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San Antonio Botanical Gardens (long)

Jacque, whom many of you know from her posts in previous years, came to San Antonio for a short visit. This morning Kathy picked her up at the hotel and I met them at the Botanical Center.

Here she is and looking good!

Now for some more beauties. This eye popping combo is near the entrance. Up front are red petunias and yellow pansies. To the right are Aggie red blue bonnets and blue ones too. Back center are Bright lights Swiss chard.

Who would have the nerve to combine red and yellow like this? But now that you see how it looks you may want to do it too. That's what is nice about public gardens -- getting to see how it might look before you try it.

Right outside the reception area with the restaurant and shops is a little courtyard. Since it is in a protected area they are able to grow tropicals like this exotic Bird of paradise.

A little farther into the gardens they have several large retangle beds that are always planted with a stunning combination of flowers appropriate for the season. This time it is mostly Pansies with Bright lights Swiss chard toward the back. Swiss chard was everywhere and for good reason. It's a beautiful large leafed plant to grow through the winter. It's great eating too! Just remove the outer leaves and the center keeps producing more.

One of my favorite part of the garden is the tropical area which is protected by the surrounding temperature controled rooms that house the desert plants, ferns, palms, orchids, etc. I was very impressed with the Orchid tree. Kathy said they grow all over in the valley where she used to live.

Another beautiful spot is the Sacred Garden, so called because many plants mentioned in the Bible are planted there.

Kathy and Jacque take a short break in an area I call the cottage garden.

Some plants are just so bright they don't look real -- such as this Gazania and Golden poppy combination ...

...or the stunning colors in this iris. Jacque knew the name of it, but I can't remember what she said it was.

Isn't the color of these Johnnie jump-ups 'something else' ...

Nothing beats the color blue of Lobelias (unless its the blue pot ;-)

And for an ephemeral exotic look -- how about the Roof iris ... so called because it is planted on the sod roofs of houses in the East.

I've been considering trying the Mexican Olive. It blooms profusely and the textured white flowers are wonderfu, but the foliage looked kind of 'ratty.' Kathy says it beautiful in the valley, but maybe not so good here and the cold tolerance is iffy too. Anybody have experience with it?

This combination of cactus with what looks like a bromeliad and the Damianita is very nice.

The wild profusion of the Texas wild flower Damianita is bedazzling!

If you go you will see so many more beautiful flowers and exhibits of old houses from different regions of Texas, etc. But I'll end with a close-up of the poppy that was growing everywhere!

Oh, and the food there is great. I think I had the best salad I ever ate in my entire life today! It was called the Jenny salad! Try it if you go.

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