We greatly enjoyed our five days in San Antonio, a city that we've been to several times, although not for nearly ten years. My next few posts will be about the beautiful gardens we visited while we were there (there's still not much going on in my own gardens, so rather than just post photos of last year or of dreary snow, I'll share some of the lovely spots we saw down in Texas).
The first two days we spent there were sunny and warm, just what we were hoping for as a break from Iowa cold and snow. The next two days were overcast but in the 60s (which still felt great to us!) and only the last day was in the 30s, which apparently is not uncommon in south Texas winters. But those first sunny days were sublime and we spent most of our time outside enjoying the warmth and greenery.
As we were staying downtown at the historic Menger Hotel (built in 1859, more about it in upcoming posts), just steps away from the Alamo, we had to visit it, and not having been interested in plants the last time we went, I was surprised when I noticed on this tour how lovely the grounds are.
|One of the incredibly large live oaks in the hauntingly beautiful front area of the walled garden.|
|It's hard to see in this photo, but the redbud in the center is beginning to bloom, which really made me look forward to spring in the Midwest.|
|A small fountain sits behind colorfully planted annual beds.|
|I believe this might be a Datura or Angel's Trumpet, but not being familiar with warm-climate plants, I could be mistaken.|
|This is a papaya tree (I guessed this only because I overheard a Spanish-speaking|
family exclaim the word "papaya" as we were passing by the tree).
|I believe these are Leucojum (Spring Snowflake). I have never grown these in my own gardens, but seeing how pretty they|
are, I think I might try to find some shady spots for some of these "minor bulbs."
|I confess I'm not sure what this is. It looks familiar. Anyone?|
|This may be Loropetalum chinense or Chinese fringe flower. It seemed like a very bright|
thing to be blooming in February, the sort of thing that blooms here in August.
|Hasta la vista!|
I suppose most visitors to the Alamo pay more attention to the military history of the place (there was a large display of historic firearms inside the main building that seemed to generate great interest). But I couldn't wait to spend some time outside enjoying the lovely plantings that the gardeners maintain there. Many kudos to the hardworking gardeners and groundskeepers! (Here is an interesting short article, "Remember the Alamo Gardeners," that describes the difficulties in maintaining the plantings in the face of so much foot traffic -- 1.6 million tourists per year!)
It was wonderful to see flowers in bloom and green foliage all around us during our temporary escape from the white-on-brown of Iowa winter. I'll cover some of the other, even lovelier, gardens we visited while in San Antonio in my next few posts. Thanks for reading! -Beth