Tuesday, February 1, 2022

This Month in the Garden: A Virtual Garden Tour

Virtual Garden Tour

Welcome to This Month in the Garden! For the month of February, it's time for another virtual garden tour! This tour will take you on a journey of five gardens/national parks in the U.S. We will tour the New York City High Line, the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Rhode Island, Muir Woods National Park in California, Allerton & McBryde National Botanical Gardens in Hawaii, and the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona. Each introductory photo will have a caption containing a clickable link that will bring you to the entire post if you are interested in seeing each garden in its entirety. At the end of the post will be a link to a library of several more gardens and places of interest that I can share with you. I hope you enjoy the tour!

New York City High Line

The first stop is the The High Line (also known as the High Line Park). This 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) New York City linear park was built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan's West side. The park runs from Gansevoort Street (three blocks below 14th Street) in the Meat Packing District through to the northern edge of the West Side Yard 34th Street near the Javits Center. The refurbishing of the railway into an urban park began construction in 2006, with the first phase opening in 2009 and the second phase opening in 2011. The third and final phase officially opened to the public in September of 2014. A once abandoned railroad track has now become an array of blooms for residents and visitors to enjoy. The High Line has been developed with various works of public art and the native greenery incorporated into the long forgotten tracks has preserved the history of the area, leading to a beautiful and dynamic park. The New York City skyline as well as the Hudson River can be seen as a backdrop to the gardens.
Green Animals Topiary Garden Portsmouth, Rhode Island

The Green Animals Topiary garden was established on small country estate consisting of seven acres of land overlooking Narragansett Bay in Portsmouth Rhode Island and was purchased by Thomas E. Brayton in 1872. Mr. Brayton was the treasurer for the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts from 1879 to 1920, and he hired Joseph Carreiro, who was responsible for creating and maintaining the topiary garden.  Upon Mr. Brayton's death in 1940, his daughter Alice inherited the estate and resided there until her death in 1972. Alice Brayton known for her love of horticulture named the estate after its unique sculptured green topiary. Green Animals Topiary Garden was left to the Preservation Society of Newport County and remains today under their care as a historic landmark. There are more that 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens. The topiaries were started in 1901 in a nursery then moved to their present location in 1912. 
Muir Woods National Park, Mill Valley California

Muir Woods National Monument is located 12 miles north of the Golden gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. It consists of a 560 acre park with six miles of trails meandering through some of the last remaining redwood forests in the world. Much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered with Redwood-like trees 150 million years ago. Climate change caused the numbers or Redwood to decrease drastically leaving only two species in California. While many of the world's redwoods were lost due to industrialization and nearing extinction the canyon of redwoods in Muir Woods was never logged and remains preserved here today. The breathtaking Cathedral Grove represents trees ranging in age from 500 to 800 years with heights up to 258 feet towering towards the sky.  The main attraction of the Muir Woods is the Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), a relative of the Giant Sequoia which is known for its great heights. The oldest tree existing in the park is over a remarkable 1,200 years old. The redwoods in the park flourish in California's fog belt where and yearly daytime temperatures range between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. During the drier summer months the forest is layered in fog which keeps the park cool and moist year round. On average the park receives up to 40 inches of rain during the winter months which supports the moisture requirement of the redwoods.
Allerton/McBryde Botanical Gardens Kauai, Hawaii

Located on the south shore of Kauai in the Lāwa'i Valley are the Allerton and McBryde National Tropical Botanical Gardens, maintained for the preservation of endangered native species. Encompassed in a world of rain forests, native fruits and spices, hidden waterfalls and Jurassic trees, Allerton and McBryde Gardens will continue to provide a tropical paradise for visitors of all ages. In 2003, NTBG began an ambitious restoration of an area known as Lāwa‘i-kai including the beach and adjacent coastal forest in the Allerton Garden. The project’s first goal was to remove invasive alien plants which had crowded out most native strand plants and had threatened the Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu) nesting areas. The goal was to create a vegetative barrier to alleviate damage from tropical storms such as the tsunami and two hurricanes that had struck the area previously and to create a stable habitat for a wide array of highly endangered native plants, after removal of alien invaders. The landscape was developed through the study of fossil and historical records to replicate the type of environment that would have existed a millennium ago. Many of the plants, including rare palms, trees, and shrubs native to the island, now thrive in Allerton Gardens. These beautiful and breathtaking gardens continue to be dedicated to the study and preservation of endangered tropical plants and protection of the world's diverse ecosystems.

The Desert Botanical Garden is a 140 acre botanical garden located in Phoenix, Arizona that was founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937 and established in 1939.  It is the home to more than 21,000 plants, including 139 species of desert plants which are considered rare, threatened or endangered. At the entrance to the Botanical Garden is world renowned artist's Dale Chihuly Nature of Glass Exhibit which was originally displayed in 2008. The gardens bought the glass art after the exhibit as a permanent display. Among the sites to be seen, the giant Saguaro Cactus is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These majestic cacti are very slow growing, only reaching a height of one and a half inches tall in ten years, but can grow to an eventual towering height of 40-60 feet. When fully hydrated, Saguaro can weigh between 3200 and 4800 pounds and a healthy cactus can have a lifespan up to 150-200 years! Follow the trail for a view of the red rock cliffs and cacti of the Sonoran Desert. 

For more virtual tours, you can visit my Botanical & Community Gardens page!
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for February. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking up with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.)


  1. What a great roundup of virtual gardens! A nice way to usher in February. Thanks, Lee!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the virtual tour Rita. With all this cold and snow, I felt some garden views are a must!

  2. These are beautiful gardens. Although it is virtual,I enjoyed the views by looking at these pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Amila - Leisureandme.com

  3. What lovely gardens! Visiting them here with you made me feel like summer was back.

    1. If the visit gave you a smile, them mission accomplished! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Fejl: Duskal venligst indtaste en gyldig
    I enjoyed your virtual tour Lee. I know about the High Line. Some time ago I saw a film about its construction, about the old railway, and I remember the views of the city from above. Great!

    1. It is a wonderful highlight of the city and all so well thought out. I love their use of the tracts, native plants and architecture. I am so happy you enjoyed the visit Nadezda.


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!