Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hot and Humid!

I made a trip recently to Des Moines, Iowa to visit my aunt who was hospitalized for a bad fall. I’m happy to report that at 84 years of age, she remarkably (and thankfully) did not break any bones, is bruised up pretty bad, but is getting stronger every day.

During my visit, I took a break and headed over to the Des Moines Botanical & Environmental Center.  If you ever travel to the Des Moines area, I highly recommend that you visit this wonderful attraction. I especially enjoy the Botanical Center on a cold, wintry day because as soon as you walk into the dome, you breathe in the richness of soil and humidity…….oh, how wonderful that feels this time of year!

I have been to the Botanical Center in the past, but it has been quite a few years, so when I first walked in I couldn’t believe how much everything had grown….especially the palm trees. They were ‘ginormous’!

Anyhoo…. I got some fabulous shots that I wanted to share with you.  I am posting the names of as many plants as I was able to obtain.  Sadly, some were not tagged.  Believe me….I was down on my hands and knees, practically crawling through some of the larger plants looking for the name plates.  This is not fun in a warm, humid environment, and while having a hot flash at the same time!!!  I walked into the center feeling somewhat well-groomed and left looking like a wet dishrag!!   Well worth it though, I must say.

Come, take a walk with me into the Des Moines Botanical Center…….oh, and don't forget to leave your coat at the door!!

Wow!  So much green.......a site for sore eyes this time of year.

Yes!! Color!  That's the fix I've been needing......brightly colored Gerber Daisies

and a lovely mass planting of tulips and daffodils.....

  Now THIS is an interesting looking says:

 SHRIMP PLANT (Justicia brandegeana) Acanthus Family
Origin: Mexico

  ...the flowers actually do resemble small shrimp, don't you think?

Here's another interesting plant with upright growth and unique shaped leaves....(the picture does not do this plant justice as it is much taller than shown)

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) Mulberry family
Origin: Tropical Africa

Lovely, delicate flowers on this "Crown of Thorns" plant....
(Euphorbia milii variety splendens)
Spurge Family
Origin: Madagascar

Some see this plant and think of the crown of thorns used during Christ's crucifixion. 
In Thailand and other Asian countries, it is poplular as a good luck omen.  

Cool!  A koi pond....

Here's a Bush Violet (Barleria sp.) from the Acanthus Family
Origin: South Africa

This plant would make a great filler in my garden........ 
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) Spurge Family
Origin: SE Asia

Here are some of the 'no name' plants....but all have fabulous foliage......

Whew.......I'm tired....want to take a break? 
Me too, but first let's cross over this foot bridge
towards the Cactus area....

More to come tomorrow........


Beth said...

Your story and pictures are beautiful! We love the Botanical Center. Every Saturday Jan-Mar they have garden talks, so we've been there quite alot recently. It is, I must say, an exquisite place for plant photography. You did a great job, Judy. Glad you made it to our city and thank you for sharing.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Hi Judy! I've been to Des Moines only once, when we lived in Kansas City, and knew nothing about the Center. What a nice place! Shrimp plant is cute. But the most impressive is that palm tree!

Mildred said...

Hi Judy, What beautiful plants you have shared from your visit to the Botanical Center. In Georgia, we have Callaway Gardens and upon leaving the Butterfly Center, I feel like a dishrag. Humidity and my hair are not a good combo! Thanks so much for sharing your journey and I am so thankful that your Aunt was not badly injured. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

Peggy said...

"Ginormous" is certainly an apt description of the Palm! WOW!

Debbie's Garden said...

What an awesome place to go during the winter. The color is wonderful and seeing the dappled sunshine on the plants is so tranquil. Those verigated leaves were pretty, they looked lika a type of caladium. Is there verigated elephant ear?

MrBrownThumb @ Chicago Garden said...

Hi Judy,

Thanks for this tour. I didn't know Des Moines has something like this. I had to laugh out loud at you comment about crawling around. I did the same thing recently at a conservatory here in Chicago.

When you're taking plant pictures doing strange things, like laying on the ground, seems to cause everyone around you to disappear.

Judy said...

Beth - Thanks for your wonderful comments! I have a new camera that I'm still learning to use, but thoroughly enjoying! It really has taught me to take a 'closer look' at the beauty of the world around us. P.S. Des Moines is a great city, but hard to navigate on Bypass 235 with all the numerical streets, it's confusing :)

Tatyana - Welcome! and thank you for visiting my blog. I agree, that palm tree was quite impressive; wierd seeing one that large in an indoor environment!

Mildred - Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I did a Google search on Calloway Gardens...what a beautiful place! Here is the link for anyone interested.... Thanks again, Mildred!

Peggy - that is my new word, 'ginourmous'.... :)

Hi Debbie! I did a search on 'variegated elephant ears' and found this site. I never realized there were so many diffent types! they are gorgeous....check out this link:

Mr. Brown Thumb....It WAS a site to see me crawling around the plants, but hey...anything to get a great flower/plant! Thanks again for visiting my blog :)

About Me

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Zone 5, Illinois, United States
I love digging in the garden and getting my hands dirty!