On Saturday morning during my visit to my best friend's house, she had to get in some miles of training for the Washington, D.C. Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure walk. She lives in an area where you can walk to various parks. The park she took me to this morning was the Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park. We walked about two miles out to the park and she left me in a sea of flowers and vegetation while she continued her walk around the park.
The beauty of these gardens is amazing. They have the entire place fenced-in to keep out deer and other animals who may want to stop by to nosh on all of the tasty goods. Before Lauren left me behind, we stopped by one of the many pergolas to take a look at some turtles swimming around in the pond. I love turtles. They make me happy. There's one permanently etched on my back (new fact for those who don't know me personally).
Before we go further, I must warn you. You are about to be overloaded with photos. I'm not sorry. :)
After Lauren continued on her walk, I re-traced our steps where I had seen tons and tons of gorgeous flowers along the way. I am just amazed at this huge garden that it is so well maintained.
There was an indoor area that contained tropical plants, some of which were absolutely amazing. Like this guy. I wanted to hide him in my pocket and take him home with me.
Finally, even though I was running out of time, I paid $6 to go into the butterfly exhibit. I am so glad I did. I would definitely go back and do the same exhibit again to spend more time there. By the time I walked in and around the building once, it was time to leave so I could get on the road back home. When you walk into the butterfly exhibit, you walk through glass doors and then stop behind a partition. Once the doors close, you can walk through the partition. This helps keep any wayward butterflies from escaping. This happens on your way out, as well except when you leave, they make you shake out your hair, your body and then you turn around so they can pluck any butterflies who have decided you would make a good resting point off of you.
I would highly suggest this place to visit. Lauren said she and her husband went in the Spring together and it was absolutely amazing. You can only imagine the flowers and plants that would be blooming at that time of year. To be perfectly honest, I am so very jealous that they have this right down the street from them!!!If you want to see everything - the flowers, the turtles, the sculptures and buildings, as well as the exhibit, plan for a half day there. It's great to be outside, enjoying the weather (ok, maybe go when it's not 93 degrees out at 10:30am) and the scenery.
The fascilitators of the Wheaton Botanical Gardens also grow edible items. All of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are grown and harvested here are given to a local shelter that provides food and education for homeless people who are looking to get back on their feet and into the working world again.