Sometimes the view is one of a rooftop of air conditioning systems. :( Sometimes I get to see trees. :) Sometimes it's the twinkling of lights in the city. :) Sometimes it's a brick wall. :( But I always look.
So, never knowing what I'm going to see, when I opened the drapes to look outside on this trip, I was pleasantly surprised. We were overlooking the outdoor terrace area. Our room was directly above the pool, giving me a lovely view of calm, blue water. No one was swimming - it was too cool. So I drank in the symmetry of the rectangular pool. I noticed the cushioned chairs. They looked quite comfortable, even though no one was sitting in them. My eyes shifted to the left, to the rest of the terrace. And my heart jumped for joy.
"Look! It's a garden! It's a rose garden!" I was several floors above the terrace, and from my angle, I couldn't quite make out all the plants in the garden, but I could distinctly see some roses, and pathways.
A terrace garden!
"Oh, let's go see the garden!" I'm certain my husband rolled his eyes, but I didn't see it, because my eyes were transfixed on the garden below.
In case you're wondering, I have been gone for the last couple of days on business. Did you miss me? ;)
Anyway, I knew that we were going to be there for business. The days were scheduled, hour by hour. There would be no free time to explore. No time for garden tours. No reason to take my camera. I was amazed to be wrong!
And I was even more amazed when we rode the elevators down to the terrace level, opened the doors, and stepped outside. This was no ordinary garden.
We were staying at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas. The restaurant inside the hotel is called the Pyramid. And this terrace garden supplies some of the herbs, vegetables, fruit, and honey used by the Pyramid restaurant. It is a 3,000 sq. ft. garden. Growing there were herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, and even a bay leaf tree. There was a fig tree, strawberry plants, and salad greens. Ready for harvesting were cantaloupe, swiss chard, eggplant, and numerous varieties of peppers.
They even had a small greenhouse and a rotating composter at one end of the garden. The entire garden was unexpected, and I was thrilled with each new discovery. It was especially exciting to see beehives! Of course, it makes sense. I doubt there are a lot of bees flying around high rises, looking for gardens. So, they brought the bees to the garden. And they collect and use the honey in the restaurant, as well as all the vegetables and herbs growing here in the terrace garden.
A restaurant in a large city that grows its own food. Now, that is local - and oh, so fresh! I was impressed. In fact, I was so impressed, we decided to steal a few minutes out of our business schedule in order to splurge and eat at the Pyramid (in the restaurant, not in the actual garden - even though there's an option for that!).
We had a fun time discussing each bite, trying to decide which ingredients came from the terrace garden. I have since learned that this chef is committed to serving local foods, going so far as to buy meat, cheeses, and even their olive oil, from Texas ranches. Local and fresh. You could taste the difference it made. Our food was delicious. No, it was much more than just delicious. It was sublime. I will dream about that meal for weeks.
Oh, and the roses? Yes, there were some roses there. But they were just a small part of the garden, not the main feature. They must have been planted there just to lure me down!
The photos are from my own garden. If you're interested in learning more about this terrace garden, click here. And if you are patient enough to go through a slideshow of the hotel, click here, then click on the photos. One of the slideshow photos is of the terrace garden.