The Botanical Building in Balboa Park (San Diego, CA) was built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. Inside the building one can see collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, tropical plants and palms. Summer is a great time to visit the Botanical Building as many of the plants will be in full bloom. Outside the building is the beautiful Lily Pond. Koi fish and ducks can be seen swimming among the lily pads. There are usually a musician or two playing outside the building adding to the atmosphere and hoping for a few coins tossed their way. The site in front of the Lily Pond looking at the Botanical Building is one of the most photographed places in the park. One can see why as the splendor of one of the largest lath structures in the world is reflected into the water of the colorful Lily Pond.
The Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful gardens I have visited. Full of interesting plants, colorful flowers, and fun sculptures, it is well worth the trip. Let me give you a tour…
The Rotary Botanical Gardens is developed into 26 garden spaces on over 20 acres of land. Some of my favorite garden spaces are the French Formal Rose Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Shade Garden, and the Japanese Garden. I also was delighted by the interactive kaleidoscope sculpture that allows you to look at flower petals through a kaleidoscope.
I went in the summer, however, the Gardens would be wonderful to see in other seasons as well. The plants are changed out for different seasons so there is always something new to see. Along with different seasons come different hours of operation. Be sure to check the hours and days they are open before making your trip.
The Gardens are a photographer’s dream. Tons of beautiful flowers, interesting backdrops, sculptures, and insects make it well worth the trip. Charge your batteries before going and be sure to allow time to take in the gardens. There are plenty of benches throughout the garden to sit and enjoy nature or to take a break.
The admission to The Rotary Botanical Gardens is reasonable and they have events and classes throughout the year , so be sure to check-out their calendar. One can also have meetings or weddings held at the Gardens. How nice that would be! On the way out, do not forget to stop in the gift shop. A nice selection of garden merchandise is available for purchase.
So, if you like gardens and find yourself in Wisconsin, be sure to stop by Janesville and enjoy an afternoon at the Rotary Botanical Gardens. You can bring a lunch and have an enjoyable meal on their terrace. Remember to stop and smell the roses.