Travel theme: Gardens

My visit to the Giardino degli Aranci got me pondering the subject of gardens. There were no flower beds or herbaceous borders in that gentle garden on the Aventine, but there was an intimacy and charm within those walls that made it feel like a sanctuary. Perhaps that is really the essence of what a garden is; a place to lose yourself or find yourself or just be. The word ‘garden’ derives from an ancient term, gard, referring to an enclosed space. There are traces of its ancient etymology in place names such as Stuttgart in Germany, Graz in Austria and Borujerd in Iran.

A love of gardening runs deep in me. Wherever I go, I find some small way to garden; growing tomatoes and the hottest of chili peppers on a windowsill, gathering seeds and propagating cuttings, adding a border to a friend’s garden. I love the smell and feel of earth and marvel at the sight of a new seedling rushing towards daylight. On my travels I seek out gardens to wander through, so here are a few gardens I have visited along the way.

It’s no secret I am in love with the work of Piet Oudolf and the romance of prairie planting, with feathery grasses and dried seedheads creating the most achingly delicate winterscapes. I spent many a winter’s day wandering through his garden creations in New York’s Battery and High Line parks.

piet oudolf, battery park, new york, prairie planting, seed heads, travel, travelogue, photography, nature, ailsa prideaux-mooney

I remember the serenity of the Zen Garden in Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve

bloedel reserve, seattle, bainbridge island, garden, gardens, rain, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, zen garden

… the lush simplicity of a tiny bottle garden at the US Botanic Gardens in Washington DC…

botanic gardens, washington dc, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…the playfulness of cottage gardens in the Hamptons…

hamptons, long island, new york, travel, travelogue, gardens, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…and the drama of exotic gardens in Guatemala, where I saw the gasp-inducing Jade flower for the very first time.

antigua, guatemala, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, jade flower

Get your green thumbs at the ready for your interpretation of this week’s theme. If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Gardens
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Lead me down the garden path!

xxx Ailsa

Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you. – Richard Brinsley Sheridan

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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142 Responses to Travel theme: Gardens

  1. sistasfromcali says:
  2. Pingback: TRAVEL THEME: GARDENS | Francine In Retirement

  3. fgassette says:

    BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS OF GARDENS! Here is my entry. http://wp.me/p23TG1-3DJ

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  4. Pingback: Travel Themes: Gardens | K2inCanada's Blog

  5. K2 in Canada says:

    I really like the bottle garden – used to have something similar many years ago. http://k2incanada.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/travel-themes-gardens/

  6. Such a lovely topic, Ailsa! I love the jade flowers. Here in China jade is very popular, and they use it for home decorations and luck charms, not just jewelry. Enjoy my view of Beijing’s Stone Gardens! http://lonnalisawilliams.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/beijings-stone-gardens/

  7. Pingback: Sydney-inside a garden (weekly challenge) | pdjpix

  8. pdjpix says:

    Hi Ailsa, I particularly like your Piet Oudolf shot, it’s very sculptural and warm. Here is my take on “gardens” which I have combined with that other Weekly photo challenge “Inside” – probably not the most original idea but it worked for me this week. regards Peet
    http://pdjpix.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/sydney-inside-a-garden-weekly-challenge/

  9. Pingback: Rooftop Gardening: Our First Tomato! | Aisha's Oasis

  10. aishasoasis says:

    Greetings from Egypt! My first time here, looking forward to all the great gardening links! Here’s mine: http://aishasoasis.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/rooftop-gardening-our-first-tomato/

  11. Pingback: Caught inside a Kikuyu garden: a memorial to Karen Blixen’s lover, Denys Finch Hatton | Tish Farrell

  12. Tish Farrell says:

    My garden post: ‘Caught inside a Kikuyu garden…’ http://wp.me/pKVAM-Ay

  13. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gardens | Tvor Travels

  14. Pingback: Travel theme – Gardens | Something to Ponder About

  15. So much greenery, it is spectacular. This challenge was made for me! Thanks, Ailsa. Another excellent challenge. http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=6800&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  16. Pingback: green spring gardens | nomad, interrupted

  17. Pingback: Travel Theme-Garden | WoollyMuses

  18. Pingback: Inside Gardens | Canoe Communications

  19. It’s been a long winter, so I traveled inside lush, tropical gardens. I’m enjoying all the other sights of green. http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/inside-gardens/

  20. LavendarLadi says:

    I love this theme. I love getting lost in gardens. Your photos make me want to peek around the edges to see what else is there!

  21. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Gardens | Travel Monkey

  22. Pingback: Travel theme: Gardens | Bams' Blog

  23. Pingback: Travel theme: Gardens | LooknWalk

  24. Pingback: Travel theme: Gardens | Ain't Mine No More

  25. Pingback: Travel Theme: Garden | Northwest Frame of Mind

  26. Wow, that Jade Flower is amazing! My garden photo is here: http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/03/16/travel-theme-garden/

  27. Pingback: 3/16/14 Travel Theme: The One And Only Garden (for me) | The Quotidian Hudson

  28. Pingback: Travel theme: Gardens « Sasieology

  29. I’m not sure if you can call a grove of maple trees a “garden,” but I’m going to try.
    http://browsingtheatlas.com/2014/03/17/march-madness-maple/

  30. Pingback: Beautiful Gardens, Elusive Dreams | The Retiring Sort

  31. Beautiful shots, Ailsa! That jade flower is absolutely amazing! Here’s my rambling take on the challenge: http://theretiringsort.com/2014/03/16/beautiful-gardens-elusive-dreams/

  32. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gardens | Shoot 'N Go

  33. Love your garden shots. I like the idea of losing yourself and even more the thought of your hot chili peppers.

  34. Pingback: Inside Gardens | northumbrian : light

  35. Pingback: Travel Theme – Gardens (Hunter Valley Gardens) | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  36. fictionfitz says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Out Loud and commented:
    Great blog, thanks to Irene Waters at Reflections and Nightmares

  37. Pingback: travel theme: gardens | It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Thoreau

  38. Pingback: Travel Theme : Gardens | Travel Tales of Life

  39. sueslaght says:

    Ailsa here is my entry. Grab your snorkel we are going to an octopus’s garden. http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/03/17/travel-theme-gardens/

  40. Pingback: Mary quite contrary… | Patchwork Ponderings

  41. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Gardens | Stephen Kelly Creative

  42. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gardens | The Day After

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