Sunday, October 8, 2017

Botanica. the Botanical Gardens, Part 1

Today I'm taking you to Botanica, our Botanical Gardens.

This is the entrance before you go inside to pay for your ticket.

I've always loved this cast bronze statue.   There are quite a few at Botanica, but I only saw a few this time, because, contrary to what is happening in the rest of the country, it was hot, hot, hot here last Thursday when I visited, and the sun and heat quickly took their toll on me.  

I arrived about 10:30 a.m. and it (and I) was already quite warm.

You can see the parking lot in the background has already filled with visitors.

It was time to enter the building.  The gate on the left blocks the way to the gardens until after you pay.

Once inside, you are greeted with this carousel horse project.  More on that, later.

I wound my way past the gift shop (in the background) and headed to the lily pond and its fountain that stirred up ripples in the water.

Looks like there are a few late bloomers.

This walkway, which would eventually lead to the fountain seen in the background,

created interesting shadows against the autumn flowers and plants.

As much as I tried to avoid them, it was difficult to keep people out of my photos.

I turned into the Shakespeare Garden to get away from the bulk of the crowds.  If you like symmetry as much as I, you will be quite impressed with this formal garden.  In the middle was a fountain with four benches.  Four trees flanked the benches.

In each corner was a statue that represented one of the four seasons.  The flowers in front of this one looked sad.

Another statue, at least these flowers still had color.

I was facing into the sun when I took this photo of the different tiers of this garden.

There were steps leading to the fountain on all four sides.

From this vantage point, you could not only see the fountain, you could see the rusty plaques in the background.  Although the Shakespeare Garden had been at Botanica for years, those rusty pieces were a relatively new feature.

I admit this is not a good photo of this statue, but I noticed the plants in front of it were on their last legs.

This statue and the plants and shrubs surrounding it fared a bit better.

Here is a bronze of the Bard himself.  It is centered at the very back of the garden.

I'm not sure these should be called "plaques" so I looked at the Shakespeare Garden online and saw Botanica called them "ornamental panels."

This is known as the Arton Sundial.

It sits between the formal garden and the ornamental panels.  To see glimpses at the other gardens at Botanica, many of which I didn't visit due to the heat, please visit here.

You can see these ornamental panels show lovely flowers and attribute the sayings to various Shakespeare plays.  This one is from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene VII. 

This one with a lovely rendition of rosemary, is also from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene V.

Everything really depended on the lighting as you move around these panels.

If only I had been more interested in Shakespeare, I might have enjoyed these panels for something more than their rusty appeal.  There were many more I didn't photograph individually.  I suspect if I hadn't tried to rush through the gardens, I would have enjoyed it more.

What is it about we Brits (yes, I am half British) that we love our roses so much?  These appealed to me,

even though I wasn't especially fond of the pairings.

When I looked at the above photo, the background was most distracting and took away from the beauty of the roses.

As I moved away from the roses, I saw the autumn inspired plants and flowers.

Personally, I thought these were garish!

I'm not sure who was in charge of this design, but I didn't care for it. The light lavender flowers in the background clashed (in my opinion) with the yellow, orange, and maroon mums.

I could not believe that only ONE area was planted with mums in the garden around the Memorial Fountain.  I wonder whose idea that was?  There was absolutely no coordination of colors or plantings in the spokes around the fountain at all.

As I walked a bit further, I noticed a bush I thought I recognized.

I believe this is a Rose of Sharon, but it doesn't look like mine, which is spindly, not bushy.

More plants and flowers lined the four spokes around the Memorial Fountain that is, in itself supposed to be shaped like a flower. 

The plantings are changed with the seasons.

Part of the Memorial Fountain can be seen on the right in the photo above.  The heat from the surrounding concrete radiated back on the people who were looking at the plants and flowers.

Suddenly I was mesmerized by the beautiful butterflies

I saw and knew I was close to the Butterfly House.

But first, I had to take a few photos of these berries that reminded me of some my friend Helen photographs when she visits Kew Gardens in (near) London.

