Monday, April 30, 2018

Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden is located in Austin, Texas.  It covers 30 acres on the south bank of the Colorado River near downtown Austin.  For this reason, it is often called, "the jewel in the heart of Austin." There are many lovely gardens here, including a rose garden, herb garden, Japanese garden, Pioneer garden, and children's garden.  Visitors will enjoy roaming around, seeing streams, waterfalls, and koi-filled ponds.

The gardens are open daily from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  Cost of admission is $2.00 per adult and $1.00 per child.

I hope you have all enjoyed  the gardens of the A-Z challenge! 

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I am a guest on Kitty Cat at the Library Blog. I'm talking about my upcoming book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. Please stop by to learn about the book and my writing process. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Yuan Ming Yuan

 Yuan Ming Yuan, translated, "Garden of Gardens," is located in Dunhuang, China.  It was built in 1707 by the Kangxi emperor, and at one time was considered China's largest and most luxurious imperial garden.  


  Today most of it lies in ruins.  Much of it was destroyed by French and British troops in the Second Opium War of 1860.  Still, it's an interesting place to visit.  On its 865 acres, visitors will see ruins of ancient imperial buildings, along with hills, lakes, ponds, woods, and flowers.

  Some restorations have begun on the garden.  Wanhua (10,000 Flower Maze), a maze of winding paths between low walls, was recently reconstructed in the Changchun Yuan (Garden of Eternal Spring) section.

The garden is open daily from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.  Admission is 10 yuan.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

 Located in Xishuangbanna, China, the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden covers an area of almost 2,000 acres.  It is China's largest tropical garden.  The full name of the garden is Tropical Plant Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Science.  (Big name for a big garden!)  As you can guess, the garden is used for research, and contains over 10,000 species of tropical plants.

There are thirteen separate gardens within the main garden.  These include a tropical fruit tree section, shade plants, palms, water plants, national plants, and medicinal plants.

The garden is open daily from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wuhan Botanical Garden

 Wuhan Botanical Garden, located in Hubei, China, covers over 150 acres and contains over 4,000 species of flora.  It was formed in 1956 as a place for scientists  to study plants native to China.


There are several gardens on the property.  These include an Aquatic Plant Garden, Rare Endangered Plant Garden, Chinese Gooseberry Garden, Ornamental Garden, Tree Garden, Pine and Cypress Garden, and Bamboo Garden.


 The garden is open daily from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.  Admission is 30 yuan.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Viceroy's Palace Garden

RBhavan Mughal GardenThe 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, gorgeous 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!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

UBC Garden

  UBC Garden, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, is Canada's oldest university botanical garden.  It was founded in 1916.  Today it covers over 100 acres, and contains about 12,000 plants from temperate regions all over the world.

There are several gardens within the garden.  These include the Alpine Garden, Asian Garden, Carolinian Forest, Food Garden, and Native garden.  Visitors will see magnolias, rhododendrons, dogwood, roses, and a plethora of Alpine flora.

  The garden is open daily from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM.  The best times to visit are April and May, or September and October.  Cost of admission is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Tbilisi Botanical Garden

 Tbilisi Botanical Garden is located in Tbilisi, Georgia.  (That's Georgia near Russia - not the United States.)  It covers over 325 acres and contains roughly 3500 different types of plants.


The garden was founded in 1625, and was first known as the "royal gardens."  Today visitors can see flora and fauna from all over the world -China, Japan, Turkey, and North America.  The river Tsaukisistskali runs through the area.  Three large bridges cross over it, and under one is a beautiful waterfall, which is probably the main attraction of the garden.  The garden is also noted for its lovely peonies and iris.


The garden is open daily from dawn to dusk.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Studley Royal Water Garden

Studley Royal Water Garden is located in North Yorkshire, England.  It is listed as a World Heritage Site.  The garden covers 800 acres, and was created in 1718 by John Aislabie.  It is a fine example of a classical Georgian water garden.

The garden was designed around the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey, which was founded in 1132 by Benedictine monks.  Visitors will see waterfalls, lakes, classical statues, and temples.  The most photographed temple is the Temple of Piety (pictured above), which was originally dedicated to Hercules.  Other features include the Rustic Bridge, Hermit's Grotto, and Half Moon Pond.

