Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園) 

Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)
You know, sometimes I wonder how many more silly puns I can use in post titles before I start turning off readers. Sigh. It’s almost like a compulsion for me. Anyway… I’m embarrassed to admit that I sometimes forget Taipei has a botanical garden, even though it’s a quick bus ride away from my apartment. After nearly five years of living in this city, I finally made my first visit — and that was only because the garden is right behind the National Museum of History (國立歷史博物館), where I recently went to check out the Stunning Pop-up Books (立體書的異想世界) exhibition with my friend. You can see the back of the museum in the above photo. It overlooks a pond filled with lotuses. Mmm… lotuses… Lotus seeds are so tasty when served in a chilled dessert soup with longan berries.

Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)

The lotus pond is quite lovely and understandably a popular subject for photographers. I’m sure someone created the tiny still life above — unless lotus petals just tend to drift gently onto lotus leaves next to perfectly green young lotus pods. I loved the little arrangement. I bet that’s exactly what Thumbelina’s bedroom looked like.
Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)
Speaking of Thumbelina, her erstwhile toad fiance was so distraught after she ran away that he swallowed a phone. How sad.
Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園) Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)
Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)
A lot of the garden’s attractions, like a Qing Dynasty administrative building, were closed when we visited on a Friday evening. This glasshouse reminded me of a visit I made to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in 2006. I was really excited because the Garden’s corpse flower had just bloomed and the New York Times said that the stench was “not to be missed.” I couldn’t stop prattling on about the corpse flower to my co-workers for days. Ron had already moved to Taipei at that time and none of my friends wanted to go with me, for some reason. So I screamed “I HAVE NO FRIENDS” and made the subway trip from Queens to Brooklyn by myself with my Polaroid Spectra camera in tow. Well, when I got there, the stink had already evaporated. I was so disappointed. I felt just like how this guy looked:

Hey, there's no smell!

I bet he was thinking the same thing I was: “Where’s my reek, you stupid flower?” It’s been six years and I still feel dead on the inside every time I think of that corpse flower’s profound lack of funk.

Where was I? Oh yeah… Taipei’s botanical garden may not have a corpse flower, but at least it won’t break your heart and you still have time to catch all the pretty lotus blossoms.

Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)

Taipei Botanical Garden  (台北植物園) 
Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園)
The Taipei Botanical Garden (台北植物園) is located at 53, Nanhai Rd, Zhongsheng District, Taipei City (台北市中正區南海路53號). For more information, visit its Web site.