Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nine on the ninth__July


All right..!! All caught up, if still late by a few days, with this post..!!

Earlier this month my wife and younger daughter visited Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State has had a horticultural garden since the early 1900s to support its educational goals. The current Reiman Gardens is the third 'edition' of this garden. The current location was chosen to provide "a larger, more visible location to beautify the entrance to the city of Ames and Iowa State University." While it still seems a bit hidden to the average city and ISU visitor they certainly got the 'beautify' part right.

Lets take a look.

A large stone slab marks the Visitor's entrance to the Gardens.

As you first enter the Visitors Center you find a large 2500-square-foot butterfly wing. There are double door entrances and exits with vestibule areas where visitors are told the simple rules of the short walk through the wing. One thing they warn you about is:

"Check for hitchhikers before you exit. Butterflies can land on you and catch a ride as you leave." evidenced by this butterfly that seemed to like my daughter's t-shirt.

Believe me, the sweet older ladies (volunteers I assume) that run the entrance and exit stations and the butterfly wing itself take their responsibilities very seriously and also make the experience a fun time for the visitors. Young kids seem to love the beauty of the butterflies.

But let's not forget the Gardens is also about . . .plants and flowers..! Here are just a few of my favorite photo-memories of the day.

An outdoor horticultural garden is also about walks, and arbors, and water structures, and shady paths, all the things that help foster the sense of peace and wonder found in the beauty of God's natural world. The Reiman Gardens certainly excels here as well...

But wait..!! I did not even get to the pics of the dinosaurs found this summer at Reiman Gardens. Dang, will have to save those for another post..!!


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