Thanks, Shari, for another fascinating view of things tropical! I'm a bit biased since I work part-time in the horticulture department of a "public garden" [Jacksonville (Florida) Zoo & Botanical Garden], but I certainly do agree that botanical gardens are a great way to find new inspiration for home gardens. I've become familiar with dozens of new plants by being a part of our public garden. I did a great trip by Greyhound Bus "Ameripass" back in 1996 which allowed me to travel around the U.S. for 90 days, getting on and off the bus at a whim. I used the travel to visit some great botanical gardens and art museums around the country and was very enriched by the experience.
Thanx, Shari. I love public gardens. Jeremy, the bus pass idea sounds great. I wonder if they do anything like that now? My favorite public gardens, so far, are the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena and the garden at Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia.
If it is still in effect, it looks like one adult can travel anywhere in the U.S. and some areas in Mexico and Canada for about $600 for 60 days. There are also some passes which are restricted to certain areas (NE states, SE etc.) for shorter times and less money.
It is certainly not the most glamorous way to travel, but it is inexpensive and allows a lot of flexibility for seeing lots of cities. I also enjoyed viewing the changing countryside instead of flying over it. AmTrak once offered extremely limited packages, but not worth the bother and cost, I thought.
When I did my great bus tour, I also had an Entertainment coupon book and got motel/hotel accommodations at generally 1/2 the usual rate or less -- but that was prior to the Internet making travel reservations at reduced cost so easy, so some of the hotel/motel reduced rate sites may work better.
I would generally plan the trips so that I would be on the bus a maximum of about 8 hours (about all I could bear in one stretch) which was generally enough time to get from one major city to another. I used public transportation (local bus & subway lines) within the cities to get around to gardens and museums. It was quite an adventure. I'm glad I did it 10 yrs ago as I don't think that at 57 I now have the same gumption and bravado and sense of wanderlust I had at 47. I now don't want to leave my yard if I don't absolutely have to!
Thanks for sharing your public gardens with us Shari. I really enjoyed your article. I've been to the botanical gardens here in Beaumont and enjoyed them. I've also been to the Sunken Gardens in San Antonio and that was a treat we always looked forward to as a kid. As an adult, it was even better!