Yesterday we got up early and went to the Shangri La Gardens in Orange, Texas. Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies that the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures.
Orange is a small town that hasn't seen much growth over the past 25 years, so it was cool to see such a beautiful, new garden with modern Green facilities. All of the buildings were so attractive.
I couldn't possibly post all the pictures I took.. with my cameraphone. I swear, I'm getting a decent camera soon. Anyway, these are just a few of the pictures. All the pictures of orchids and other flowers I took didn't do the plants justice so they're getting left out all together.
Pitcher plant-- holds water and catches bugs.
Everything about the garden is green.. it recycles rainwater, uses wood and brick from Hurricaine Rita, uses solar energy, etc. I asked one nice, old man who worked there what he did if he saw snakes and he said he won't kill them because there's "too many tree-huggers 'round here."
We spent about three hours walking around the 252-acre tract and admiring the plants, birds, flowers and butterflies. Sunshine and Lemon pie!
These bottle trees were cool, something I might try when it's house time.
Glass "bottle trees" orginated in Northern Africa during a period when superstitious people believed that a genii or imp could be captured in a glass bottle. Legend had it that empty glass bottles placed outside the home could "capture" roving (usually evil) spirits at night, and the spirit would be destroyed the next day in the sunshine. This practice was taken to Europe and North America by African slaves. While Europeans adapted them into hollow glass spheres known as "witch balls" the practice of hanging bottles in trees became widespread in the Southern states of North America, where they continue to be used today as colorful garden ornaments.