens, including a butterfly house, a cactus house, an ornamental flower garden, a native Indian garden, an alpine garden, and my personal favorite, the Kurimoto Japanese Garden.  The Japanese garden is five acres of ponds, waterfalls, grassy hills, and numerous Japanese sculptures.     

 The gardens are open every day except Thursday, from 10 AM -6 PM.  Admission is free, unless you want a private guided tour.  Admission for that is 13 Canadian dollars.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Shalimar Gardens in Srinagar

The Shalimar Gardens of Srinagar are located near Dal Lake, India.
These gardens were laid out in 1616 by Emperor Jahangir, while he was founding the city of Srinagar. They were a gift for his wife, Nur Jahan.

They cover nearly twenty acres, and feature fountains, shaded trees, and gorgeous flowers that are in bloom during the spring and fall months.
If you happen to visit the gardens any time from May to October, be sure to stick around for the sound and light show that's put on every evening.  It's simply spectacular!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens, located near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on Vancouver Island, contains 55 acres of simply gorgeous floral gardens.

In 1907, garden designer, Isaburo Kishida, came to Victoria to build a tea garden for Esquimalt Gorge Park.  A prominent citizen of the area, Jennie Butchart, saw the garden and commissioned Kishida to create Japanese gardens for her estate.  In 1909, the suken garden was created, followed by a rose garden and Italian garden.  

Ownership of the gardens remains within the Butchart family, but they are open to the public. The gardens are open every day from 9AM to 4 PM, except for Christmas, where the gardens open at 1:00 PM.  Admission prices range from $3.00 for children, to $29.00 for adults, depending on the season you visit.

Before I go, I'd like to let you all know that I'm doing a giveaway of my upcoming book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. The publisher has three extra review copies, and we thought it would be fun to give you a chance to win one. This is open to US residents only. If you are interested, please say so in the comments below. The winners will be selected on Monday, June 18th. If you are selected, I will contact you for your email address, which I will give to the publisher. The book will come directly from the publisher. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Villa Lante Garden

 Villa Lante Garden, located in Bagnaia, Italy, is a formal Italian garden that covers about fifty acres.  It was designed for Cardinal Gambara in 1568 who lived there in the Villa.  It's a tribute to the lavish lifestyle for those high ranking officials in the Catholic Church at that time. 

Water from nearby Monte Cimino flows down to the fountains of the villa.  From there, it flows down a series of terraces until it reaches the central pool of the regal garden.  It's really a sight to see!

 As you wander through the garden, you will sees statues, grottos, box hedges, and of course, a lot of fountains.
 The garden is open everyday except Monday.  Hours are 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM in the winter, and 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM in the summer.  Admission is 2 euros.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Boboli Gardens

The Boboli gardens are formal 16th century gardens located in Florence, Italy.  They are built on the slopes of Boboli Hill, behind the Pitti Palace, home of the famous Medici family in 1550.

The gardens feature a lot of statues, fountains, and even an amphitheater.  Visitors can walk along white pebbled paths, admiring the cypress trees and statues.  The gardens provide a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy city of Florence.
The Boboli Gardens are open daily from 9 AM until one hour before sunset.  Admission is 3 euros.