Although the Butterfly House was now within viewing distance,

I had to stop once again and take photos

of more beautiful roses and peonies.

Instead of showing the rest of the photos, I'll share the rest tomorrow.  I don't want to overload you with too many photos today.  Thanks for joining me as I visited Botanica, Wichita's Botanical Gardens.  I only saw about a third of this place, but it still gives you an idea of what these Gardens look like.  I can't thank you enough for your kind comments and visits.

16 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like a beautiful place to walk around and experience lots of beautiful plants, sorry it was so hot for you. The Shakespeare garden is a great idea, and I love the rusty panels with flowers and quotes, wonderful. I always like seeing how gardens can look when they get properly cared for and tended. The statues are beautiful, too. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your Sunday, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

I love the rusty panels, shame it was too hot for you (and the plants) to enjoy more... "interesting" planting combinations...
thanks for your comment on yesterday's trip to Kew (you have seen all the sculptures before, honest! )

CJ Kennedy said...

What a gorgeous and peaceful spot. It's all so beautiful Especially loved the rainbow you made when you took the photo into the sun. I also loved the sundial. And now I think my Zensical garden needs one.

Dortesjs said...

great place,here you can get much inspiration ;O)

Meggymay said...

The photos look beautiful, this looks an amazing destination especially for plant lovers, shame it was so hot. The sculptures and rusty panels with the quotes were wonderful.
The gardens looked so well cared for.
Yvonne xx

Gaby Bee said...

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pictures with us, Elizabeth. I too like the rusty panels with flowers and quotes. It looks like a fascinating destination. What a pity that it was too hot for you. Nevertheless enjoy the last days of sommer. Here where I live it's cold and rainy :(

Have a lovely Sunday!

My name is Erika. said...

Wow. I can tell it's been warm because the gardens are still gorgeous. Looks like summer still. No yellowed leaves and there are still beautiful flowers. It too bad it was so warm because it seems like such a beautiful place to walk around. And a quiet place. Which I appreciate. Thanks for taking us along today and I can't wait to see more tomorrow. Hugs-Erika

froebelsternchen Susi said...

It really looks still like summer there - shame it was sooo hot. You took great photos Elizabeth - a beautiful and peaceful place - love this Shakespeare garden - just amazing.
Even though you were a bit critical - I have to say that what I can see here it is a very well-groomed garden and park and I say thank you for taking me with you! Looking forward to see more tomorrow!

Corrine at said...

Lovely place, looks like it's been there a long time, lots of hardscape to walk on though, some times it's nice to have softer paths through the gardens. I like the gardens around the butterfly house best, the softness of the swaying grasses, and the roses do sort of get lost with that huge planting behind it. I agree, garish mums don't make for pretty fall plantings....xox

Divers and Sundry said...

Oh, my! Gorgeous gardens. I love public gardens, and it's interesting to see common elements with ones near me along with striking differences. Beautiful photos.

nanskidrewski said...

Beautiful gardens. I appreciate symmetry too. Beautiful flowers, greenery, sculptures and shadows.

Birgit said...

I love seeing these photos and the one with the sun in front, shows a rainbow which I think is cool and the other that you say, is not very good seems to show a man running from you...all with shadows which is pretty cool. I wish I could outline the man beca7se I swear I did not take any fun drugs when looking at this photo.

Rita said...

What a beautiful peaceful place to stroll! We have freeze warnings up here last night and tonight. Supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight, so these were especially nice to see. :)

Jeanie said...

More gardens -- this is fabulous! I really love the statuary, especially the mother and child but actually all you shared. And I loved the Shakespeare panels too. Sounds like a warm day to be wandering but certainly a lovely one!

Nancy said...

The play of light and shadow in so many of your photos is truly lovely! This is a special place. And I forgot to mention in my comment on your second post about the visit how much I love the kaleidoscopes, and the arbor arch that leads to the Sensory Garden. I'm following the links to that one as soon as I post here.

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a beautiful place to visit - I had to continue to Part 2 but have decided to comment here for both!
I love the statues around as much as the flowers and plants! Sorry you got so hot! Chrisxxx