Friday, May 8, 2015

Beautiful Day, The Third

Hello, friends. Today we went on what is becoming an annual holiday for us. Today was our official Beautiful Day. I told the story of our first Beautiful Day last year in this post. The timing of this year's Beautiful Day was wonderful, because it was also National Public Gardens Day and participating gardens were free to attend. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was a participating garden and so we chose to head over there for the morning and then picnic under the blooming crab apple trees for lunch!

Years ago, on the first Beautiful Day we were also at the Arboretum. As we were leaving, we drove on the Arboretum's 3-mile drive. The Arboretum covers more than 1,200 acres of land and the 3-mile drive is one way they display their various plant collections. There is the Shade Tree Collection, the Rhododendron Collection, the Maple Tree Collection, the Weeping Trees Collection and on and on it goes. Of course, they also have the Flowering Crab Apple Tree Collection. Under them, as we drove by years ago, there were people sitting on blankets having a picnic as the petals fell all around them. It was like something out of a dream. And a dream it became for me: to one day come back and have a picnic of our own under the Flowering Crab Apple Trees.

Well, today my dream came true. :) It was a bit cooler than I would have liked, but I really couldn't ask for more. The timing was so perfect. The odds of us having a day without other appointments and to have the weather cooperate and the trees to be blooming AND admission to be free were all pretty remarkable. So please indulge me as I share our morning with you in pictures and a couple of short videos!

Before we headed out to the gardens, we took in a few, amazing watercolors on display in the Visitor's Center. These had me thinking of getting out my own paints and pencils again this summer...

  Inside the garden we toured the Japanese Garden:

I just love the shapes given to the plants in Japanese gardens. It makes me want to learn about bonsai!

The tulips were stunning even with a cloudy sky.

Maia's favorite color has been yellow since she was a year old. She found her perfect yellow tulip!

There was a smaller section of flowering crab apple trees and lilac bushes all in bloom within the gardens. The smell was just heavenly and the entire effect was just dreamy. Please forgive the poor quality video; it is taken from my phone. But we were all just so enchanted with the falling petals and the beauty of it all, I had to try to get just a bit of it!

And finally, THIS is where we found our spot for lunch. Nearly every direction we looked, as far as the eye could see, were blooming crab apple trees. It was truly lovely and something I'll treasure and remember always ~ these beautiful days with my girls.

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