Monday, April 15, 2013

Photo Essay: South Coast Botanic Garden

Whenever I've got some time to kill, I'm always happy to wander through a garden, even if just for a little while.



I feel at peace among the statues and gnomes and fountains. It feels a bit like a cemetery to me.



This weekend, before a scheduled hike in Rancho Palos Verdes' Portuguese Bend, I found myself at South Coast Botanic Garden...



...whose trees were in full orange bloom...



...and whose Garden for the Senses delighted mine, with aromatic flowers like the chocolate daisy...



...and plants that were as fuzzy to feel as felt.



There are a variety of succulents in their small Cactus Garden...



...and lots of different ornamental blossoms in the Volunteer and Children's gardens.

















It was very much alive.



Yet, surrounded by all of these plush petals and healthy buds, I found myself drawn to the crumpled...



...withered...



...wrinkled ruins of flowers past...



...whose best days have already passed...



...but are still hanging on.



In the Rose Garden, although it's too early for rose season, many roses are past their peak...



...shriveling...



...shrinking away.



Even those that are healthy feel sad...



...because their demise is imminent...



...and they're already starting to show signs.




A rose in full bloom is dying...




...no matter how pristine it may look now.



In the rose garden, you can see all varieties of roses, species of all colors...



...as well as unique hybrids...



...like the Hybrid tea "Love & Peace"...



...the Grandiflora "Love"...



...and the Hybrid tea "Paradise."



But of course, the roses are best seen when dying, in full bloom. Nobody wants to look at a brand newborn baby bud, all closed up tight.



The South Coast Botanic Garden is sprawling, with a Grass Garden, groves of various trees, seemingly endless paths...



...and even a hidden lake.

An hour wasn't enough, but it was enough to make me want to come back for a little solace, quietude, and time amongst the dying.

At least we know the perennials will come back, too.

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