Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Point Gardens Lehi, Utah

"Enjoy the sweeping vistas of the Grand Allee, cross the Monet Bridge and watch the flower-bordered creek ripple by, or walk to the amphitheater and marvel at the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere
Designed to be a peaceful place where the gifts of nature could be appreciated, Thanksgiving Garden covers 55 acres. Utah landscape architect Leonard Grassli designed a series of gardens motivated by themes: The Creek Garden, the Monet Garden, the Rose Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Secret Garden, the Italian Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Parterre Garden, the Vista Garden, and the Waterfall Garden. We also added our Children’s Discovery Garden, which has been a wonderful delight for visiting families."
That is what the web site for Thanksgiving Point says about their gardens. For Jared's wedding in Draper we stayed in Thanksgiving Point. We had seen the area when we drove past but never stopped. I know I had heard the kids talk about the gardens before but I never thought too much about them. On Friday we found ourselves with a couple of hours of free time so we decided to head over to the gardens and give it a look see. We didn't have time to go to the Children's Garden but I'm sure we will make time the next time we go there.
Considering this is desert in Utah this garden was lush!! I'm not sure where they get their water from but they must be using a lot!! (My guess is the draw from the Jordon River that runs through or next to the area.) The grounds were massive and breathtaking. Thanksgiving Point wasn't even started until 1996. I don't remember when they started the gardens but what they have done in that time is amazing. Give it another 20 years for the trees to grow up and fill in and it will be something else.

Most of the flowers seem to annuals here. The work to plant new one each year would make my head spin!! There are thousands and thousands of plants.

We were there the first part of July which would be near the beginning of the growing season. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that they would start planting around the beginning of May. I know this year was a late spring with snow coming in May a little further north and south. I don't know if they are any different there or not.

I really liked the carousel with the topiary horses planted with succulents and annuals.

Close up of one of the horses.

Monet Bridge.
Every turn of the garden seemed like a place for a photo op!! While we were there on a Friday afternoon we must have seen 4 to 5 brides all dressed in their wedding dresses getting their Bridal Pictures done. That is something I had not heard of before but guess it is common in Utah if not other places. The brides get dressed sometime before the wedding and go out and have pictures taken of just themselves. It makes sense in a lot of ways. They get the pictures they want but it doesn't hold up the wedding itself.
There doesn't seem to be a bad place to take pictures in the garden and the surrounding areas around Thanksgiving Point itself has lot of places also. Jared and Willie came down here for their engagement pictures. I don't think Willie did her Bridals down there but I might be wrong about that.
This is the main visitor center at the beginning of the gardens. This is looking back from the middle of the garden.

Paul enjoying the views.

Maggie doing the same.

More pretties.

In the background you can see what the area looks like without added water.

Grand Staircase. Really I don't remember what it is called but it was large, long and pretty. If I remember there was water coming down the middle.

I don't know if you can see the mountains in the background or not. Click on the picture to enlarge it and maybe you can see them better. What really surprised us was that it was hot, in the 90's and there is still snow on the mountains!!

What did the ad say, the largest man made waterfalls in the west?
If you are in the area I would suggest a visit here. For a new man made area it is great. Now I will have to say I like our "wild" garden here in town a little better but for a formal garden it is great.
(P.S. Just don't plan on stopping on Sunday!! They close up everything in the whole area!! The museum gardens and restaurants!! Remember you are in Utah!!)

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