There’s a place unlike any other. A place that will take your breath away. A place that smells like heaven and looks like something out of a dream.
This place is in the most unexpected, well, place. You will find Hamann Rose Garden along a busy multi-lane road. On the other side of that busy road are the incredible Sunken Gardens (a post for another day). Right next to the rose garden you will find the Rotary Strolling Garden. After a leisurely stroll through the garden you will come upon the wonderful Children’s Zoo.
All within walking distance of each other, these gardens and zoo are my favorite place in Lincoln, Nebraska. They provide a sanctuary in the heart of the city; a sanctuary from the busyness of life and the noise of the everyday.
The first time I visited the rose garden I was like a kid in a candy store. In fact, I’ve been that kid in the candy store and this was even better! My hands shook as I tried to get my camera set up for the bright and sunny conditions. I was so excited to start photographing the beauty all around me, I couldn’t quite contain my joy.
My eyes have never seen so many colors of roses, let alone all in one place! At first I bounced from flower to flower snapping away. My mom was with me and we couldn’t stop exclaiming to one another, “Look at this one!” or “You’ve got to see this one!” or “Quick, come here; this one smells amazing!”
Eventually I settled down and focused on composition and lighting and all that photography jazz. Often I didn’t even stand up, I’d just schooch from one flower to the next, along rows and rows of roses.
Cars hit their brakes and honked as they lined up at the stop light like a long noisy caterpillar before zooming off, oblivious to the beauty right next to them. However, sitting in that rose garden, all the sounds melted into the background and I found peace and joy.
The sun was hot on my head; my eyes watered and squinted against the light as I tried to capture the beauty that was all around me.
Finally it was time to go. Oh how I hated to go, but I was getting light-headed from the sun and heat. Slowly I walked in the direction of the truck as my eyes caressed the roses one last time.
“Wait, one more, just one more!”
A rose looked up at me, soft and perfect. Its delicate petals a color I can’t quite describe; lovely peach and pink and cream – all shifting and mixing together in the bright sun. I plopped down on the hot cement walk and photographed the perfect rose. It was God’s gift to me that day. I hope you enjoy its beauty as much as I do!