Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian greenhouse and botanical garden located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

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The materials for the conservatory were purchased by businessman James Lick. He died in 1876 before construction could commence and the materials were sold by his estate. A group of businessmen purchased the materials and offered it as a gift to the City to be erected in Golden Gate Park.

The conservatory opened in 1879 making it the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. It is also the oldest wood-glass conservatory in North America. Its design is inspired by the Kew Gardens in London. The impressive wooden Victorian building has 16,800 window panes.

It houses nearly 2,000 plant species across five galleries – Aquatic Plants, Highland Tropics, Lowland Tropics, Potted Plants, and West Gallery.

The conservatory is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm. It closes some public holidays; visit the website for full hours and pricing.

It is located at 100 John F Kennedy Drive.

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Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

The Japanese Tea Garden is a jewel in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

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This is the oldest Japanese garden in the United States. It was originally created for a Japanese village exhibit as part of the California Widwinter Exposition in 1894.

After the exposition Japanese landscape architect Makoto Haigwara developed the exhibit into to a permanent Japanese tea garden. Haigwara and his family lived on the property until World War II when they were evicted and sent to an internment camp.

The garden’s winding paths weave around pagodas, wooden bridges, rock gardens, koi ponds, and buddha statues.

There is a tea house serving Japanese refreshments. I had a cup of green tea with a slice of green tea cheesecake.

If you visit before 10am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday admission is free. The garden opens at 9am and closes at 4:45pm in winter and 6pm in summer. See their website for prices and seasonal hours.

The Japanese Tea Garden is located at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park.

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Jallianwala Bagh Memorial

Jallianwala Bagh Memorial is a public garden in Amritsar that is memorial to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

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The memorial was established in 1951 to commemorate the massacre.

On Sunday 13 April 1919 the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire on thousands that had gathered peacefully in the Bagh to celebrate Baisakhi, an annual Sikh festival.

Visitors will enter the garden through a narrow lane, which would have been the only way to escape but was blocked by Dyer’s men.

The bullet ridden walls have been preserved as a reminder of the tragedy. There is also the Martyr’s Well, which many people jumped into to avoid the bullets. Around 120 bodies were recovered from the well.

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The spot from where General Dyer’s troops opened fire

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Bullet marks

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Martyrs’ Well

As well as the preserved bullet marked walls and the well there are several monuments within and outside the garden.

The centrepiece of the garden is the Flame of Liberty, a 30ft four-sided red stone pillar in the shape of a flame. The Flame of Liberty was inaugurated on 13 April 1961 by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India.

Amar Jyoti, which translates as ‘timeless light’, is an eternal flame, that burns 24 hours a day.

Outside the entrance to Jallianwala Bagh is an elegant white marble statue that is also in the shape of a flame.

The 6.5 acre garden is located within the Golden Temple complex, and is a short walk from the Golden Temple.

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Flame of Liberty

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Amar Jyoti

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Pukekura Park

Pukekura Park is a Garden of National Significance in New Plymouth covering 52 hectares.

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Pukekura Park contains a range of landscaped gardens, lakes, exotic trees and walking paths through native bush.

It is also is full of history. The park opened in 1876 as a recreational reserve. At that time it was a stream valley full of gorse and wild bush.

In 1878 the main lake was formed by damming the Pukekura Stream that run through the park. In 1884 the ‘Poets Bridge’ was built across the lake. The original bridge was rebuilt in 1938 due to deterioration. Its red colour scheme is based on the Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko, Japan.

In 1888 a bandstand was erected and in 1897, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the drinking fountain was unveiled.

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Poets Bridge

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Drinking fountain and bandstand

In 1928 a fernery was built that today has more than 50,000 plants. The Tea House opened in 1931, which is operating today as Tea House on the Lake, it is open from 9am to 4pm.

There is a waterfall that opened in 1970. It has three main cascades. The highest is 10.6 metres. It uses water from the adjacent lake. Water at the foot of the waterfall is recycled through a pumphouse to a small pool at the top.

To celebrate the park’s centenary a water wheel was erected in 1976.

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Waterfall

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Water wheel

The park was named Pukekura Park in 1907 after the stream that run through the park.

Pukekura Park is also home to the Sports Grounds, TSB Bowl of Brooklands, and the the Brookland Zoo.

The main gate to Pukekura Park is at 10 Fillis Street, New Plymouth.

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Tūpare Gardens

Tūpare is a former private gardens open to the public in New Plymouth.

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Tūpare is a 3.6 hectare heritage property managed by the Taranaki Regional Council, which means it is open and free to the public to visit.

Businessman Sir Russell Matthews and his wife Mary purchased the property on on the edge of the Waiwhakaiho River in 1931. At that time it was covered in blackberry, gorse and bracken. They begun building a home and developing the landscape gardens.

The Tudor-style house was designed by James Chapman-Taylor. There was a disagreement between Matthews and Chapman-Taylor over the size of the dining room and Matthews ended the agreement. Matthews did follow the original plans and it took him 12 years to complete construction.

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Tūpare was purchased by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust in 1984 and opened to the public.

The word tūpare means ‘garland of flowers’.

There are three suggested walking routes around Tūpare. The Boundary Trail circles around the property through Redwoods, bush and the garden. The Garden Walk criss-crosses through the main garden areas. The House Stroll is an easier walk through the some of the popular areas of the of the garden.

Dogs and bicycles are not permitted in the gardens.

The gardens are free to visit and are open 9am to 8pm during daylight savings and 9am to 5pm during the winter.

Tūpare is at 487 Mangorei Road, near the intersection with State Highway 3.

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VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 22 hectare (55 acre) garden in Vancouver, Canada.

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VanDusen Botanical Garden, which first opened in 1975, is located at 5251 Oak Street at West 37th Avenue.

The opening hours change each month with the change in daylight hours. So it is best to check the website for accurate timings and admission prices.

Garden highlights include an Elizabethan Hedge Maze, Sino-Himalayan Garden, Japanese Garden, South African Garden, Chilean Garden, Australian & New Zealand Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Canadian Heritage Garden, Woodland Garden, Fern Dell, Vegetable Garden, Fragrance Garden, Rhododendron Walk, and formal and heritage rose gardens.
Also onsite there is the Shaughnessy Restaurant and Truffles Cafe, otherwise visitors can find a spot and enjoy a picnic.
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VanDusen Botanical Garden Map

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VanDusen Botanical Garden

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Totem Poles

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“Transformation Plant” – Artist: Chris Booth, New Zealand

The Giant’s House Akaroa

The Giant’s House is a quirky sculpture, mosaic garden and gallery in Akaroa.

The Giant's House

The Giant’s House

The sculpture, mosaic and terraced garden is created by artist Josie Martin.

The Giant’s House is located at 68 Rue Balguerie, which is off Rue Lavaud (Akaroa’s main road).

Winter hours (1 May – 24 December) are 2 pm – 4 pm and summer hours (26 December – 30 April) are 12 pm – 5 pm. On cruise ship visiting days (October – December) it is open 12.30 pm – 4 pm. Adults are $20, children (2 – 15) are $10, students and NZ super gold card holders are $17. There are family pass tickets available.

The house also offers bed and breakfast accommodation.

The house was built in 1880 by the BNZ Bank Manager. It took 5 years to build the house using Kauri and Totara milled from the Banks Peninsula. The house was named ‘The Giant’s House’ after a little girl looked up at the house and said it was so big it must belong to a Giant.

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