I’ve just returned from a three-week trip exploring Scottish Gardens. My husband and I rented a car at the Aberdeen Airport and set off for our adventure. Rich did all the 852 miles of driving with a right-hand drive and a left-hand 6-speed shifter. Our GPS guide was the calm and reassuring voice of the actress Emma Thompson, and we loved her. But it takes both of us to stay focused on driving down shady tiny “B” roads with one-lane bridges, watching out for horseback riders, cyclists, and huge farm equipment along the way.
The majestic mountains are so big, the sky so wide and the view in every direction is spectacular. Exploring the Grand Tetons is an experience of grand proportions. It is easy to miss the wildflowers surviving in this dry climate under a bright summer sun. Yet the flowers are there, in yellow, purple, red and white.
Water is essential for life; on two different occasions, once in May the other in August, I’ve found in my garden two perfectly formed tiny mud pots. These were made by a 1/2” long Microdynerus arenicolus, or the Antioch Potter Wasp. A potter’s wasp will lay its eggs inside. The female wasp gets a MOUTHFUL of water, finds some soil to mix in her mouth and builds the pot from the bottom up one mouthful at a time. Can you imagine the size of a wasp’s mouth? This variety of wasp is found in the southwest,
It’s had a long good life and made a magnificent statement in my front garden. All this ended this week when I had it removed for fear of it toppling over into the street.
Returning to Floriade this year was the culmination of a ten-year goal. The last one was so exciting, so beautiful, and inspiring I was determined to return.
Once a decade, the Netherlands Horticulture Council organizes an exposition celebrating and highlighting horticulture’s contribution to life. The event is a World’s Fair of horticultural products, innovations in food production, and the beauty of plants in all forms. Participants from around the world showcase their garden style and their premium exports from their part of the planet.
Here’s something worth celebrating, and it’s not National Walk to Work Day (April 1) or Lima Bean Respect Day (April 20). Instead, it’s a yearlong celebration of the first American Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmstead.
Valentine’s Day is my favorite celebration, and yes, I know it isn’t a holiday, it is a marketing event. While it seems so commercial today, I am surprised to discover it has always been about marketing! In the late 1800s, Richard Cadbury needed to sell more chocolates to use his company’s cocoa butter surplus. Victorians were great fans of Valentine’s Day; they expressed their love in elaborate greeting cards (postage was affordable.) Chocolate became available to the masses (sugar had become cheaper), so Cadbury created a moment of marketing magic, the heart-shaped chocolate box. This beautiful box was sold as a dual-purpose gift because after your sweetheart ate the chocolates, she could use the heart-shaped box to store love letters and romantic mementos.1 In the US, Hershey chocolates made their famous kisses in 1907 continuing the romantic alliance.2
Though butterflies possess all five senses, “Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can.
People are like that as well.”
This fantastic spider lily (crinum) grows in my garden. The plant is lush and green most of the year. I serendipitously planted it in just the right place, so it grows nearly 5’ tall and erupts in a fireworks-like display of white blooms in summer.