Volunteer = Experience

Exhibit Room
The exhibit room with bromeliads and so much more.

Saturday the husband and I went to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens so I could get started on volunteering. They were having a fall garden fair on Saturday. I thought that would be a good time to go walking around and just visiting the booths. Sadly I got rushed by bad husband who didn't want to be there because we have seen everything. Boo.

fern grotto
Some wonderful plants in Fern Grotto

Today I went down there to go volunteer. They thought I would be good to work with Beverly in the conservatory and green house. Today I went into the Fern Grotto to water and prune and beautify. I was excited because that is my favorite place. There is a waterfall over the wood pathway that goes into a pond. All around there are of course ferns, staghorn ferns. orchids, and many other plants I don't know names of. When I was done there I helped in the exhibit room where there were Bromeliads and aerial plants. I helped Yolanda for awhile picking off dead leaves of the Bromeliads and cleaning up the surrounding area.


While on my break I met the women who takes care of the palms. I don't remember her name, I'm bad with names. She started talking to me about palms and these seeds/fruits she found that she never saw before. She went looking in a book and while looking talked to me about chocolate trees. The botanical gardens has a chocolate tree and it has pods in it. We were tempted to break some open but realized it wouldn't taste like chocolate anyways. I might just go in next time when she isn't looking and break a pod anyways just to see what it's like inside. Well she sent me on a mission to find out about those seeds/fruits since she couldn't find anything in the book. I told her she should look online but she's not computer literate. I am so I found out more info for her. I can't wait to show her what I found and see what she has to say.


Ki said...

Wow, I like the look of the Alocasias, ferns and whatever else in the fern grotto! I am surprised that most people are not computer literate by now. They are missing out on a great resource. You will be invaluable to the palm woman. I was reading something on the chocolate tree and fruit and I think I read that some part of the fruit was edible raw and was quite delectable. Since the tree is for display, I don't think you should break open the fruit until it does naturally. ;) I hope you enjoy your time volunteering there. Sounds like an interesting place to work.

Dawn said...

How beautiful! I've not visited San Antonio Botanical Gardens yet, but would like to. Sorry to hear you were rushed through. Gardens are best observed at a relaxing stroll.

Love your photos! :-)

Annie in Austin said...

Good for you! It wouldn't be easy to find out about unusual plants without the internet.

I was a horticultural volunteer back in Illinois, Vanillalotus, spending many picking off dead leaves - but we didn't have such exotic plants as the ones you're working on.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

snappy said...

Hi Vanillalotus, what a fabulous mythical looking place.The chocolate tree sounds delicious.I will do some research for you too. Great experience though volunteering for you!I must visit one day :)

snappy said...

I did my research about the chocolate tree.The pulp within the pods is edible and is used in Brazil to flavour ice creams and desserts. The seeds are cream coloured to start. Cocoa farmers ferment them to start the brown colour off.They are then dried and packaged before being exported.
I hope one pod drops off so you can see the Seed pods that in the equatorial countrys become Chocolate, yum.
Its amazing that they are growing indoors, as the trees have very specific growing needs (hence growing in tropical rainforests only under the canopy of bigger trees).

Vanillalotus said...

Thank you everyone for you kind comments.
Ki- It's surprising how older people have not bothered to touch a computer. The internet has so much to offer and so much information to give. I'll have to taste some of the chocolate tree. It has soooo many pods.

Dawn- I can view the gardens relaxingly now that I volunteer. I get free admission and can stroll around taking photos before I go home.

annie- It would be very difficult for me to find out about unusual plants. Even when I ask someone what something is I still look it up afterwords just to make sure and gather more information. Our botanical gardens has many exotic plants and most of them do come from exotic places. The screw pine came from the pacific islands.

snappy- Thank you for doing research Snappy. I'll have to try some of this pulp. I will need to take photos of the seeds and pod once one falls off. It's amazing how some of the trees and plants bloom at the botanical gardens. Were I volunteer it's called the conservatory so it's all like green houses with misting systems and glass ceilings.

Wicked Gardener said...

Seriously, you can garden with out a computer? I had no idea. Why would anyone want to do that? :)

Must be fun to spend time in such a beautiful place with other "plant people."