Monday, December 13, 2010

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

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.


  1. How much fun is that?? What a beautiful place!!

  2. You know I love my home way out here on the plains, but alas, there are no Christmas lights. So thank you so much for this post. And the 3 story orchid house must be stunning.

  3. nice, especially the Christmas tree. Whin is/was Daniel Stowe?

  4. So cool! This would get me in the mood for Christmas! Glad you went and took us along too!

  5. Beautiful! I was thoroughly entranced with your pictures of lights and then I saw the orchid tree. That. Is. Fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Oh my gosh how lovely!! Good for you for stopping and 'smelling' the roses. Aren't you glad you did!
    Thanks for sharing with us. :)
    To see color in wintertime is quite the treat.
    Cookies? Did you say cookies? :) Eat one for me please.

  7. Oh my. How absolutely beautiful. Lucky you for finding so much amazing COLOR at this time of the year! :D Wow.

    I love the "winsteria." Thank you so much for sharing this Flartus!

    Hope you're having a calm, peaceful holiday season too.

  8. Gorgeous! The orchid tree is just stunning. We have a similar garden here called the Butchart Gardens, and they have a light display every Christmas on the theme of The Twelve Days of Christmas - they constructed it over 12 years, adding one new display every year, and we were all sad when they finished all twelve!

    Christmas. Lights. Friends. Cookies. Perfect.

  9. Beautiful pics ~ thanks for sharing your Christmas serenity! Like you, I must force myself to stop and enjoy these moments as no matter how I plan, I'm always working n wrapping n mailing n whupped! Thanks too for the great food posts - I *was* missing those! ;-)

  10. Wow! That orchid Christmas Tree is fabulous!


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