After walking through Chicago's giant Botanical Garden and stopping by private and public gardens around the world, what could little Richmond promise? You would be pleasantly surprised as we were. The first plus difference between CBG and LG garden is the small parking lot and smaller number of people. No mobs! Then there is is walk out of the check in area (Senior Fee: $10.00) past four giant, deep red trunked Crepe Myrtal onto the long brick and stone walk that leads to a magnificent replica of the Crystal Palace. An assortment of small gardens that start with an art deco fountain and unique coleus, past the formal colonial Luck Garden and a medicinal garden, down stairs to the formal, balanced fountain garden sided by plush coleus, giant fronds, calla lilies and other bright colored late summer tropicals and up the stairs to the conservatory with the butterfly, orchid and geranium rooms. Every flower and every plant along the way well marked! And wow to the butterflies!
This short trip took close to an hour before setting off to the rose garden, the only disappointment, although a slight one for the day. (I hate to see end of summer roses destroyed by black spot. Only the plush planting of white iceberg seemed to escape the heavy disease rampant in this 1200 rose garden with its magnificent stone houses and lakeside views. The roses looked under watered, unfed and untreated even with natural disease prevention. (Someone at Ginter should contact CBG to learn rose care remedies).
After the roses, we toured the other many gardens that wove through woods and dales. Especially noticeable was the delightful Victorian gardens fronting the 100+ year old Ginter House and the woodland walk with its late summer mixture of texture, leaf color, etc. of the many plants set for different season blooms. Leaving this area, we discovered giant stands of Japanese anemone in full bloom and set upon set of giant coleus to delight the color palate.
Two hours after our start we left this great garden, well worth our trip and well worth its recognition as one of the top ten international gardens for 2013.
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