Sunday, 3 January 2010
Down The Garden Path
Well I am still feeling somewhat pogged after the seasonal indulgences and should really take myself out for a long walk. Instead I have been mulling over last year's photos and have had a few armchair walks which I would like to share. The first is a gentle meander through Strasbourg Botanical Garden early in December. Although it was a rather cool and slightly melancholy day we enjoyed our stroll. From the city centre it took about twenty minutes to walk to the garden along the side of the tram route. Our first stop was the tropical greenhouse where our winter wear suddenly became surplus to requirements as there was a dramatic rise in temperature. There was much lush greenness as well as some colour to admire ~
We had fun sniffing the spices although the once I got the smell of cinnamon on my paws my guessing prowess seemed to be somewhat blunted ~
Back outside, back on with coat and scarf we wondered down the path in the direction of a lake where we came across some most spooky protuberances. These were absolutely intriguing and for me were the highlight of our visit. They belong to the taxodium distichum or false cypress tree, which is a native to the south east of the United States ~
These little woodies are known as cypress knees and their exact function is apparently the cause of some debate. One theory is that they take in oxygen on behalf of the roots. Another is that they provide anchors for the tree in the flood plain environment where they usually grow, the surrounding soil often being rather unfirm. I was interested to find out that this cypress is a deciduous tree hence the carpet of brown needles on the ground. I have only come across evergreen cypresses before so was convinced that the tree was seriously ill, until I was able to do some research back at home.
We left the garden by way of this clematis laden with last year's seed heads ~
and an edgeworthia chrysantha showing promise of spring to come ~
Should we ever be fortunate enough to return to Strasbourg we would not hesitate to visit this garden again. Judging by the extensive labels it is jam packed with plants, many of which had gone underground for winter. It must be full of colour for a good part of the year and is a great place not only for tourists but for anybody living, working or studying nearby to enjoy regularly.