A Gardener’s Ever-present Helper
By LMG Calla Victoria
Plant material with botanical signage
When you are planning a garden or revamping an existing garden, your first step should be a trip to the botanical garden in your area. Botanical gardens are amazing places full of lush plant materials, water features, and amazing art; but most importantly they are filled with plants that thrive in your particular climate.
“A botanical garden or botanic garden is a garden dedicated to the collection, cultivation, and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names.”-Wikipedia
Did you know...
There are botanic gardens and arboreta in 148 countries worldwide and they maintain more than 5 million living plant collections. Use the BGCI Garden Search database for detailed information on more than 3,000 botanical gardens around the world. There are 891 botanical gardens in the continental
The Rose Garden at the New Orleans Botanical Garden
Make it a point to visit a botanical garden in your town and take note of the plant materials there, as well as their placement in the garden. You should pay attention to which plants are in full sun and the ones in the shade. Also list the botanical as well as the common names for each plant that interests you. If you are lucky you may run into the resident horticulturist, and then you can quiz him or her on your specific concerns. Most botanical gardens have conservatories where you can get to experience amazing tropical plants that may not be able to live in your climate. Conservatories are enclosed as well as covered edifices that are climate and irrigation controlled, therefore plants from around the world are there for your enjoyment.
Inside the Conservatory of the Two Sisters at the New Orleans Botanical Garden
Whenever I am commissioned to design a garden in another city, one of my first stops is a visit to the local botanical garden for suggestions as to what plants thrive in that locale. I shall be visiting Las Vegas as soon as the weather is bearable to design a garden there, and look forward to finding out what works there in such an arid climate.
Water feature and statuary at the New Orleans Botanical Garden
Botanical gardens provide great tools for gardeners so use them. As a Master Gardener, our monthly meetings are held in the Botanical Garden so I can always check out what is new and what is changing. Make the botanical garden in your neck of the woods a familiar stumping ground.
Remember, never get too busy to stop and enjoy the beautiful flowers!