Monday, September 12, 2011

Got to Get Back to the Garden

Eat me, I'm edible.

Before we move completely into Fall, I want to share some photographs from the daytrip my mom, sister and I took to Powell Gardens in early August. It was a glorious day, if a bit humid. You accept summer gifts when offered. A mild muggy day is much more appreciated than a hot humid day. We visited Powell Gardens during their Butterfly Festival, which allowed us to get up close and personal with a variety of the winged creatures. During our visit, we ate food grown on site, paced the vineyards, wandered through vegetable gardens, reveled at the variety of flowers, moved along overgrown paths, and gazed into water gardens. It was absolutely stunning, and I felt like I belonged to Nature. 

Grrr!!! Lisa makes a good Tyrannosaurus Rex, no?

Mom had to pose twice. Can you tell she was ready to stand up!?

I think I was going for vapid and confused, but it didn't quite work out.

The “Jurassic Gardens” exhibition ran simultaneously. We essentially stepped back in time by focusing our attention on ancient plants. You could almost smell dinosaur in the air.

Powell Gardens is located about 30 miles east of Kansas City on a beautiful tract of land. Or, more likely, it’s all the gardening that’s made the place so gorgeous. I highly recommend visiting. It’s good for the body and even better for the soul. Walking a garden path allows you to take one step at a time. You have space to breathe deeply and contemplate.

Look on for a little visual stimulation:

Complementary colors on green. 

That is a gorgeous green, whether it appears as pond scum or lily pad.

Do not eat. These are meant for decorative purposes only.

That the vegetable patches formed a "Quilt Garden" was only apparent from above.

Lisa and I climbed to the top of the silo to view the Gardens in their entirety. Mom refused the view. She's afraid of heights!

Sunflowers are my favorites!! They remind me of home. They remind me of wild, beautiful bright things!

I like conjoined sunflowers (with feeding bees, no less) even better. I'm one who appreciates a good anomaly.

Not that I am anywhere near marriage, but I couldn't help but daydream when I saw this charming chapel on-site.

It's no wonder predators retreat when they see guys like this. Even I found his red "stare" to be a bit intimidating.

Both the asymmetrical drying and the symmetrical growth apparent in the cacti appealed to me.

I named him "Little Boy Blue."

Shaggy texture paired with abstract shot.

Green tomatoes all in a row. They put me in mind of grapes. See below.

Mom and Lisa sure look intent, intent on plucking a bunch of grapes, that is. ;)

Where's Waldo? Amid the dried leaves, I found a copycat butterfly! It was my best discovery of the day!

Not quite ripe!

There were many gorgeous types of lily pads. These resemble cannibalistic Pac-Men.
What are your favorite plants? Like I said, I have a thing for sunflowers and wildflowers, as well. I’m a fan of succulents, and I like owning plants that allow me to mistreat them more often than not. I LOVED the lily pads I saw, too! Do you garden? Where would you recommend a beginner like me to start if I wanted to grow my own?  Which public gardens do you recommend I visit?

Alison :)


  1. "Cannibalistic Pac-Men" hehehe! Love that.

    I get so much out of gardening! I love it dearly, and growing my own food is my absolute FAVORITE. It is so inherently rewarding. Plus, you always have fresh veggies on hand, so you tend to eat so much better!

    I'd begin with a potted herb garden. I made up metal pails and large wicker baskets with complementary herbs growing in nice to have right out on kitchen porch! Mint is super aggressive and pretty hard to kill (ie. better in a pot, unless you want it to take over your garden). Some kinds of oregano are lovely and drapey. Sage grows to great abundance, and the purple varieties are lovely--but my favorite is pineapple sage. Smells like pinapples! Incredible! Delicate thyme, aromatic basils, purple-flowered fun!

    One of my next projects is taking cuttings from the big herb garden to start an indoor-herb garden on the kitchen sill. Should be interesting to see what I can get to overwinter!


  2. That is a great idea! I like to think I would enjoy the product(s) of my labor if I had a garden, but I am fearful I might just be too lazy to keep one well. Potted herbs seem like a good way to start, although, if you talked to the one plant I keep, it might tell you how horrible a mom I am!! Luckily, it does not need much to keep it going. :/

    I LOVE mint. My Grandma and Grandpa always grew it, and my mom has it in her yard. You're right, though. It does like to boss other plants around.