Monday, April 07, 2008

My Town Monday: Serenity NOW

One of my favorite places in my town is the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, touted as the oldest botanical garden in Texas. It's over 109 acres with 2500 species of plants in 23 speciality gardens.

The extensive rose garden is my second favorite part--the first is the Japanese Garden. While the rest of the gardens are free, the Japanese Garden has a minimal charge (three bucks, I think?) and is well worth it. It's like walking on the set of Memoirs of a Geisha. Minus the heavy makeup and mincing walk. With winding paths, bridges, waterfalls, koi ponds and lazy turtles, all in a lush green setting, it's instant serenity and a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. I've taken myself there on "Writer Dates," with a journal and a pen.

Here are some pics my son took on one of our visits. Isn't he talented?

Where do you go for serenity NOW? For inspiration?

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Blogger Kern said...

Perhaps my favorite spot on earth is my backyard. I love to sit and watch the pool cleaner and smoke rise from my Brinkman smoker, or chiminea. I love to sit in the hot tub or in an adirondack. I love the birds, and the dogs. Someday, I'll see another squirrell and hopefully a hummingbird. Something to look forward to.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Hi Britta -

I usually find that getting out on my bicycle opens up my mind. Found your blog via Dreaming Tree. Keep up the good work!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

I'm a fan of our backyard, too. My favorite is watching the doves flirt. I'm a total bird-watching geek: we've seen cardinals, robins, bluejays, house finches, sparrows, purple martins, hawks, European ring-neck doves, mourning doves and (ick) crows. No hummingbirds yet...but we're optiminists.

Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by. I have a bike that I drag out from time to time--we've got an impressive set of biking trails in our neighborhood. I wished cycling opened up my mind...mostly it makes me hyperventilate.

9:28 AM  
Blogger AfroChic said...

I walked the AIDS walk at the Botanical Garden yesterday. There was a huge line for the Japanese Garden and I was there for a special purpose so I couldn't check it out yesterday but I am absolutely in love with the place. And all the various scents, it was divine. It will definitely inspire my writing when I can walk alone and just think. I'm new to Texas so exploring the area is like being on a constant vacation. linked to your blog from another but I'll be back, interesting writing.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

You should definitely make the trip back to the Japanese Gardens, Afrochic. Bring a quarter and you can buy fish and turtle food. They'll swim right up to you like little puppies.

Welcome to the blog, and welcome to Texas. I've been here for decades and it still feels like an extended vacation.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Lana Gramlich said...

I love botanical gardens. The one in Niagara Falls includes a butterfly conservatory.
The photos here are quite lovely!
For inspiration I go out on the deck. If I'm feeling particularly energetic, I may go to one of the numerous nature areas around here, but nothing beats our deck, really.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Thanks, Lana. And you're right...if you can get inspiration from your backyard deck, that's the way to go. So convenient.

Our gardens have a butterfly event, too, but I haven't been. I imagine it's quite spectacular.

11:49 AM  
Blogger lyzzydee said...

Isn't it odd how we all stereo type places we have heard off, I never considered that there would be green lush places in your neck of the woods!!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Terrie Farley Moran said...

Nature is really a magnificent influence on my mental well being. I have a six hundred acre park one block behind my house and that is one spot. I also love my recliner, a cup of tea and some music (which kind of music depends on what serenity I'm seeking.)


2:31 PM  
Blogger Travis Erwin said...

My wife loves botanical gardens but I prefer to do my communing with nature on a lonely mountain ridge or along a brushy creek bottom. Some might argue hunting is not a nature trip but to me it is the trues form of becoming one with nature.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Lyzzydee, that's a common misconception, I think. Seeing Texas as one big dust cloud with tumbleweeds and cactus. And believe me, there's plenty of that, too.

Terry, I'm jealous of your 600 acre park! For relaxing music, I love The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. She's a Texas singer who mixes blues, folk and jazz. We've seen her live and she puts on a great show, but is just as lovely coming through tinny outdoor speakers on a balmy evening.

Travis, I'll have to take your word for it as I've never been hunting. Starts too early in the morning and I don't look good in camo.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Josephine Damian said...

Britta: Your's and Lana's botantical posts are my favorites of the My Town's.

I'm afraid we have nothing like that where I live, and between the fire ants, snakes and mosquitos - my back yard is not exactly peaceful.

Qive me a stay-at-home-all-day day where I don't have to get dressed, where I can sit at the keyboard for hours (with the AC blasting) and I'm a happy camper.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Debbielou said...

Lovely post - off to find a kimono!

9:48 AM  
Blogger WordVixen said...

I'm going to have to find a place like yours to write in. Cafes are getting expensive!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Thanks, Josephine. Snakes and mosquitos and fire ants -- oh my! By all means, you stay inside with that AC and be a happy, bite-free camper.

DebbieLou--I actually have a kimono I made for myself in a fit of creativity after watching the Geisha film. Still trying to figure out where to wear it, besides the kitchen. Halloween, perhaps?

Wordvixen--we just found a coupon in our paper for a free cup of coffee at Starbucks every Wednesday now until May. Maybe that would help with the cafe budget? (Of course, it doesn't cover any muffins or biscotti, which is troublesome.)

8:08 AM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Love those bridges. I wonder why a bridge over water is such a peaceful thing. At least usually.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Hi Charles. Maybe because of Simon and Garfunkel.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

Found your blog at Charles' site.

Lovely bridges. How serene the grounds are.

Over here in Louisiana, they have piney woods that are excellent refuges. Wordsworth had it right. Nature.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Billy, welcome to the blog, and hello to Louisiana. The smell of pine trees, I think, is one of the best ever. Reminds me of growing up in Houston. In our suburban area of Fort Worth, our most natural tree is mesquite, which as you can imagine, isn't nearly as pretty.

9:14 AM  
Blogger WordVixen said...

Britta- Unfortunately, I'd have to get up early to get coffee on Wednesdays (2nd shift), but I appreciate the tip!

1:58 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Getting up early vs. free coffee? I gotta go with the extra sleep on that one.

5:05 AM  

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