visit to the US

Jane McGary
Mon, 20 Oct 2003 15:23:01 PDT
Mark Smyth is not the first visitor to North America who wants to see a lot 
of plants and isn't quite sure how much he can fit in! There are some 
states and provinces, especially in the West, that take as long to drive 
end to end (on our good freeways) as it does to drive across most European 

Mark, if you want to see alpine flora (and who doesn't?), you may find 
yourself in Colorado, and there are two superlative public gardens there: 
the Denver Botanic Garden and the Betty Ford Alpine Garden in Vail. Within 
an hour's drive of either, you can hike at 11,000 feet and upward.

In the Pacific Northwest, there are many good places to see wild plants, 
and some public gardens too. The Bellevue Botanic Garden in Seattle is 
admired for its perennial plantings, and the nearby Rhododendron Species 
Foundation for the obvious sort of thing. If you like trees, the Hoyt 
Arboretum in Portland is world-famous, and there are also a staggering rose 
garden and one of the best Japanese gardens outside Japan in the same park. 
Many of the Northwest's nurseries, such as Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery in 
Medford and Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, also have remarkable 
display gardens that are open pretty much continually during the growing 
season. If you are going to Canada and find yourself in Vancouver, British 
Columbia, visit the University of British Columbia Botanic Gardens, where 
you can see a renowned Asian collection and a fine rock garden.

A section of the new book "Rock Garden Design and Construction" (Timber 
Press and NARGS, 2003) describes many public gardens in the USA and Canada. 
The focus is on rock gardens but most of those described are just small 
sections of much more complex public botanic gardens.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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