Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Walk In The Park

In the dead of winter, we were gifted with 3 days in a row of temperatures in the 30s - 40s.

A great day to get out and go for a walk in the park!

A tiny conifer in the snow

There are many volunteer conifers growing in the park.

The gnarled branches of an oak stretch upward toward the blue sky.

A child's broken sled, abandoned in the park

There are many trees in the park.

? Deer damage

There's an oak savannah and a prairie area in the park. Here is the site of a controlled burn on the prairie.

The snow has started to melt and some of the grass is still green.

I really enjoyed my walk. There is such beauty in EVERY season; still, though, I look forward to the beauty of the NEXT, WARMER season!

Until then, I'll be here at home, perhaps in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate.

Warm Regards,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Opportunities at the Botanical Center, Plus Succulents and Cacti

The Des Moines Botanical and Environmental Center was established in 1979. It is a large dome serving as a flower connservatory which provides botanical displays and educational programming for its visitors.

Learn on Saturdays classes are presented in January and February. Other opportunities include gallery art shows, a lending library, Botanical Blues (musical programs in the dome), plant sales, Valentine's Dinner, Toddler story time, Spring Break fun for children, egg cookoff, Easter Bunny visit, etc. There have been many weddings there as well - including my sister's. For further information, click here.

I want to show you some plants I've not shown before in the Botanical Center - namely, the desert plants and bonsai.

Most plants in the dome are tropical plants. Then, there are the show beds where the displays are changed periodically.

There is an area with sand/pea gravel that has cactus, succulents, etc. planted there.  Here are a few photos I have to share.

As I entered the dome, I spotted a small bird on this plant. Birds? In the BC? Well, not by design...they get in on their own, and there is plenty of food and no predators...sounds like a good life...unfortunately I was unable to get his picture. I'm thinking he may have been a finch. Previously I've seen two catbirds in the dome.

This is a close-up of the plant material the little bird was enjoying before I disturbed him and he flew away.

I believe the plants in the foreground are aloes. The one behind and to the left - could it be a yucca, or is it also an aloe?

Sansevieria, also known as snake plant and mother-in-law's tongue, appears to be thriving here.

Cacti and yucca

Crown of thorns

Wider view

San Jose Juniper


Another fig

A few more from the bonsai collection

I spotted another banana tree with a cluster of baby bananas - I believe there are at least two, and maybe three of these fruiting in the dome right now.

Close-up of the bananas

I just love photographing at the Botanical Center! It is truly an amazing and beautiful place. It's an oasis of tropical warmth and I'll tell you, on a cold winter day I could go plant myself on a bench with a good book and just relax...

This post is kitty-approved.






 I'm linking with Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time - thanks, Tootsie, for sponsoring!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Color Comes Alive at the Botanical Center

The theme at the Des Moines Botanical Center this year is "Colors Alive."  In the dome, the show beds (the beds that change periodically) are designs inspired by popular songs with words about color in their titles.
Blue Suede Shoes theme

In the show bed - several blue flowers

Love this primrose

Back to the Botanical Center lobby: Orchids for Sale!

The orchid wall in the dome

Another pretty orchid

This photo shows architectural plants in the dome.

Koi in the pond

Blue Skyflower - you've seen this one on my blog in the past - it's one of my favorites.

Now we're in the Gardeners' Show House. I was taken by the color of these leaves; it kind of reminds me of a Tricolor Beech.


A friendly reminder to be green and recycle

Kermit and a friend in the green show house booth


White is pure and beautiful and the color of moon gardens! Which I plan to develop this spring!


I really love this colorful booth.


Next, BLUE

Elvis Presley, and more... suede shoes

Next, PINK

Pink Cadillac

Deep Purple - what a lovely spot for a glass of wine or cup of tea

Back to the dome - love the garden art. There's lots of it throughout.

Look at the tall palms in the dome.

Today's favorite photo: look closely and you'll see a tiny bunch of bananas.

I'll be back at the Des Moines Botanical and Environmental Center soon. My husband and I have been attending their Learn On Saturdays series. It's always fun, and another opportunity to feel like we're in the tropics and get some excellent photos. My next Botanical Center posts will feature some cactus/succulent and bonsai from the collection.

Warm regards,


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