The garden is open October - March from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and April - September from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is 9 British pounds for adults, and 4.85 British pounds for children.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rikugien Garden

  Rikugien Garden, located in Tokyo, Japan, is considered one of the area's most beautiful gardens.  It was built between 1695-1702 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, and in 1938 was donated to the Tokyo city government.

The word, "Rikugien" means "six poems garden."  It's called this because it reproduces in miniature, 88 scenes from famous poems.  The garden is lovely to walk through.  You'll see the central pond, islands, wooded areas, and teahouses.

The garden is open daily from 9 AM - 5 PM.  Admission is 300 yen.  Note:  There are no parking lots here, so you'll have to walk from the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line.  It's about a 7 -10 minute walk from there.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

  The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is located in Chiangmai, Thailand, within the lush mountains of Doi Pui-Suthap.  The property of the garden covers over seven miles, and features collections of rare and endangered species of native flora.


The garden was opened in 1992.  Today it features 4 exhibitions and 8 glass houses.  These include a rain forest plant collection, cacti collection, and aquatic plant collection.


For those of you who like to hike, there are a large number of trails on the property that lead through the forest.  Most take one to two hours to hike.

  The garden is open daily from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pirianda Garden

  Pirianda Garden is located in Victoria, Australia within the Dandenong Mountain range.  If you go, be sure to wear good hiking shoes, because this place has some steep inclines! 

The twenty-five acre garden was built in 1962 by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Ansell of Ansell industries.  The gardens were open to the public in 1977.  Most of these plants were imported from overseas.  You'll see hydrangeas, Blackwoods, Mountain Ash, rhododendron, azaleas, magnolias, and one very unusual tree, the Chinese Handkerchief tree, which flowers in November.

For those  who like  trivia, the word, Pirianda, is an aboriginal word that means, "sufficient" or "enough."  I'd say it certainly has enough inclines!  If you don't mind them, it's a lovely place to walk -especially in the fall.  The colors are gorgeous!

The garden is open daily from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM June through September.  Hours are 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM the rest of the year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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.

Monday, April 16, 2018

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 collection 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, April 14, 2018

Mount Stewart Gardens

  Mount Stewart gardens, located in County Down, Northern Ireland are part of the Neoclassical Mount Stewart estate.  It was built in 1744 by the Stewart family, holders of the title, Marquess of Londonberry.  Most of the gardens, however can be attributed to Edith, Lady of Londonberry, who designed them in the 1920s.


Some of the many gardens include the Shamrock Garden, Sunken Garden, Spanish Garden, and the Italian Garden.  You'll see plenty of topiaries too, with such unusual shapes as dinosaurs, orangutans, and dodo birds.

 The gardens are open daily from 10 AM -6 PM.  Admission is 7 British pounds for adults and 3.50 British pounds for children.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Liu Yuan Garden

 Liu Yuan Garden, located in Suzhou, China, has been listed as a 4-AAAA national tourist attraction and a World Cultural Heritage site.

 The name, Liu Yuan, means "lingering in the world."  It certainly is a place you'd want to linger in!  The garden was constructed in the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty in the mid 1500s.  It  covers about 6 acres.  There are basically four parts to the garden:  A picturesque central part, known for its streams and rockeries, an eastern part known for its courtyards and buildings, a northern pastoral section, and a western part that features woods and large trees.

The garden is open year-round from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.  Admission varies depending on what season you visit.  High season, March 1 - May 31 and September 1 - November 30, is 20 yuan.  The rest of the time is considered low season.  Cost for admission then is 15 yuan. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Capetown, South Africa, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are considered one of the most beautiful in the world.  The property covers over 1,000 acres.  However, only about 80 acres is actually cultivated. The gardens were founded in 1913 to preserve the county's unique plants.  It's the first botanical garden in the world that was designed for this purpose.  Today the garden contains over 8000 species of plants.

