As much as I tell myself I'm opting out of the Holiday Hysteria, somehow I find myself overwhelmed every year. I have so much I want to take time out to do--baking, decorating, cards--but my job and a half don't seem to care. Add to this Miss Chef's December schedule, which now runs 7 days a week, often for 12 hours a day, and I've got just a little too much on my plate right now. (Except for cookies...could still use more cookies on that plate.)
However! Thanks to some friends who arranged a fun holiday-themed get-together, I did take a few hours this weekend to stop and...see the lights.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is located just west of Charlotte. It is a relatively new place, but already has several acres of beautifully designed gardens. For the holiday season, the entire place is wrapped, draped and trimmed with seasonal lighting. (Fair warning: this is a picture-heavy post!)
The arbors were still hung with "winsteria"...
The naked crape myrtles showed off their lovely limbs in a grove of white lights.
(I've run most of these through photo-editing software to adjust the lighting and try to sharpen them up.)
There's a mini canal with a fountain at one end, which is one of my favorite spots. You can see back to the main entrance building at the other end.
Here's a lovely planter full of bright blooms...
It was one of many lining this snowflake-studded walkway.
The highlight for me is always the three-story high glass orchid conservatory. It's a beautiful way to warm up on a cold December night.
One of my favorite sights here is the wall of orchids. This is just a section of it.
I'm amazed at the variety of colors and structures of the orchids. Doesn't this one look just like an iris?
Similar colors, totally different flower:
I love this yellow spray of blossoms.
This is not a flower!
Back to the beautiful colors...this one also reminds me of an iris.
These are very Easter-y colors, to me. Oh, but wait...isn't it winter outside? Oh, yes...there is indeed a Christmas tree in the main entrance building. One like you've probably never seen before!
Yup, a tree composed entirely of orchids! Ours at home is beautiful, but it can't compare to this one.
Hope you all are having a calm, peaceful holiday season.