Saturday, October 27, 2012

As my whimsy takes me

Catch-up post!  I need to go out and do some things today to prepare for the hurricane we're having in a few days, whee, and otherwise my gardening (with a very sore right knee) has been focused on my New! Community! Garden! Plot! which I am, as you see, extremely excited about.  I will have pictures soon, not that they will be very illuminating; it's a 20x20 square of soil that I'm removing weeds from, not too many weeds luckily, as the person who had it before took good care of it until she couldn't because of ill health.  There are peas growing in it, and a few herbs, and I'm going to plant more herbs, once the hurricane is over.

I did go to Longwood Gardens, how ever long ago that was now, and found it lovely, with plenty to walk around and goggle at.  It is a splendid thing; though it was, on that day at least, not quite my splendid thing.  Perhaps it takes itself a little too seriously, and just doesn't have enough whimsy to it.  I'd really need to visit in several seasons to judge.  But I went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA, last summer, and (again, a judgment based on a one-time viewing) they do whimsy a touch better.  Stuff like this:

and this:

in the conservatory, which just didn't seem Longwood's style.  Although I do have to admit these aquatic plants at Longwood:

are whimsical just by their nature.  I had no idea such a thing existed.  They are several feet in diameter, those things.  Just... wow.

Anyway, I'm not knocking Longwood; I just wasn't in the mood for it precisely that day, but it is beautiful and worth many visits.  And better maintained than Lewis Ginter (this is entirely a budget matter, of course).

Unfortunately I did not take many photos because I just had my phone and its battery was running low because of the GPSing on the trip up, and I had to do more GPSing to reach my hotel, so despite managing to charge it in the cafe I didn't want to risk running it down again by photographing everything.  But there were fountains, and topiary, and color-perfect flower beds, and some experimental gardens by students (possibly the best part; I really loved those), and even a vegetable garden, kind of tucked away on the side, but at least they had one.  And the Eye of Water.  Okay, that was whimsical, in a scary sort of way, like Porky the Litter Eater at Cabin John Regional Park except entirely different.  Local reference point, sorry.

I missed Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day due to travel, but there are still a few things blooming at home.  The nasturtiums have come nicely into their own in the waning days of warmish weather:

and here is a toad lily, possibly the one I grew from seed, which would be Miyazaki, or else the other one.

I love toad lilies.  I need to have many more of them.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Everybody is saying hello again

(I've been listening to a lot of Nat King Cole lately.  And everybody else, on my new music machine aka iPhone.)

You may have noticed (or, painful as is it for me to say it, perhaps you didn't) that I haven't been posting a lot recently.  This is because I haven't been gardening a lot (gardening being the excuse for this blog), which in turn is because I've been fatigued, short-winded, tremory, heart-poundy, and not interested in food, which are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which I was diagnosed with in mid-September after months of weirdness and exhaustion.  (The hot summer had something to do with the lack of gardening too.  Sensitivity to heat is, of course, another symptom of hyperthyroidism.)  It's not dangerous when kept under control and with medication I am already feeling much better and I can write my name again without looking like I'm drunk.

So I have been back in the garden a bit (my own; I never stopped going to the demo garden though it wiped me out for the day when I did), but I have so much to catch up on, and a lot of the projects I planned for this year have just gone by the wayside.  There is always next year.  One thing that is happening right away is that my request for a community garden plot please anytime one's vacated has been rewarded, and as soon as I pay for it I can start clearing and planting (a place for all those herb plants I started for some reason! around the border I think).  Can't do much in the way of veggies this year, since it's very much fall, but in the spring I will have food crops in sunshine.  My home veggie garden was a shady mess this year.

Anyway, more on all that later.  For now, have some pictures of things I didn't grow.

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco:

We were out there a few weeks ago to see our son who is doing an architectural internship, and, you know, make sure he had furniture and stuff like that.

Saturday was the big Harvest Festival at the Farm Park where Extension and the demo garden are, and the National Capital Dahlia Society folks were there as always (they have the garden beyond ours) selling bouquets, which I always get one of so I can stare at these amazing flowers for a few days.  Ladies and gentlemen, my dahlias:

They are even more impressive in person.  I should have provided something for scale.  Six to eight inches across, I'd say.  It was a very fun event as usual and I talked to so many people and gave away so many hot peppers and mouse melons and I was exhausted, but it's all worth it.

I'm not planning to do Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day this month, because I will be in New Hampshire on the 15th.  Unless my mother still has flowers and I get inspired.

I am, however, going to visit Longwood Gardens on the way.  Yay!

More soon, I promise.