Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In the "City of Roses"

There is no sweeter place to be during the summer months than in the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. You feel as though you've been plunged into Wonderland with over 7000 rose plants in over 500 varieties. The smells will leave you floating through the 4.5 acres of terraces with row upon row of multicolored roses.  Many people lay down blankets for a picnic or enjoy a conversation on one of the benches scattered throughout the garden. The roses bloom from April until October with the peak month in June. If you need another excuse to visit the Rose Garden, it is located in Washington Park (also home to the exceptional Japanese Garden) and has spectacular views of Mt. Hood in the distance.

If you're looking for sensory overload, this is the garden for you. The Rose Garden is open year round from 7:30AM - 9PM and is FREE to the public. They don't call Portland the "City of Roses" for nothing.

"Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses."
- Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

Get outside and smell the roses.
the Bayou Botanist

Friday, May 27, 2016

Shangri La in Texas

There are BIG BUGS in Texas. The biggest and baddest of all can be found at the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center  in the small town of Orange, Texas (2 hours outside of Houston). The whimsical Bigs Bugs exhibit is the brainchild of the artist  David Rogers. The bugs will be creeping away this Monday so make sure to catch them on their last march on Saturday, May 28 for the Creepy Crawly Carnival from 9AM-5PM, or Sunday, May 29 from noon-5PM.

A little history about the impressive Shangri La: Inspired by the novel Lost Horizon, Texas philanthropist HJ Lutcher Stark began construction of Shangri La Botanical Gardens in 1937 to create "his own haven of indescribable beauty where time would stand still". The Gardens opened publicly in 1946 but closed a decade later due to a natural disaster; the gardens remained closed for over 50 years. The Stark Foundation restored Shangri La in 2008 and permanently reopened the Gardens in 2009 winning recognition and distinctions such as being one of only 50 Platinum LEED projects in the world.

Normal hours: Tues- Saturday 9-5PM

I hope you're able to visit this little oasis in Texas sometime soon. Check their calendar for upcoming events.

Keep Exploring,
The Bayou Botanist

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