Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Hot, The Loud and the Proud #4






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Show us your tropicals and exotics, your hot mediterranean colors and wild combinations, amazing discoveries and unusual variations. Or how about something exciting you just saw, a crazy garden,  amazing garden art or design, an inspiring visit or hike?


This meme is open to all (you do not have to live in an exotic location to participate)  and will be on the last day of each month…so mark your calendars and lets do something fun on the hot, the loud and the proud meme. I’ll have the link available early, east coast time (USA) to catch you early birds and even earlier for those of you in other countries.







Can you believe that this is in a beautiful conservatory in Washington DC?   We are at the home, museum and gardens at Hillwood, one of Majorie Merriweather Post's homes, which is now a museum. This well cared for estate is maintained by a horde of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about preserving the past and glory of this home. Post, the sole heir to the cereal Post company became on of the wealthiest and most influencial women in America during the early to mid 1900's and shared her home and gardens to many philanthropic functions and eventually endowed this place as a museum to house all her treasures.

Below is shot of the entire greenhouse behind this beautiful rose garden, can you see how large the greenhouse is alone, it practically houses thousands of exotic plants especially thousands of orchids.







This is just one of the side galleries that lead to many more galleries of exotic plants from around the globe.





We will start this tour from the greenhouse to coincide with our Hot meme theme, I had a wonderful time having the entire place to myself this morning since most of the garden tours had not yet started and I had ample time to visit and talk to the greenhouse volunteers busily preparing for the visits that day.















Even though they had some plants blooming, it was one of those in between times when they were just getting the orchids trimmed out and fertilized for the next flush of blooms. All the exotics, orchids and other cutting flowers are grown specifically to decorate all the various interior rooms of the home which are intact with all the furnishings and personal collections of the owner including a fine collection of French and Russian period pieces that were her main passions and intent of preserving this home as a museum for her collections.








Mrs Post always insisted on fresh flowers grown in her gardens to decorate her home and when she endowed this originally to the Smithsonian Museum, she insisted that the gardens be well maintained and the flowers continued to be grown to fill all the interior rooms with color. That didn't work to well with the Smithsonian, which only allocated three full time employees to care for the properties. It literally takes an entire village and slew of volunteers to maintain the home and gardens, you really see the beauty and pride from all the volunteers efforts in showing the home, the museum treasures and finally the extensive gardens.








I talked to a few of the volunteers and it looks like their dedication really shows especially when you are in a green house when the temperature in the morning was already soaring to past 90 degrees and the same for the humidity.   Ah to suffer for beauty, I think I would do the same if I get to work or even volunteer in an amazing place like this.















Here's the piece de resistance, once you enter the greenhouse, you see this drammatic showcase centered in the central domed pavilion, quite spectacular!






Another angled view showing the beautiful bromeliads growing from the branches and orchids below.





I'll continue the tour of the gardens in the next upcoming post, but please do enjoy my fellow bloggers posts below to see more of the Hot, the Loud and the Proud.

16 comments:

Helen at summerhouse said...

Aloha and I must say this greenhouse is so so beautiful. I can't look at orchids without thinking of my Dad who loved and grew orchids for years. He would have loved this! Mahalo Noel

Tufa Girl said...

I have missed out on the hot, loud and proud in the past - my garden has suffered due to storms recently but found something else I could post. I can hardly wait.

BTW these orchid photos of yours are quite beautiful.

EG Wow said...

It's amazing what can be grown indoors!

Floridagirl said...

Oh, my, I am coveting that bromeliad tree right now! Wow! Amazing you found tropicals in DC! That is a truly wonderful place, and I wish I had found it when we visited a few years ago. I think I would have done exactly the same thing had I been heir to a cereal fortune...or any other. I have to mention that the greenhouse climatic conditions sound a lot like my Florida backyard. ; )

Rainforest Gardener said...

I'm salivating over the bromeliad tree, but their placement of the specimens seems a little haphazard to me... I can't wait til it looks more established!
I should be able to participate in the meme this time, so see you tomorrow! By the way, can you email me your address so csn can sent you the gift card?

Ellada said...

Aloha,
In a greenhouse like this, I would spend all week inside. Thank you Noel, to share with us, that was really beautiful.

Kimberly said...

Hey, Noel! Wow...tropicals in DC!! Gorgeous! I love all your views. Very HOT, LOUD and PROUD!! The brom tree is spectacular!

lotusleaf said...

Stunning flowers! And the bromeliad tree is is unusual.

Titania said...

It is wonderful that people volunteer
their time and expertise to maintain this amazing garden and greenhouse filled with Orchids and other exotics.

Heather said...

Hi again Noel! I've come over to join in on your meme - and thanks for hosting. Oh and I enjoyed your post too, so many different flowers and they are all so gorgeous!

AaronVFT said...

The orchids are so so beautiful and gorgeous!

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Wow Noel what a place - from the first picture the green house looks like something out of a Botanic Garden. Kudos for passionate volunteers like that who work in conditions like that - thats dedication for you! and it must be so rewarding for them as they hear gasps from visitors on the tours. (well I would gasp!) That Bromeliad tree is just spectacular.

walk2write said...

I get revved up every time I visit your blog, Noel. You're so full of energy and enthusiasm! Those broms are my favorites. I mean the orchids are lovely, but the broms seem to defy reality or at least conventionality.

Would it be okay to post and link slightly after the end of the month?

Titania said...

Noel, sorry I linked the wrong blog. I should have linked "Titania Everyday. Shall I link T.everyday as well?Thank you. T.

jeansgarden said...

Noel, I visit Washington, D.C. regularly, but somehow I have missed Hillwood. Thanks for telling me about it; it looks like a wonderful place. -Jean

kanak7 said...

Noel...thank you for posting these spectacular pictures from a place I may never visit....I love the bromeliads and the orchids together.

I was down with the flu and realized on the 1st that the last day of the month was already over. I won't miss...next time. Looking forward to your coming posts:)

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