Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"This other Eden....this England"

Shakespeare, as always, said it best -- describing the beauty and majesty of this land. Even on a gray, drizzly, foggy day, we found Eden. The Eden Project, that is. This amazing collection of plants combines the English love of gardens, the scientist's curiosity about the role of plants on our planet and the environmentalist's concern over our future all in one beautiful, educational and interesting compound. Making use of an old quarry, the facility consists of outdoor areas and space-age, geodesic structures called "biomes." Looking like giant soap bubbles on the landscape, they house plants from all over the world. One large area is devoted to the rainforests of the world while the other houses the drier, more Mediterranean flora. Brilliant red geraniums and magenta bougainvillea splashed against and draped over white walls decorated with colorful Spanish tiles. Knarled olive trees grew by the path while in the vineyard, sculpted Bacchantes reveled among the vines. The only things missing in the California chapparal section were Wal-Mart bags and beer cans. But then, this wasn't really California -- it is Eden.

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