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.