You can spend an entire day roaming through the gardens.  There are plenty of gurgling streams, ponds, trails, and gorgeous plants to look at.  If you want to get an education about the various species of plants, I'd recommend taking the guided Fynbos Walk.  You'll learn all about the indigenous flora of South Africa.  There are many other free garden walks as well.  If you want to go on those, visit the gardens on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.  Also, if you like to hike, there are many trails leading from the garden into the mountains.

If you visit in the summer, be sure to stick around for one of the summer sunset concerts.  They are held every Sunday at 5:30 PM from late November to mid-April.

The gardens are open daily September - March from 8 AM to 7 PM and from 8 AM to 6 PM April through August. Admission is R40 for adults, and R10 for children.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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 year old burial cave located on the grounds that were 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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hidcote Manor Gardens

 Hidcote Manor Garden is located in Gloucestershire, England.  It's a ten-acre garden that surrounds an old English Manor. 


The gardens were constructed in 1905 by American, Lawrence Johnston.  He came to England after his mother purchased the Hidcote estate.  Johnston had a fascination with plants, especially rare trees and shrubs.  He indulged his passion by creating a series of outdoor rooms using box hedges and stone walls.  Each room has a different theme.


As you stroll through the gardens, you'll see roses, dahlias, lilies, topiaries (with whimsical shapes like snails and birds), ponds, and fountains.  Allow yourself a couple of hours to see everything.


  The garden is open from late March to early November.  Hours are 10 -6  every day except Thursday and Friday.  Admission is 10.00 British pounds for adults, and 5.00 British pounds for children.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Golshan Garden

  Golshan Garden is yet another garden located in Iran.  This one is in the city of Shiraz.  It was built in 1863, and contains a former royal mansion, an historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden.

    The garden is full of tropical palm trees and gorgeous roses.  The most notable feature is the rectangular pool with spraying fountains.  Birds seem to like it, too.  Everywhere you go, you see pelicans hanging around.

The garden is open daily from 8 AM to 5:30 PM.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fin Garden

Fin Garden, located in Kashan, Iran, is a fine example of an historical Persian garden.  Foundations for the garden were begun in the late 1600s under the reign of Abbas I of Persia.


The garden covers about 6 acres and contains a lot of water features.  The walled garden is a sharp contrast to the surrounding desert.  Surprisingly, all of the water is supplied by a spring located behind the building.

  While the garden's most notable features are the blue-green tiled canals, visitors will also enjoy the cypress trees, almond, apple, and cherry trees.  Flowers include lilies, roses, jasmine, violets, and tulips. The garden is open daily from 8 AM - 7 PM.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ernest Hemingway Museum Gardens

The Ernest Hemingway Museum Gardens are located in Key West, Florida.  These are the gardens which surround the Spanish colonial home where famous writer, Ernest Hemingway wrote most of his novels.  There are many lush, tropical plants on the grounds.  But the most interesting thing, in my opinion, are the cats.  They are descendants from the fifty cats Hemingway used to have.  Many of them are six-toed poly dactyl cats.  And they are everywhere!

The cost of admission for adults, which includes a guided tour, is $13.00.  The cost for children, is $6.00.  The gardens are open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Devonian Botanical Gardens

 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, April 3, 2018

Camden Children's Garden

The Camden Children's Garden, located in Camden, New Jersey, 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.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is Arizona's largest botanical park.  It covers 323 acres and features desert plants and collections from Australia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and South America.  Visitors will see mountain cliffs, a hidden canyon, and a desert lake.  There are three miles of paths and trails for those who like to hike.  Guided wildflower and bird watching walks are also available.  If you go, look for "Mr. Big" - a massive red gum eucalyptus in the Australian collection which stands over 140 feet tall!

The Park is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Cost of admission is $8.00.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Alameda Garden

Welcome to the A-Z Challenge!  We begin with the Alameda Garden 

The Alameda Garden, in Gibraltar, was founded in 1816 by the governor of Gibraltar as a place of recreation for its residents.  The name "Alameda," is Spanish for "tree lined boulevard."  It covers an area of fifteen acres and displays a collection of plants from Mediterranean climates around the world.

In the early days, the park was used as a graveyard, so if you visit, take the time to read the markers.

The garden is open from 8 AM until dusk.  Admission is free.