The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on December 19, 2009

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I had some use-or-lose vacation to take, so while the Wife worked hard at her job, and then came home to study feverishly for finals, I took the day off.  Trying to decide what to do with my time, I decided it was time to make my way over to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.  We had been wanting to get there for quite some time, but just hadn’t made the time to make it happen.  It was overcast and foggy, and I was really hoping to get some nice shots in the fog, but as luck would have it, I got a phone call and had to pop into work for a couple hours.  BOO!   Once I got out, though, I made my way over to the gardens; camera, shorts, sandals, grumpy attitude and all. 

On my trek out to Belmont, I also had the opportunity the beautiful little town, made ever-so-much-more peaceful by the light fog and dreary day.  I scoped out the Oldstone Steakhouse, which will be a stop for the Wife and I sometime early next year.

Once I finally got to the entrance, which I was beginning to doubt actually existed after what seemed like hours through the back roads of Gaston County.  To be fair, it was probably only something like 15-20 minutes, but it seemed like days.  I was actually a little concerned the gardens would be closed, just because of the crummy weather, but not so.  9am-5pm everyday.  I was greeted by a quiet, winding road with a pristine pond before getting to the Visitor’s Center.

IMG_1942 I eventually made my way to the Visitor’s Center parking lot was nearly empty. 

IMG_1938I popped inside and was greeted with this dome.  I’m not sure if it’s actually stained glass, or if it’s just some kind of cast plastic, or what.  It was impressive, nonetheless.

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I headed to the desk.  $10 to get in.  As I looked around at the otherwise completely deserted rooms, and suggested, “Looks like it’s been a busy day!”

“No, not really at all, actually.”   She replied.  My spidey-sense told me that my sarcasm was lost on her.

I paid my fee and headed to the gardens.  The gardens were not as impressive as I had hoped, but I am nearly certain that was a function of the weather and time of year.  I didn’t expect a color explosion in the middle of the winter, but I did expect more winter-blooming flora and fauna.  With a little imagination, however, I could see how the gardens must be gorgeous from March through October.  If you have an opportunity to get to the gardens sometime during the peak seasons, definitely take the opportunity!

IMG_1821 As the morning had brought a good bit of light drizzle, several of the flowers were wearing a light bit of dampness.IMG_1827

There were certainly SOME bright-blossoms, but not many.IMG_1853 There are several fountains on the property, and all were running. 

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There are several stunning views, which can only be more stunning with the burst of color that blooming flowers bring.

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IMG_1896 The trees, bushes, and structures were decorated with Christmas lights.  During the holidays, the hours are extended from 5pm-9pm for the lights to be on display.

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IMG_1902 The greenhouse held any number of bright, tropical plants.  The displays were beautiful, but being an amateur photographer, I took my nice cool camera from outside to inside the warm, moist greenhouse.  My camera fogged up, and left me thoroughly unable to get any decent shots inside the greenhouse.  You’ll have to go see it for yourself!  You won’t be disappointed.

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I would definitely recommend checking out the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens when the flowers are in bloom.  The large, well-manicured gardens, were impressive without all the blooms, and would only be more stellar with additional color on a bright sunny day.

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