Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fall Arboretum Tour

Recently spent a couple of hours at the arboretum, enjoying the peace and quiet and the last of the flowers. Really, the peace and quiet was much needed. I noticed the bees and butterflies were still at work. I think because there are fewer flowering plants, so they are concentrated made them much more noticeable than they would be during the summer when they would be spread out over numerous plants. However, could someone explain to me something?

How come fat thighs on a bee is considered beautiful? The bees all had massive pollen globs stuck to their thighs. And piling on more.

Another thing that stuck me was the amount of color that was still present in the garden. Granted, we have not had a frost yet (or much cool weather), but the season is winding down.

Just plain old colesus makes a bold statement in the border. Who would have thought bright green and maroon could be so pretty together?

And then this is the season for the beauty berry to be in "berry". Purple, pink, white, clusters of small berries adding an unexpected texture and color to the garden.

Since I had dressed a little warmer than necessary, by the time I got to the rose garden I felt like the last rose of summer myself. The roses were still presenting a nice display and the smell was heavenly. I know there are hundreds of beautiful roses out there, but why would anyone grow a rose that did't have a fragrance? There is nothing like walking by the roses and getting a head full of the wonderful scents.

This is still some dew on the roses. On me it was sweat.

In the perennial border, there were still some colorful characters abloom, teeming with bees and butterflies.

I had actually grown lion's paw before in my old garden, but mine did not get anywhere near the almost 4 feet tall as in the border at the arboretum. Do you think they might take better care of them than I did mine?

And this glossy, red hibiscus bud still hanging in there even though the temperature for hibiscus is getting very close to being a little cool. It looked like a fresh tube of lipstick.

An unexpected pleasure while at the garden was to see an instructor that I had almost 14 years ago for Home Horticulture from NC State. Bryce Lane still teaches, but now has a gardening show on PBS locally on Saturday afternoons. He's still as cute as ever. I stopped and said hello and that I had taken his classes in the past. We chatted for a minute. I still remember a lot of what he taught me (which is remarkable since I have trouble remember my children's names).

One of the things he brought out in class was not to look just at one season of a plant, but all seasons and not just the flowers/foliage, but the shape, the bark, the seed pods, all aspects of the plant.

This was a stump that was sticking up about 6 inches in a section of the garden. It was so interesting and worn looking, it was almost like garden art deliberately placed there.

And you can't forget all the wonderful trees and shrubs with great bark texture. Flaky and peeling looks fantastic on birch (above) and crepe myrtle. Doesn't look well on my face. I did have to resist the childlike urge to pick the bark off the tree.

In the Japanese garden area is a big crepe myrtle. It has the most wonderful cinnamon and gray mottled bark. And then looked down and saw this gnarled root against the green most. Only Mother Nature could do something this nice.

Have a friend at work that is heading out for 3 weeks in Greece and Italy. I can only read about Italy. So this is the view from my imaginary Italian villa in Tuscany. I can dream can't I. Luckily they didn't have a chair there or I would have probably stayed all day.

Just think .... wine, olive oil, pasta, crunchy bread, cute Italian!

Water lily makes for a peaceful moment. And that is why I went there after all. Just to sit beside the little water garden in the white garden area and meditate on the leaf.

Unfortunately, I had to leave, but it was worth the two hours I spent wandering around. I do admit that I removed my shoes and walked barefoot for awhile through my "private" garden.

Now reality intrudes as the hordes come downstairs for breakfast. Luckily, I have their favorite cereal in hand, so they can feed themselves!