This past year has been all about visiting places during spring time or visiting places where spring is eternally sprung, and one of my last trips of the year was no exception. I visited San Francisco this November to get a taste of some cooler, less humid weather and I was astounded by all the plant babies and nature the west coat had to offer.
The last several weeks have been extremely busy and I haven’t paid as much attention to the blog as I should. Since November I’ve been to Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver. Chicago was a quick getaway trip that was cold, gray, rainy, and full of fall colors.
Every once in a while it’s nice to take a relaxing day trip and Atlanta to Chicago is perfect for a quick adventure. I took the train from O’Hare into the city and walked around Millennium Park and the water front trail in Grant Park. From there I doubled back towards the Art Institute of Chicago where I discovered Lurie Garden. It was late October, so there weren’t many flowers in bloom, but the garden was still a wonder to see. The back drop of Lurie Garden is downtown Chicago and in fall you get a particularly nice view of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion. The garden beds were full of long grasses, browning northern sea oats and clusters of fluffy white flat top asters, bright purple tatarican asters, and orchid-like toad lilies. I spent a good half hour walking around the pavilion scoping out all these mid-western beauties, and I hope to go back in every season here after!
Up, up and away on a cloudy gray day
There were more colorful fall leaves on the ground than there were on the trees when I arrived in the blustery Windy City.
One of my favorite places to visit in Millennium Park is the Bean because I like to see the city and its reflection.
View of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion from Lurie Park
Lurie Park and the city back drop
This cluster of asters was a happy pop of color on a gray, rainy day.
Do you have questions about my visit to Chicago? Are you looking to plan a trip? Or do you just have questions about your indoor and outdoor plant babies? If you’d like to know more about my travels or if you have questions about your plant colony, leave a comment below or feel free to contact The Garden Generalist. I would love to hear from you!
For the last year I’ve been chasing spring from the east coast to the midwest to the west coast and on to New Zealand with some whiffs of summer in between. With the weather cooling off in this side of the world I decided to turn to the season opening before me: autumn. Early this October I decided to get a taste of fall in Denver, Colorado.
We left Hunua Homestead before sunrise to board a plane flying to Christchurch. The flight was barely 2 hours and I was stuck to the window nearly the entire time looking down at coastlines and the Tekoa mountain range. From the air the South Island was one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. I watched as mountains transitioned to flat farm land with tall trees delineating where one field ends and another begins and where rivulets of pale blue river water meandered through the fields and slithered to the ocean. Once we were on the ground, the South Island did not disappoint.
Over the last 2 years I’ve traveled across the US and have visited 8 countries. When I visited Iceland a year ago I thought nothing would compare to its alien landscapes, but now having been to New Zealand I know differently. New Zealand has some of the most beautiful farmland and the strangest plants I’ve seen thus far. I only had a week to explore all that New Zealand has to offer, and I’m afraid that week didn’t do it justice since New Zealand is one of the most biodiverse, beautiful places on the planet. In fact, according to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, “New Zealand is estimated to have more than 80,000 native animals, plants and fungi,” but “only about 30,000 have been described, named and classified.” The animals, plants, and fungi evolved isolated from the rest of the world and their genetic diversity is something to be prized. Since the arrival of humans to the island 1,000 years ago these species have been in decline, so my trip was in hopes to see as much of this diversity as I could before its gone. I started my journey on the North Island a scenic 60 minute drive from one of the North Island’s major port cities Auckland.
My trip to New Zealand was filled with spectacular nature and more gardens than I’ve ever been to on any of my adventures. I began my journey at 3:45 am Atlanta time on a flight to Los Angeles where I spent the rest of the day. Part of my wanderings that day included the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens where there are 12 gardens and, according to the website, there are 15,000 plant varieties across these gardens. Here are some of my favorite moments:
The final stop along my plant baby filled, tropical adventure was the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Originally, I intended to visit this museum to see its collection of international contemporary and modern art which included an exhibition of Doris Salcedo‘s sculptures and installations. (I was particularly impressed with its dedication to showing Hispanic and Latinx artists who aren’t Diego Rivera or Frida Kahlo). I was blissfully unaware of the hanging gardens that adorn the outer edges of the building and was pleasantly surprised to discover them as I ascended the stairs from the car park to the museum’s terrace.
Miami had no shortage to beautiful palms, beachy grasses, and colorful crotons, but Miami’s curated palms couldn’t quite compare to the natural beauty of the keys. That is until I visited Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Thanks so much for your patience this last month as I’ve taken a break from the blog! The break has been full of travel, plant baby experiments, spider mites, and updates that I can’t wait to share over the coming weeks. First, I’d like to share my travels!
This past Independence Day holiday, I took to the skies and roads to visit Key West and Miami where I was enamored with Florida’s diverse natural beauty. As I explored Key West and Miami, I found that everywhere there was rich plant diversity and it felt like walking through a tropical botanic garden no matter where I went. There were some amazing plant baby finds on this trip including thriving desert roses in Key West, bizarre cannon ball trees, blue ferns, and (my favorite) hanging gardens at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. Because I want to tell you all the things, I’ve split this trip into a 3 part series!