We finally got some beautiful snow but with temperatures in the teens and 20's it's hard to get out and enjoy the scenery. As I always say, when it's bone-chilling and finger-numbing-cold outside, the warm greenhouses at the Garden are the place to be. All three greenhouses - the Arid, the Tropical and the Semi-Tropical are bursting with blooms.
In the Tropical Greenhouse many orchids are in bloom. This spread of Phalaenopsis orchids was begging for a portrait.
This Jade Vine is one of only 3 known to have bloomed in the United States. It is a fascinating plant and its color is simply stunning. It is very difficult to photograph, however, and this shot is not as well-focused as I would like. The fans in the greenhouse (a constant source of problems for us eager photographers) keep the hanging vines with the flowers in constant motion. Indoors on a grey day, it's hard to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the motion. Nonetheless, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to share this gorgeous plant.
The Semi-tropical greenhouse is full of spreads of Nepata or catmint. Catmint is a relative of catnip and apparently is even more of an aphrodisiac for cats. It's a hardy, easy-to-grow plant for your garden, but if you have cats in neighborhood, don't be surprised to find them "hanging out" in your garden!
My favorite area right now is the Arid Greenhouse. It is at its peak of flowering beauty. Visit it now because in a week or two, the blooms will fade. This time last year I enjoyed discovering the Natal Lily in bloom and included a couple of pictures of it in one of my first posts to this blog. (Yes, my website had it's first birthday yesterday, and I celebrated by renewing with Zenfolio for another year!)
Love the colors in the thorns of this beautiful succulent.
Notice the snow on the roof of the greenhouse and trees outside. You'd never know it was freezing outside by the number of blooms and the toasty warmth indoors.