High 29 F
Low 23 F
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boyleston, MA
The New England landscape in January can be cold, barren, and wind whipped and we have had our share of those days this month. Short tempered and sun starved is the norm this time of year and hibernation and comfort food seem like the only recourse but, under glass, the blooms are bright and the air is a moist relief from dry indoor heat. This Abutilon 'Vesuvius' is a bright torch leading the way out of the darkness. The entry display of plants just invites you to explore this conservatory in more depth. The bright orange plant on the center left is a coleus 'Sedona' and I have enjoyed this plant in containers during the summer months. It has very interesting color tones in its leaves. I think I will have to have some this next growing season! The Hardenbergia is flowering wildly and there are so many plants in this conservatory which are new to me and bear further study. The Solandrum
is just about to push open this big bloom and, for color, the Iresine 'Brilliantisima' knows no equal! There are several little nooks created for sitting and enjoying the surrounding beauty. These are created by the walls of tropicals and are arranged such that you feel you are sitting in a private garden. This nook is complete with this victorian aquarium. I have never seen one before and this one must have been quite the find! The little sign indicates that it was a donation in memory of someone's beloved and the tank itself is circa 1880. Water has a presence in this space and the trickling sound of this fountain and its' twin can be heard throughout the conservatory. Overhead, the Acacia blooms profusely adding its' bits of sunshine to the glass enclosure. It is a spirit lifting experience to stroll through this man made ecosystem but, unlike the fish swimming unconcerned in their little tank, one must eventually step out of paradise and back into the harsh reality of a cold January day. The lingering memory of moist warmth and bright flowers and foliage will help with the remaining necessary steps toward spring! Thanks for taking those steps with me.