Welcome to the Gardens of the World tour held every Tuesday and Thursday morning at Epcot We were greeted by one of Disney castmembers outside the guest relations building where we signed in and were introduced to our guide, Judy, who has her graduate degree in horticulture and is working on her doctorate (impressive!) The prehistoric plants at the Animal Kingdom are her full time babies.
After going through the turnstiles (everyone had their own entrance pass), we started in Future World. Judy took us by each "scape" and explained to us which plants were used and why (sunny area, drought resistant, etc)
The tour got even more interesting as we moved toward the World Showcase because 1)There weren't any other guests so we could hear her better, and 2)There weren't any other guests so I got some GREAT pictures!
Coming into Mexico, we were introduced to the Flame Vine... a tropical vine that will grow all over everything, Judy tells us.
I am particularly taken by this banana flower. Judy tells us the flower will continue to make baby bananas continuously until the blossom falls (or is pulled off) Then the bananas mature.
By the way, did you know there is a real mailbox in Mexico?!?! Just in case you need to mail something
The tropical foliage changes markedly when enter Norway...
and the colors are more winterlike.. blues and whites
And the village, itself... OI!
and you always need to keep an out for trolls in Norway
This Camphor tree grows strong and sturdy in Norway... and doesn't camphor seem like a natural match for cold climates? The fern growing at its base is called "resurrection fern" because, no matter how dry and dead it looks, as soon as water is added it perks right up again.
These flowers are affectionately known as "hidden Mickey" flowers amongs the castmembers... you'll have to hunt them down and find out why
Next on our tour is China...
The most common plants found here are Confederate Jasmine and Heavenly bamboo... two plants I intend to have in my garden soon! The jasmine is VERY fragrant and the bamboo leaf turns a lovely red.
This tree (bare of leaves in the winter) is a Ginkgo Biloba. These trees almost went extinct. They were saved by their use in Buddhist monasteries... they are very fire resistant, and the monks used them to protect the temples. This tree was donated to Epcot by a monastery.
In China, still water is often used in garden areas, and waterlilies are common. The difference between a lily and a lotus is that lilies lay on the water and the lotus rises up on a stalk... See how that is?
The main thing we learned in Germany is that, if you prune your trees like this they will leaf out in beautiful circles BUT it is not good for the trees... so DON'T do it.
The most amazing part of Germany, imho, is the train village!
Can you just imagine the care and tending it takes to keep all of these miniature plants "true to form"?
Everything is to scale for the "eco-system" of a community...
and not so modest homes
Even a castle up high on the hill
Is this village cool, or what?! The gardening here actually takes more time than in any other "country"
Italy is home of the "potted garden"
In Japan, more focus is put on gardens and landscaping than upon the actual buildings.
There is always moving water in the garden and often Koi fish (feng shui symbols of wealth)
Training and trimming the landscape to grow in specific patterns is an art form known as Bonsai. Below is an example of one type of tree both trimmed (right) and untrimmed (left)
My favorite type of garden in Japan is the Zen garden... This garden reflects the "mood" of gardener by how the motion "flows" through the stones. It is considered a form of meditation in Japan.
Morocco is SO different from Japan!
Here the focus is on the collection and irrigation of water to prosper
In UK, the gardening involves the shaping of bushes to form designs
Canada, of course, has my favorite faergodmother cottage
AND a mountain! However, those trees growing up the mountainside... well, they are really in pots (Don't tell!)
What an informative and interesting tour this is! Alan actually remembers the latin names of many of the plants we found and delights in naming them as we pass, and I really appreciate all of the tips we got on plant management and care!
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