- Author: Janet Snyder
If you knew my family, you'd know that we are big fans of all things Disney. Recently, we took a trip down to Disneyland for a short family vacation. We love the rides, the atmosphere, the music, and the characters. But…my absolute favorite reason to go is to soak up the gardens!
We spent more than a fair amount of time in lines this trip, which is fine with me as it gives me more time to study the gardens. For example, while waiting for the Buzz Lightyear ride, I was able to enjoy the herb garden planted in a small raised bed. Rows of thyme, sage, basil, rosemary, and oregano. The Haunted Mansion gardens are planted with a variety of dark-colored grasses, annuals, and perennials. Pansy, Sweet William, iris, tulips, and cosmos are just some of the flowers in black, dark purple, chocolate, or burgundy that they use. Take a ride on Storybook Land and you'll find an entire garden in miniature. They even have a "quilt" done entirely in succulents. Disney parks gardens are planted in masses, rows, groups. Nothing is random.
Who hasn't gone there and noticed the huge hanging baskets of flowers? The animal topiaries around It's A Small World? Even the riot of flora and fauna along the Jungle Cruise ride is carefully planned, planted, maintained, and changed. After you start paying attention, you realize just how much detail has been tended to. Visit any other amusement park, but you will not find any with gardens that can hold a candle to those at Disney parks. Probably one of the most well-known family photo spots is the iconic Mickey Mouse head of flowers as you enter the park. That one particular icon alone requires 24,000 annuals a year!* Disney has 650 horticulturists tending the gardens of Disneyland and Disney World.* You would be surprised at how many impressive garden and landscape statistics are available that people visiting don't even consider. I own a number of books (mostly gifts!) on the gardens of Disney. They provide me with inspiration when I need it.
Someday, one of the things on my own personal "bucket list" is to visit the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival held in Florida every spring. Until then, our family and I will continue to make the drive to Disneyland and enjoy the gardens.
*Markey, Kevin. Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens. New York: Disney Editions, 2006. Print.