This is how the morning started out, on the day that we discovered Echter's, which shall from now on be known as "the fabulous nursery of our dreams". ...admiring the fruits of past gardening season.
These are the allium that I planted after falling in love with them at the botanical gardens a couple of years ago. Like the miniature columbine, they have come back stronger and more vivid this year. I suppose that must have whet our appetites for flora, because when our planned morning activity fell through, we happened upon a nursery that we'd seen a couple of times in passing, but had never stopped to investigate.
Echter's is in a part of town we only happen upon when we're en route somewhere else. We've passed it a couple of times, but never stopped. On this day, it seemed like the perfect passtime for an early summer morning.
Once inside, we were ready for disappointment. We'd wanted green houses, plants, flowers. But the section we entered was all patio furniture, wind chimes, garden statues. That's all well and good, but not quite what we'd hoped for. Then we passed through some doors, and came upon a cafe full of sun-dappled tables, cactus gardens and waterworks. Beyond that, we saw.....elisian fields! Acres of greenhouses. Rows upon rows of flora, from the exotic to the mundane. Grasses. Hanging gardens. Orchids and various air plants. Shrubs, border plants, roses, tropical flowers and hardies, desert plants and locals.
In spite of her fascination with the bucket we found her early on, even Q was more than a bit in awe of the panorama before our eyes.
The topiary was our first stop, because it was something out of a fantasy world, and reminded me of the floors of fantasy worlds that used to exist in some of New York City's tonier department stores when I was small - magical worlds that fascinated me when my mum took me to the city as a child.
QQ seemed equally as fascinated as I had been...
...And even made a show of sniffing the flowers on this amazing topiary elk. I showed her how to sniff flowers in her early months at home, back when I wasn't even sure if she could smell properly because of her cleft. She learned the routine, and will mimic it to this day, though none of us yet knows whether she is appreciating the perfume, or just copying our behavior.
I love her little excited tip-toe walk as she steps into the garden paradise here.
Isn't he just beautiful? A creature out of mythology.
Flowers growing on his flanks.
I love how they did the horns, and how the greenery grows thick around his neck and shoulders.
QQ thought she might want a sip of daddy's coffee as we explored the aisles.
And oh, yes, I have so many more pictures yet to come...