Cleveland under cover


A brief visit to Cleveland. I've long wanted to take in its  Botanical Garden. The perfect opportunity. But it's not summer. It's the middle of January. And a blizzard has just swept through two days before dropping almost two feet of snow. Trailing temperatures in the single digits Fahrenheit in its wake. What's a person to do? I go in anyway, of course.

It’s often said winter is when you get to see the bones of a place. Design stands, for better or for worse, without the distractions of leaves or flowers. But that’s not really why I’m here. On a morning that started off at 7° Fahrenheit (-14° C), but warmed somewhere into the teens by noon.

A garden under deep blanket of snow has a solitary beauty. Very solitary. It was just me and a rogue rabbit. I wasn’t sure which of us was more surprised to see the other. Luckily the paths were nicely cleared the day between me and the storm. Not that the rabbit cared. It just hopped off on a path of its own.

If it had been a bit warmer and the wind a bit less, I might have been tempted to get a good hot coffee from the café, sweep the snow from a bench, and sit. How often do you have almost an entire botanical garden to yourself? I was nicely bundled and scarfed. I had thought to bring my good down winter-garden-walking coat. Actually, I was tempted.

But there are also a couple of tropical greenhouses to check out at the CBG. And I had other things scheduled for the afternoon. First lunch in the pleasant Garden Café. The part that’s indoors for the winter, I assume. Where I did finally get my much-needed hot coffee.

(Next Up: From Madagascar to Costa Rica. Two Greenhouses at the CBG.)