Tuesday, September 14, 2010

USA here we come!

We're off to America! Yippee! Well, not straight away... let me explain. But I need your help!

Pammy and I have long talked about visiting the US one day, going for a long drive in fact. We don't like airports, but we do love music, and some sad events recently have galvanised us into doing it now, rather than waiting any longer. Life is short.

There are a couple of centrepieces to the trip, which could take about eight weeks to complete, maybe more. And I was hoping that some of my readers in the USA and elsewhere might be able to help out with suggestions of good gardens to see along the way.

We haven't figured out our exact itinerary yet, but I think we do know which states we're planning on visiting, so here goes with the rough outline.

First stop Hawaii - Pam loves volcanoes, has never seen one, so we're going to see active volcanoes on the Big Island. As we're not in a hurry, I am sure Hawaii has some superb gardens that would be worth seeing.

Nevada – OK, I admit it, I want to see the world's tackiest city, just for a day, but from there we'll be driving south to the Grand Canyon. I'm much more of a landscape and geography kind of tourist than a big city tourist.

Arizona - heading east from the Canyon...

New Mexico - main stop-off destination is Santa Fe

Texas – this is where the music thing really kicks in. We want to go to Lubbock for starters, not only because Buddy Holly was born there, but so too were our kind of musicians, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely. After that, Austin beckons. Wonder if James McMurtry will be playing there when we pass through?

Louisiana – this is the biggie for me. I love Cajun music so we're off to Lafayette for waltzes, two steps, gumbo and Po' Boy sandwiches. Then on to New Orleans of course, for both of us.

Now it gets crazy, we want to continue on by road to New York, so.....

Tennessee: first stop Memphis, then Nashville. We're hoping to see Tim O'Brien playing somewhere, sometime.

Not sure which route we'll take to get to New York from Nashville, but by then I'll be mighty tired (Pam doesn't drive), but I like the idea of crossing Kentucky by backroads, then West Virginia the same way.

Call us crazy kids, but that's the rough plan at this stage. A very long drive, taking several weeks, with no hurry to get home.

You can post your links and suggestions straight here in the comments box if you like, but you could also email me if you like, if that's easier, at my Garden Amateur email address, which is gardenamateur@gmail.com

All suggestions on any aspect of our plans are welcome, even those just saying "you're crazy" (but we do already know that).

We've given ourselves several months to plan the 2011 trip, but visiting some great gardens along the way is something we'd both love to do.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.


Evelyn said...

No suggestion from me coz I havent been to most of those places. I'm sure you will have a ball.

julie paterson - garden said...

wow - sounds like you're off on a great adventure - have fun with the planning.

Shivangni said...

Again no suggestions from me too. Just wishing you both a great time planning and driving.

Hope the sadness recedes fast.

Shivangni said...

Just found a list of gardens to visit in New York.

1 visit the British Garden at Hanover Square in New York.

2 The High Line - A disused elevated railway, now transformed into an aerial walkway with planting by Piet Oudolf. Access at Gansevoort St in the Meatpacking District.
3 Paley Park - This stylish pocket park, a modern classic, is the polar opposite of the Bannermans' style. At 53rd St between Madison and Fifth Ave.
4 The Conservatory Garden - Herbaceous borders, pergola and grand lawn within Central Park on the site of the old conservatory. At 5th Avenue and 105th St.
Fort Tryon Park - At the very north of Manhattan but worth a trek for The Cloisters museum and views over the Hudson River. 192 St and Dyckman St.
5 Battery Park - Revitalised since 9/11 with planting by Piet Oudolf. At the southern tip of Manhattan on State St.

Paul said...

I've never been, but please take a camera so we see what you find and have a ball.

Isabel said...

This is a beautiful bed and breakfast. http://www.elmwoodgardens.com/

When in Austin depending on the season. http://www.zilkergarden.org/index.html

If you do decide to go any further south to visit San Antonio. You must visit Japanese Tea Gardens (SunkenGardens)http://www.visitsanantonio.com/visitors/play/attraction-details/index.aspx?id=2668
Also visit the Riverwalk
I may be bias, I live in a little city east of San Antonio. I Love the food and the feeling that San Antonio is a big city with a small town personality. Blended cultures a must see.

michelle said...

