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Newberry, South Carolinas Wells Japanese Garden

  • Posted on June 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

The midlands of South Carolina would seem to be an unusual place to find a Japanese Garden. The town of Newberry has just such a hidden gem in the Wells Japanese Garden. The garden was once privately owned by the Wells family, but was donated to the city in 1970 and is now a Newberry city park.
The garden was designed in 1930 by W. Fulmer Wells. The young Newberry resident had been studying architecture in California. Fulmer was influenced by the design of the Japanese Tea Garden that he had visited at San Franciscos Golden Gate Park. The building of the garden was carried out by his father, Henry B. Wells, Sr. The small, triangular shaped garden was originally part of a larger residential property containing the Wells family home.

The Wells Japanese Garden has an exotic Asian character. The garden features many of the design elements that would typically be found in a traditional Japanese Garden. The entrance to the garden is through a Torii Gate, a traditional Japanese style gate often found at temple entrances. Torii literally means where birds reside. Most wooden Torii are painted red, as is the one in the Wells garden. A small creek flows through the garden, and a stone Moon Bridge crosses the creek. The half circle of this style of arched bridge is meant to reflect in the water below, creating a full circle between the bridge and its reflection. The garden also has two small ponds. A walking path leads to another ornamental structure, a Japanese Tea House, or Japanese style gazebo. A bench there provides a place for quiet reflection. The posts used in the Tea House were originally part of the historic Newberry Opera House, before its renovation in 1930. The garden also has a Japanese stone temple lantern, another design element typically found in Japanese gardens.

The garden contains both native and exotic plants. Visitors will find water lilies, lotus, Japanese iris, crepe myrtles, cypress, and dogwood trees among the garden plants. The Newberry Council of Garden Clubs maintains the garden as one of their on-going restoration projects. The Wells Japanese Garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Wells Japanese Garden is located on Lindsay Street in downtown Newberry, behind the Newberry City Hall. It is open from 7am-7pm. There are no restroom facilities in the garden. Visitors to Newberry should take time for a quiet stroll through this charming little garden oasis.

Garden Design Software – The Pros And Cons Of Using One

  • Posted on June 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Buying software programs to design your garden for you can be a costly mistake if you choose the wrong thing for your needs. To begin with, let’s take a look at your needs and expectations of any garden design software you may need to purchase.

The first mistake a lot of people make is to think that garden design software will do the design for them. This is simply not the case. Whilst a lot of design software will have some ready-made designs that you can adjust, unless you know the principles of designing your garden, it is very difficult to achieve good results.

It’s a bit like someone giving you the components to a super fast car engine. If you don’t know anything about mechanics, the chances of you producing an engine that really works and delivers what you want it to are very slim. The same is true to designing a garden. Unless you know how it works, all the templates in the world cannot help you achieve the results you want.

Learning the seven most important garden design principles first will enable you to use garden designing software as the tool that it was designed to be.

Pros of Garden Design Software

No drawing required. You can produce a color plan, 3-D views and the best part is it is very easy to make changes.

Cons

It can be time-consuming to learn how to use the software before you even start the design. You are limited to using the materials in the template chooser. The program doesn’t design a garden for you!

Best Option for Planning Your Garden

The best of both worlds would be to do a rough draft of your ideas on paper and then once you think you have a design you like, use a garden design software to draw up a proper plan and give you a 3D view of it.

One thing that is critical to success, though, is the initial survey. Guessing the size and shape of your garden is the worst mistake you can make. You may produce a superb design, but unless it fits, it will be a complete waste of your time.

In a good design, everything links together and functions as one whole entity. So if one part has to change, it has a knock-on effect to everything else in the garden. It’s a bit like having jigsaw pieces that don’t quite fit – it will never work!

Before you buy any software to help you design your garden I would strongly recommend that you do two things. Firstly, learn the principles of garden design; without them you’re wasting your time. Secondly, practice on free software like Google sketch up, to see if you like using a computer to help you design.

Fall Fun At Atlanta Botanical Garden

  • Posted on February 26, 2017 at 11:07 am

Fall is a fabulous time of year to visit Atlanta Botanical Garden. The entire family can enjoy harvest and Halloween activities throughout the month of October. The garden comes alive with pumpkins, scarecrows, goblins, and seasonal fall blooms. Adults may enjoy special seasonal festivities during the Fest-of-Ale on Thursday evenings. Here are the highlights of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens fun fall activities.

Visitors can enjoy Scarecrows in the Garden October 2-31. Local businesses, organizations, schools, and individuals have created more than 100 unique scarecrows for the Childrens Garden and the Southern Seasons Garden. Viewing the zany, whimsical, and spooky creations has become a favorite fall tradition in Atlanta. After finding all the scarecrows, families can participate in free fall crafts and games every weekend from 10am-4pm. Each Saturday and Sunday local Atlanta chefs will showcase seasonal recipes in the Edible Gardens outdoor kitchen. Demonstrations are scheduled at noon, 1pm, and 2pm. Be sure to check out whats in bloom this fall including beautyberry, perennial mums, and spider orchids.

Adults will find live music and seasonal brews in the garden on Thursday evenings in October. Fest-of-Ale takes place from 5-10pm. Enjoy an evening stroll through the garden with your favorite cocktail. On October 11 join a garden expert for a creepy night tour of the Fuqua Conservatory. On October 18 the garden will host its fall market with local artisans offering unique gifts. Vendors will showcase jewelry, accessories, clothing, stationary, glass pumpkins and other ornaments. Its the perfect opportunity to do some early holiday shopping. Attend a free horticultural forum at the Science Caf on October 18 from 7-8pm. On October 25 local celebrity chefs will compete in a pumpkin carving contest. Attendees can place a bid for their favorite jack olantern at the silent auction. Allow time to explore the gift shop for a selection of garden themed books and gifts.

Bring the kids to the garden in their costumes on October 28 for a day of Halloween fun at Goblins in the Garden. A variety of festive activities and treats are planned including crafts, games, and pumpkin decorating. Enjoy the musical entertainment or ride the train or a pony. The Goblins in the Garden celebration runs from 10am-4pm.

Atlanta Botanical Garden is located adjacent to Piedmont Park in midtown, at 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE. The garden is open Tuesday-Sunday. Hours are 9am-7pm April-October and 9am-5pm November-March. Admission is $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 3-12. Parking is available in the adjacent SAGE parking garage.