Before we moved to a new village on Okinawa this past May, Wade and I took advantage of our proximity to go see the Southeast botanical gardens in April. I had been previously but Wade had expressed his great desire to follow me around while I took photos of flowers… again. So I had to be a good wife and take him.
There are a few different activities to do with the kids… all of which are a few more ¥. Fishing, feeding monkeys and capybaras (my friend Rachel’s favorite), painting white cow lawn decorations… all cute stuff. And I know, I know, painting giant white cows would draw nearly everyone to this park, however I was there for the blooming of a rare orchid, the Jade flower.
I have never heard of this plant but once I saw photos on the local photographers facebook page I bursted with excitement. I think I called my best friend and mother to tell them all about the new flower I was going to see. I’m kinda obsessed with plants, particularly flowers. I’ve been known to dig up random plants around Okinawa, name plants while driving, both regardless if I’m alone or not. I worked at a florist through college and then as a part time gig for fun in North Carolina. I adore flowers. All flowers. All the time. Forever.
But Jade Vine is something out of this world. The petals were gradients. From purple centers to turquoise jade changing to an icy white; Jade flowers are remarkably distinct. The petals, shaped like slippers, are cascading from a vine that looks too delicate to hold their weight. Unfortunately, Jade Vine is endangered due to it’s habitat disappearing. You can find these jewel like flowers in a few places around the world, mostly subtropical climates.
To some of you it might be the best reason. I’m wavering between them and the Jade vine.
These little guys were the cutest. I ran a few laps around the pen chasing the goats, because undoubtedly holding two kids is better than one.
Then they ate my hair.
Throughout the year, Southeast Botanical garden has something beautiful in bloom. Even in the middle of a Okinawa winters (Nov – Feb), the gardens illuminate at night and it is one of my favorite christmas illuminations on island. My one complaint is the price. I would visit far more often if it was not around $20 a person. Still, I highly recommend going.