There are all sorts of reasons people visit gardens, from learning more about the plants themselves, to getting ideas for home gardens, to simply being in a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing space that allows them to recharge while communing with Nature.
Botanic gardens are indoor/outdoor museums, and I love visiting them–for all of the reasons above. I like to explore wide and far, taking advantage of the brief respite these beautiful gardens can provide while seeing and learning something new. But in the winter, it becomes a bit more challenging to visit gardens–it is cold and many plants are in their dormant phases. There is great beauty in a winter garden, but there is also great joy in being able to leave the cold behind and enter a warm conservatory full of tropical plants. That is one of the great attractions of a botanic garden in the winter.
During a recent trip to New York City (just after a major snowfall), we made a point of stopping by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It looked like a white wonderland…
The conservatory beckoned, with its various houses and pavilions. We entered shortly before the gardens closed for the day, but were able to appreciate some very welcome sights: a Cape Aloe flower and a Cardinal’s Guard flower (above), as well as the lovely leaf of a Garden Croton (below). For a moment, we forgot all about the storm outside.