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Huntsville Botanical Garden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden was truly amazing.  They have several hundred 
acres adjacent to Red Stone Arsenal and have developed all but 127 acres 
according to our guide, who was the CEO of the garden.  Guess MG's do get special 
treatment around here, at least when we go as a group.  There were 16 of us 
who made the 3 hour trip.  One of the most interesting displays was the use of 
Swiss chard in their hanging baskets and planters.  They combined red-stemmed 
chard with red geraniums and dark nasturtiums and yellow-stemmed chard, with 
which I was not familiar, with yellow flowers and lighter colored nasturtiums.  
The effect was beautiful.  The theme of the gardens at this time of the year 
was different kinds of beds.  They had used real bedsteads that were filled 
with all kinds of flowers and topiaried animals, and they were very impressive.  
Another area was the cedar grove with many very old Eastern red cedars and 
native azaleas.  Another area had been turned into a beautiful, very large, water 
garden.  A pair of Canada geese had chosen that section to start their 
family.  The female was sitting on her eggs in the middle of the flowers bordering a 
stone path while the male strutted around as if patrolling the area.  The 
female hissed at us the entire time we were their.  The section devoted to 
Alabama wild flowers was beautiful as well.  They had about two dozen kinds of 
trillium of all different sizes.  The tour took about two hours.  I would really 
like to go back later in the summer when their 800 cultivars of day lilies are 
in bloom and I could also visit their cottage garden and their herb garden.  We 
saw an amazing native tree the guide referred to as a flowering apricot whose 
seed pods looked like apricots, but obviously were not.  I wish I had asked 
him the botanical name for it.  They also had some very large Chinese fringe 
trees which were truly beautiful.  They had many cultivars of viburnum, among 
which was a Viburnum macrocephalum with flowers about 10 inches in diameter.  I 
would love to have one of those, too. <LOL> I think I mentioned in an earlier 
post that their black haw was in full bloom as well.  We finished our tour 
with the flower show of the Federated Garden Clubs of Huntsville and saw some 
really intricate arrangements.  I especially enjoyed the miniatures.  It was a 
great day, and I do look forward to going back there sometime.  They do have a 
website, www.hsvbg.com.

Zone 7
West TN

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