Lucky you to be able to take 8 lazy weeks cruising across the USofA! Or anywhere for that matter.

While you're in the world's truly tackiest city you could get a taste of the beautiful rock formations that the desert has to offer at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. And if you have enough time after the Grand Canyon go north into Utah to see Zion National Park. If you're not planning on hiking or riding the mules down into the Grand Canyon then it is nice to get a perspective of a beautiful canyon from the bottom which is what you'll get at Zion, although it's an entirely different experience from the bottom of the Grand Canyon and uniquely beautiful in its own right. And Bryce Canyon National Park is another amazing desert landscape that's not too far from Zion, relatively speaking in terms of that vast landscape. Be sure to take your hiking gear with you, I know you'll have your camera equipment along....

Check the schedule of open gardens at www.gardenconservancy.org before you go to find some private gardens that might be open to see in the areas that you'll be visiting.

I do hope that you'll be posting about your trip as you go along, how fun it would be to see that part of the world through your eyes. I do hope to be able to take a nice lazy trip through your part of the world someday.

Tenessa Allen said...

I'm from KY! I'm not aware of any big gardens to stop at here but the Kentucky Horse Park is a must. It is absolutely beautiful, also depending on the time of year you pass through there are multiple festivals where you can soak up some bluegrass music! Fall (September/October) Is a beautiful time of year around Tennessee and Kentucky and the further north you go the better the scenery will be that time of year.

prue said...

Hope you have a wonderful trip. It isn't on your itinerary, though you may need to fly through it, but in San Fran, the Japanese Tea Gardens were so magical! I will never forget them, kind of one of those life changing garden moment thingys.

Still so exciting you will be going on such an amazing trip!

Jamie said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and great links, much appreciated. We're not going until sometime next year, so if you hear of anything great in the meantime, let me know!

Chookie said...

Pam Penick of Digging is in Austin and there seem to be a lot of enthusiastic garden bloggers there with her. They have done a Spring Fling bloggers' tour of Austin and of Buffalo.
I would love to see the Lurie Gardens in Chicago (Piet Oudolf, mainly). See 'Around the World in 80 Gardens' to find out others. Also Blithewold in Rhode Island (another blog I read).
Enjoy planning your adventure!

Unlock Iphone said...

USA is the top!

Elizabeth said...

A beautiful canyon to visit is Bryce Canyon in Utah, if you get a chance. It's worth the drive. Happy travels!

Sue O said...

You should definitely see the Canyons in Utah. If you're in DC, check out the National Botanical Garden. Here's one in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that a fellow blogger wrote about and is now on my Bucket List http://www.meijergardens.org/index.php
and also this one in Bishopville SC from another blogger http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/3932
AND if you get to the Northwest, which is indubitably the most beautiful corner of the US, let me know, because I will have lots of other suggestions for you. And a place to stay.

Dealin Divas said...

Not sure if you can fit Colorado into your trip, but Garden of the Gods at the base of Pikes Peak is an AMAZING place. It is full of red rock formations and wildlife. There are quite a few bed and breakfasts around and you can take the COG railway up to the top of Pikes Peak. You could probably do both in a single day, if you were passing through.
I did a similar trip about 10 years ago, but I took 6 months. It was amazing! My best piece of advice is to talk to the locals of wherever you are. They can often point you to the best places that the guide books do not tell you about!

Jamie said...

It's so tempting to stay a lot longer and visit the beautiful northwestern coast, and to explore Utah and Colorado as well, and visit Chicago, and...

I think three months is the max we're allowed to stay at any one time? But hey, why don't Pam and I just go on the run from the law after three months? I could change my blog title to 'The Fugitive Gardener' and start posting from every state we visit – well, until the FBI finally track us down and deport us. That could be a holiday to remember!

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your great suggestions, and to those very kind people who have also emailed me direct as well with offers of help, providing tourist guide services, and even somewhere to stay. Wow, what can I say! You've really given us so much more to think and dream about. Once we actually formulate some real plans, I'll post some updates.