2017: Water

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Water is life! In 2017 Reiman Gardens celebrates water as its theme and the plant, insect and human lives it sustains. The Gardens are alive with colorful displays inspired by all things water-related – from umbrellas and fountains to sea monsters and surfing. The importance of water will be on display with the Washed Ashore™ exhibit whose trash to art sculptures highlights the importance of clean water. Join us at the Gardens as we show you the power and beauty of water in the Gardens!

sculpture exhibit: “Washed Ashore™”

throughout Reiman Gardens from April 29 – October 31

Reiman Gardens will feature 10, larger-than-life sea creature sculptures made from trash collected from beaches to graphically illustrate the tragedy of the pollution in our oceans and waterways. Clean water is important to all life, and Reiman Gardens is the first public garden to bring you this message of conservation, protection and recycling through these original, inventive and imaginative garbage-to-art sculptures. CLICK HERE to learn more.

garden display: “Petals & Parasols”

in the Hughes Conservatory from January 13 – April 23

Colorful umbrellas are paired with vibrant blossoms in the Conservatory this winter and early spring. See orchids and other colorful flowers with perfect forms for attracting pollinators positioned amongst umbrellas giving us to ability to enjoy exotic blooms under cover from rain or sun!

gallery exhibit: “River Stories – Views from an Iowa Watershed”

in the Garden Room Gallery until March 31

We welcome you to River Stories: Views from an Iowa Watershed! Women own or co-own almost half of Iowa’s farmland. Our agricultural watersheds are currently receiving a lot of attention from policymakers, media, activists, and scientists, but we seldom hear stories from those who own this land.

Betty Wells, Jean Eells, and Angie Carter have studied women farmland owners and conservation and have led programming for women farmland owners in Iowa through the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Together, we wondered what stories might women landowners share about their experiences in their watersheds? How might we engage conversations about our watersheds, and our land, in new and different ways?

In the fall of 2015, Wells, Eells, and Carter led two Women Caring for the Land Learning Circles through Women, Food and Agriculture Network with funding from the Toyota TogetherGreen program in Coon Rapids and Jefferson, Iowa. At these meetings, Carter shared information about this upcoming photovoice project and recruited participants. In the spring of 2016, the group met twice in-person and twice by phone to plan, share, and organize photos for today’s exhibit.

Photovoice is a community-based process that uses photography and group dialogue to understand topics of importance or concern within a community. Photovoice is different than documentary photography in that it prioritizes participants’ own experiences. Community members, rather than an outside photographer, take pictures of their community. The resulting photos and captions, or “photostories,” have multiple benefits as a source of knowledge for participants and the community at large. These photostories are both data and tools for dialogue, education, or action.

garden display: “Springtime Swirl”

in the Campanile Garden, Herb Garden, South Mixed Border, and Children’s Garden from mid April – mid May

Tulips come in a wide range of colors and tones. This year the seasonal beds will swirl across the landscape mimicking watercolors. With nearly 50,000 bulbs on display, this canvas should not be missed!

In the Campanile Garden a single tulip cultivar, ‘Negrita,’ has been painted throughout each of these beds, blending with others in gradation for a watercolor wash effect.

In the Herb Garden Inspired by the color of water as viewed from above, Joey and Jesse’s Herb Garden features a “blue” hyacinth mix with a single variety of white tulip, ‘Delta White’.

The Children’s Garden is awash with early-blooming bulbs in delicious reds and pinks. The ‘Hemisphere’ variety is essentially a watercolor all by itself – splashing the canvas with colors anywhere between red with white specks, to white with red stripes, and everywhere between!

garden display: “Totally Tubular”

in the Hughes Conservatory from April 28 – August 13

Catch a wave all summer in the Conservatory and explore plantings inspired by surfing the big breaker. Riding a wave that forms a tube is ‘radical’ and so are the amazing tubular-shaped flowers featured in this Conservatory display.

garden display: “Thrillers, Spillers & Tummy Fillers”

in the Herb Garden from May 15 – October 15

Find innovative inspiration in non-traditional planting methods in the Herb Garden this summer. See thyme, oregano and other culinary herbs spilling from fountains creating a thrilling and surprisingly colorful display that will inspire both the chef and gardener in all of us!

garden display: “From the Deep”

in the Campanile Garden from May 15 – October 15

Dive in deep and see something amazing. The depths of the oceans are the source of tales of fantastical monsters both real and imaginary. Enjoy the enchanting Campanile Garden display inspired by sea monsters from oceans deep!

garden display: “Bath Time & Bubbles”

in the Children’s Garden from May 15 – October 15

Children love water! Whether watching the stream under the covered bridge, the surprises in the frog splash pad, or enjoying an inventive display inspired by bath time and bubbles, don’t miss the Children’s Garden!

garden display: “Torpedoes & Tomatoes”

in the Home Production Garden from May 15 – October 15

Just as submarines explore the deep ocean, visiting the Home Production Garden will allow you the opportunity to explore some of the tasty components common to submarine sandwiches. Get inspired and dive deep to learn more about growing all types of vegetables.

garden display: “Cardinal Tide”

in the Hughes Conservatory from August 18 – November 5

Red is on display this fall in the Conservatory. While you may not visit a beach experiencing a crimson tide, you won’t want to miss the Iowa State inspired plant-based Cardinal Tide that engulfs the Conservatory.

garden display: “Snow & Ice”

in the Hughes Conservatory from November 10 – January 7

The popular RG Express train returns for the holidays, and this year it chugs through a landscape of snow and ice! Shimmering icicles, beautiful snowflakes, white poinsettias and snow-flocked trees will create a frozen landscape for the whimsical train display.