Stunning! This show-stopping Lemon Bottlebrush (pictured above) graces the entrance of the Mediterranean Conservatory at the ABQ Biopark’s Botanic Garden. What makes it even more of a thriller is that it’s a container plant. Imagine coming home to this each evening! The exotic blooms and vibrant foilage were welcomed nourishment to this cold-climate gardener’s soul.
Inhaling deeply, I drank in the scent around me. Heavenly days! The Conservatory was hosting Bulbs in Bloom. Raucous displays of a ranunculus, cyclamen, daffodils, and hyacinths poured out of pots and filled flower beds. I quickly drained the cup of coffee I held and tossed the empty cup so as to have both hands free for some serious photographing.
It was such an overwhelming sense of spring that I couldn’t pull myself from the entrance for over 20 minutes. While most of my enchantment came from the flowers, I also enjoyed the response of other patrons as they came through the doors. Mouths dropped. Arms opened wide. Large breaths were inhaled and then exhaled time and again. Retirees, worn-out moms, business folks, toddlers, and teenagers all exclaimed delightfully as they embraced spring.
I loved the double pots (photo on left), especially those with contrasting pink cyclamen. The dark and light shades of pink played off each other in a vibrant and fresh way. While some may be tulip and daffodil lovers, I have always been drawn to the charm and freshness of cyclamen. I wish their blooms would last just a bit longer. Theses springtime gems are here, then gone!
I saw another arrangement repeated throughout the conservatory that caught my attention. It was created of impatiens and succulents. I never thought of putting such different plants together.
The conservatory gardener agreed that these two plants normally wouldn’t tolerate each other well, but within the controlled conservatory environment she could manage their co-habitation because the impatiens are so hardy and can tolerate a little drought.
It was all beautiful! Spring is officially here. Soon even the Midwest will be dotted with colorful containers!