Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet Me in St. Louis!

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings
As we started for botanical thrill...

YAY! My friend Carole and I will be visiting MOBOT (Missouri Botanical Garden) on Friday, August 21. I've already contacted a few folks along our route — Beckie, Rose, and Lisa — about stopping by their gardens. But if you live near MOBOT or want to plan a little road trip of your own, we'd love to meet you there.

We'd also appreciate lodging (simple, safe) and restaurant (open to everything) tips from locals. And if you've visited MOBOT, let me know your favorite spots.

And, most pressingly, what's the freakin' difference between botanic and botanical in garden names?! Word geeks want to know!

Have a good weekend!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Canton Garden Walk

You're probably expecting my Colorado trip report, and fair enough. But I'd already sized and downloaded photos of the garden walk before leaving for CO so we're going to catch up.

On June 27, Carole, Amy and I attended the Canton Garden Walk, a tour of five home gardens. The nice people of the Canton Garden Club sent me a free ticket based on my speaking to their club on winter sowing in February. I loved the gardens and the many whimsical garden ornaments.

Little gnome, big chair.

Never needs watering.

Dear sea holly, I love you. Why won't you grow for me? Signed, Frustrated Admirer

I loved this huge patch of prickly pear cactus.


Check it, the foliage matches the house colors. Awesome!

One of the things I discovered when researching gardens of the mid to late 1800s (for a fountain garden project at a historic farm house) was that they didn't actually fill urns with flowers, but I like this combo anyway.

I loved this old farm equipment. There were several pieces on this huge property.

A great idea for my tree stump.

Adore this birdhouse!

I'm now on the lookout for old bird cages...

This wonderful shade garden was very calm and peaceful, subdued and serene...

...and right across a narrow strip of lawn from this colorful and vibrant sunny garden. Really amazing contrast, and so close to one another.

Was very amused by this popcorn plant (Senna didymobotrya, zones 10-11, so annual or houseplant for most of us—thanks for asking, Lisa!), whose flowers I found oddly attractive and whose leaves, when rubbed, smell exactly like buttered popcorn! No, really. They do.

It was a fun day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm back!

I'm sorry I haven't been posting or commenting on your blogs for the past two weeks. I spent a week in Colorado and a week earlier getting my garden ready to be left alone for a week! I attended my niece's wedding vow renewal on her fifth anniversary in the beautiful setting of the Garden of the Gods. (Her husband is in the military and they did not have a ceremony the first time as he was being deployed to Iraq.)

In unrelated news, a new Dairy Queen opened near her home.

Details of the other places we visited, including Denver Botanic Gardens, a xeriscape demonstration garden in Pueblo, and North Cheyenne CaƱon Park to follow some time after I catch up on the two 22-hour drives, with commenting resuming sooner!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bizi!

Fiona is 8 or 9 years old today! And to embarrass both of us, and to be fair to James' earlier outing, I'll share all of her nicknames. I should note I don't sit around trying to think these up; they just come to me. Much like Fiona did!

I first met her on July 4, 2002, and since she's pretty independent, it makes as good a birthday as any. I met her as a stray abandoned pet, and she quickly adjusted to the rhythms of her new home. The vet says her coloring is dilute tortoiseshell and that she was 1 or 2 years old when she found me.

Her full name is Fiona* Prudence**, and I most frequently call her Fiona, Bizi (pronounced "Bee-zee"), or Bi ("Bee"), but she's also Bizi Bi, Bizilini, Bizilini Beanie, Bizi Boo, Boo, Boo Boo, Bizi Nell, Bizi Nelli, Bizi Nelli Boom Boom Nelli, Brownie, Brown, Browners, Fi, Fizi, Pecan Pie, Tiger Bites, Sugar Bites, Sugar Beets, Girl, Ba'y Girl, Girly Meow, and Girly Mau.

Please join us in some birthday tuna and fireworks to celebrate!

*Incidentally not named after the Shrek character; I didn't see the movie until after I named her and I've always just liked the name.
**Not named after the Beetles song, but just because she is. (Prudent.)