Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Sunday in the Garden

Last weekend, Andrew and Brennen and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the MUN Botanical Garden. The gardens are situated on 110 acres of protected nature reserve, right inside the city. The MUN Botanical Garden is a research facility, public garden, and education centre, which includes 5 nature trails, a large cultivated garden area, and a greenhouse, all open to the public. If you haven't been here, I can't urge you enough to visit!

There are many different types of gardens represented here. The first garden you come to as you head out on the trail is the Medicinal Garden, that has a large variety of clearly labeled plants that have been traditionally used to treat such ailments as blood and circulation problems, respiration, skin and kidney function. It is fascinating to see where so many of our medicines and herbal remedies have originated. There is also an Asian Garden, Heritage Garden, Rock Garden, Shade Garden, and Vegetable Garden.

As it is late in the Summer, I was surprised to see so many of the plants and flowers out in full bloom! I'm sure the gardens would look different every time you visit, depending on the time of year and what is in season.

Brennen loved feeling the leaves as he brushed by them. He listened to the birds chirp and flutter by, and we took note of the many different scents - the 'perfume' of the natural environment, as we made our way through the trails.

We spent a fair amount of time enjoying the cultivated gardens, taking in the beauty of a Sunday afternoon spent quietly among the brilliant colours of nature. Next, we headed on to Oxen Pond, where we stopped to feed the ducks, who were very excited to see us! Luckily, we had purchased a little bag of duck food for 50 cents at the Field Centre before heading out on the trail.

We had such a lovely time at the Botanical Garden, I'm sure we will be frequent visitors. Most of the trails are hard-packed stone or boardwalk, and are fairly wheelchair accessible. The Main Trail, which connects all other trails, is actually the remnants of an old gravel road and extends from one end of the garden to the other. Honestly, I don't know what took us so long to decide to visit, but now that I know about this hidden gem, we are going to take advantage of it! Andrew and I already plan to go back to the Garden Café for lunch some day, and hike up to the lookout on Trail 3 (we didn't attempt it this time).

I have also signed up to do a workshop on "Growing Air Plants" in October. I am obsessed with Air Plants. I don't understand them, but I like them!

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