Thursday, July 31, 2014

Road Trip

Unfortunately I'm not in Thailand. This is the Thai Sala at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
in Madison, Wisconsin. This beautiful pavilion was a gift to the University of Wisconsin
 from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Alumni Association.

It's located at the end of a winding path through plantings resembling Thai vegetation. It does
give the impression of the tropics thanks to a few strategically placed bamboo and banana trees.

In Thailand they are used as places to reflect and for protection from the sun and rain.
This more ornate style is usually found on the grounds of a temple or palace.

A few Castor Bean plants, some Coleus and Elephant Ears do give it a jungle look.

The pavilion can survive the harsh winters thanks to it's construction of plantation-grown
teak and special weather-resistant ceramic roof tiles. Yes, that is actually real gold leaf!

I love those deep purple plants (have to find out what they are) with the banana tree.
There is a banana that supposedly is hardy here, called Musa basjoo. The roots will survive
if covered with a deep layer of mulch. Ha! Well, I'll probably have to give that a try.

Water is important in the Thai culture as it is associated with good
health and prosperity. Between the three reflection pools and the fact
that it overlooks a creek, I think I should spend more time here.

The pavilion is certainly a kind and generous gift. It's not only a wonderful addition
to the gardens but gives us a first hand experience of a bit of the Thai culture.

Of course I had to include some critters . . .

and the conservatory was conveniently full of butterflies.

A glimpse of the huge perennial border in one of the dozen different gardens.

I love knot gardens but can't imagine being able to keep it trimmed let alone alive!
Practicality, once again overrules romance.

Another look at the coneflowers and Bee Balm in the perennial borders.
This was a quick stop to visit old friends and now I'm off on the second leg of my road trip.

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