Friday, October 7, 2016

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Japanese Garden
Bonsai specimen in the Japanese garden
We fell in love with Botanical Gardens after visiting the one in Brooklyn while visiting our daughter Melissa one Spring many years ago.  
There is something wonderful about wandering among the plants and trees moving along paths between planned spaces.

We have found Botanical Gardens in many cities that we have visited and Norfolk's is among the most beautiful.

We crossed 3 bridges on our garden walk, each one draped with flowers
Rose garden specimen
Rose garden
The Norfolk Botanical Garden has been around since 1938 when a WPA grant and a donation of 150 acres of land from the city coincided to build an azalea garden.  200 African American women were assigned the project and working with only hand tools cleared enough land for 10,000 flowers and shrubs to be planted.
Today the Norfolk Botanical Garden encompasses 175 acres and 52 themed gardens. They are connected by roads and walking paths. 

We visited on an overcast day with threats of showers but it didn't dampen our enthusiasm for wandering among the plants.
I particularly enjoyed the Japanese garden with its tables of ornamental Bonsai trees and a quiet pond that hosted turtles and dragonflies. The azaleas and rhododendron were long past their blooming phase but the roses were lovely.

View from the NATO Overlook
Eagle statue NATO overlook
Fred's favorite display was the NATO Vista. The NATO overlook is a covered tower at the center of the garden. Built on a high point in the landscape it allows a birds eye view of much of the garden spaces.
You would have to return a number of times and in all seasons to see the everything that Norfolk Botanical Garden has to offer. We were happy to be able to walk about 75% of it before the weather changed for the worse.
We had a lovely walk and got back to the truck before the skies opened. All in all a great way to spend the afternoon.

Norfolk Botanical Garden
6700 Azalea Garden Rd
Norfolk, VA
(757) 441-5830

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