Sarah's Garden Goes to Longwood Gardens!

Okay, so my garden didn't go to Longwood Gardens...but I did!  Somehow in all my years of living here I'd never been to Longwood.  Crazy!  But a nice weekend and a birthday present (thanks, sweetie!) meant that it was finally time to go.  I took tons of pictures but I thought I'd share the best ones with you all.

Although I failed to get a picture of the exterior (nice one, Sarah) the huge conservatory was what I most wanted to see.  There's a fern room!  And a succulent room!  And like 500 other rooms and we went to all of them.  My boyfriend is very patient.  Here's part of the conservatory that I found particularly pretty:


The floor looks so shiny because it was designed to hold a few inches of water to reflect the plants.  If I was a better photographer I probably would have gotten more of the reflection in the picture.  But I like this shot because it's what I think of when I think of the word "conservatory."  Well, this and Clue.

Moving on!  There was a cacti room, which was awesome, and also home to these little guys:


Aren't they cute?  I feel like they need haircuts.

Along with the cacti are the succulents.  There was a lot of aloe of all different colors, but I liked these:


I like how many of them there are.  If I ever live in a place where I can grow succulents and cacti in my back yard, I'm totally growing those hairy things and lots of aloe.

I took this picture because of the Crown of Thorns, which is the tall, thorny plant in the planter:


Here's my Crown of Thorns this past summer:


Obviously mine is not as big and is also not variegated (the leaves are all green instead of green and white) but it did pretty well this winter inside and will hopefully be back outside soon.

Next we have some Spanish moss:


I love Spanish moss and would definitely grow it if I lived in the south.  It just seems so Southern Gothic, a genre of fiction that just happens to include some of my favorite American writers (William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Flannery O'Connor, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers to name a few.)  Don't you guys all imagine Spanish moss dripping from every branch while reading "Suddenly Last Summer"?  Okay, that's probably just me.

This is spurge:


And that's all I'm going to say about that.

They also grow bananas!


You can see actual bananas in the lower right hand corner!  I actually hate bananas but love how banana trees look.  It's a hard life I live.

On to the ferns!  This is one of my favorites:


This is a stag horn fern and I just love how they look.  Someday I will have one of my very own.

And here's this little cutie:


This is a passionflower and I would like to try my hand at growing these one summer.  Maybe next year...

This is a ginkgo bonsai:


It's a couple of feet tall and I'm not sure if you can see it, but the sign on it says that training began in 1909.  Wow!  Ginkgos are some of the oldest trees in the world; some in their native Asia are over 1,000 years old.  In fact, there is one at Bartram's Garden which is one of the oldest in North America.  Here's a good source for more ginkgo history, if you're interested, which mentions the Bartram's Garden ginkgo and also the two old ginkgos in Woodland Cemetery which have since been cut down.

Lastly, here are some adorable little venus fly traps.  Look at their little mouths!


These guys are really small - about the size of a nickel.  So don't be scared!  They won't eat you.

Hope you all enjoyed my little interlude...back to plants I have actually grown next week!