Today Teresa Watkins is taking us to visit a very unusual garden.
After Christmas, I was in Massachusetts to interview garden author Jana Milbocker for my radio show Better Lawns and Gardens. During the interview, Jana told us that we needed to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when we went into Boston. Despite the infamous Gardner Heist, a $600 million theft of art that occurred in 1990, I had never heard of the museum. I didn’t anticipate the incredible awe and intensity that I would feel walking through this landmark art museum. Seeing the massive collection of Mrs. Gardner, a wealthy Bohemian philanthropist who traveled the world in search of treasure, I went from room to room almost speechless. I don’t think I stopped gasping the entire time we were there. Although we arrived in the afternoon, we were able to enjoy strolling the courtyard with its exotic and lush tropical plants encased in the four-story, glass-roofed, all-season conservatory. Dusk arrives early in winter in Boston, so the lighting was dim, but I still enjoyed viewing the interior landscape with night lighting and was able to take over 300 photographs in three hours. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has something to impress everyone, from museum antiquities to interior lush landscaping. It’s a must-see stop for anyone visiting Boston.
Looking down into the courtyard from one of the balconies surrounding it
It’s hard to believe this is Boston in December; the setting transports you to another world.
The interior is filled with beautiful plants, like this Norfolk island pine (Araucaria heterophylla).
Looking up shows the beautiful architecture and the glass roof that allows these plants to thrive.
Potted tropical slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) in bloom
Tall tree ferns (probably the genus Dicksonia) grow in the conservatory.
As dusk falls, lighting transforms the space.