Thursday, August 2nd, 2007...5:21 am

Looking for a Beautiful Garden Tour?


One of the things TheGardenLady enjoys is visiting places with plants or plant related material. These include gardens, parks, arboretums, nurseries, farms, flower shows, farmers markets, etc.  These places can be private or public. If TheGardenLady is in the vicinity and the places are open to the public, TheGarden Lady will try to visit. There are so many different types of gardens and each is a work of art. The artist Monet knew this when he created his garden in Giverny, France.   
So how does one find good places to visit? There are numerous ways.
If you are looking for a botanic garden or arboretum, Wikipedia has a list.
TheGardenLady likes to visit private gardens as well. How does TheGardenLady get into private gardens? Some garden associations have Visit Private Garden Days where you buy a ticket that is really a donation to the association and they give you a list of  a number of gardens that you can visit. Recently the Swarthmore, PA Horticultural Society had such a day, taking people by bus to visit gardens in Princeton and environs. So check out your local Horticultural Society or garden club.
Have you ever heard of the Garden Conservancy?   “The Garden Conservancy is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to preserve exceptional American gardens for public education and enjoyment.” They have open days programs where one can visit private gardens. These days are listed on the website. They also sell books called Open Day Directory -The Guide to visiting America’s Best Private Gardens. This year they seem to have a National book and a book for visiting gardens of the East and of the West. They list places where this book can be bought. I bought my books at the Phila. Flower Show and the NJ Flower Show. They are great presents. With the cost of the book they had given a free admission offer and they also tell you what the costs of each garden is to be on the day it is open. The money helps save wonderful gardens.
In the last 5 years, TheGardenLady has visited about 50 gardens a year. In the US I have visited gardens from Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, CA on the west coast to Leaming’s Run Gardens in Cape May County, NJ on the east coast. From the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois in the north to the Disney World Gardens in Orlando in Florida in the south.  Throughout a lifetime I have visited gardens and seen flowers in much of Europe and the Middle East. Yet it is never enough – I wish I could visit more. 
I am not a photographer in that my eyes are on the plant not the camera. But I hope to share a few of my photos of some of those gardens that I have visited both in the US and abroad with my readers.
But more importantly, I wish my readers would share photos of their favorite gardens with TheGardenLady site. These can be photos of your personal gardens, special plants, indoor gardens, deck or patio gardens, container gardens, window sill gardens or you can send your photos of your friends’ gardens or your favorite public grounds or gardens. The photos can be vegetables or trees that you love, they don’t all have to be flowers. The photos can be from botanical gardens, arboretums, parks, wildflowers, islands of plants on streets, etc.  Send your garden photos to TheGardenLady site to share with all the readers. You only have to write your first name and the town or city and state when you send the photo. Don’t write anything personal. TheGardenLady loves to admire. And I feel certain that TheGardenLady readers would love to admire your photos.  If you live in Canada, Mexico or anywhere abroad, TheGardenLady would also appreciate your sending photos with your first name and the location of the garden. TheGardenLady will be showing some of her Italian Garden photos on the site. Brief comments are always appreciated. So let us know why you found a place special. And let the world know if the garden is open to the public. So maybe we, too, can visit a favorite garden of yours.
(TheGardenLady reserves the right to choose those photos that will appear.)

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