Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 Idaho--Thomas E Ricks Gardens

The Hot Chick at the Thomas E. Ricks Horticulture Gardens

On the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho, there is a wonderful horticultural display garden called the Thomas E. Ricks Horticulture Gardens.  In 1977 the college (then Ricks College, a junior college) set aside a ten acre tract at the south end of campus as an outdoor lab for the horticulture students.  In the thirty-five years since it has evolved into one of the finest show gardens in the western United States.

Each year the horticulture students design another portion of the permanent display and implement the design.  I like to call it "parkitecture".  There are formal areas, rustic areas, water features and even a vegetable garden within the ten acre tract.  Some of the features have a small sign that says "built by the class of ..." in an out of the way place.  There are large areas of tree lined greensward on the south end of the gardens which means there is a lot of room for more displays.  Each year the gardens get just a little better.

During the school year, when it's warm enough, students use the garden to study, to court, to get away from the concrete, brick and mortar for awhile.  The gardens are a very peaceful place surrounded by very large trees.  In the summertime the gardens are used for wedding receptions and other gatherings.  The College of Visual and Performing Arts that I teach in has an annual steak fry at the beginning of fall semester in the gardens every year.

I decided I wanted to take my bride to the gardens and walk around them with her for an hour or so.  We did that yesterday.  I had walked around the gardens a little but had never been all the way through them.  They are idyllic.  Here are the pics.

The Parkitecture

The main entrance

Flower beds

Arched pergola

The Hot Chick at one of many water features

Study or picnic area


Flower beds


"Rubble chic" entrance

Another of the water features

Greensward flanked with tall trees

Peaceful garden path

Weeping willows are always cool

Flower beds

Italianate "ruins" 



The formal Italian garden

Pagan art

Cool ground treatment

Part of the Italian garden


Reception pavilion

Lion fountain

In context

And yet another water feature


Vegetable garden

Porch at the vegetable garden

Colonnaded pergola on the east side 
My Favorite Shots

Painted daisy

Old fashioned rose

Pretty purple flowers


Serendipitous shot


Another serendipitous shot

Lily pads

Say hello to my little friend

Purple coneflower and pollinator

Bent birch tree

Water lilies

Lily pads

Pink water lilies


Bunch of grapes at the vegetable garden

Looks like a zinnia to me


The gardens were very peaceful.  We shared them with dozens of other people yesterday, but we hardly saw any of them.  Each of the features were intimate and away from the next.  There were no straight paths through the gardens.  Around each turn was something else to look at.  There were many people in the gardens but I was careful not to photograph them.  In reality, like theatre, a garden is only art when there is someone to look at it and enjoy it.  I really enjoyed spending some time with my wife/girlfriend/best friend in the gardens yesterday.  I will go back with her and enjoy them again and again.

1 comment:

  1. This blog site is pretty good! How was it made . I view something genuinely interesting about your site so I saved to my bookmarks . You can visit my site.
    Woodinville Wedding Receptions