Thursday, June 13, 2019

LAST POST FROM MEADOWLARK GARDENS, FOR A WHILE

There are several benches around the garden.  One has this view.  Many people have their photographs taken on that small bridge across the pond, including wedding couples.  
The whirligigs are new.  They have had others but I like the mirror effect, and you can just about see my dear other half beyond it.  The visitor center is on the right.
I believe this is some kind of potato plant.  When I checked with my plant finder, this page cropped up.  If you scroll down you will see a bloom very similar to the one above.  Its visitor is a Spotted Cucumber Beetle.  It is not a very good friend to the garden, and as pretty as it looks, there is no relation to the more beneficial ladybug.  It is a dreadful pest as it eats a wide variety of host plants, most definitely not good for field crops.  
You can click on its name to go to a page where it gives you five fool-proof perennial flowers to grow, this being one of them.
The next photo shows a seed capsule of a very pretty flower called 'Love-in-the-Mist' - Nigella Damascena'. I have taken photos of this flower before while in full bloom.  If you click on this link it will take you to another place we enjoy, Green Spring Gardens.  On that particular visit we were there in July of last year.  Scrolling down to the last couple of photos will show you what this flower looks like, seed pod and in full bloom.
The next few photos are from our walk around the largest pond.  We were sharing our space with a few Canada Geese.  
I have said it before I know but I love these geese.  We usually find them in close proximity of the path, and we keep a wary eye on them as we  pass by.  
One goose today ambled over.  This has happened before, these warnings signs where the goose gives a 'look' and today showed me its tongue.  I tell it quietly not to worry, we are moving along.  There are no nests this time, no little ones to protect but they are still a bit territorial.  
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That keeps so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Many of you know the poem by Emily Dickinson, it is one of my favorites.
There are several Weeping Willow Trees surrounding this particular pond.
I am not sure if these are actually weeping willows but we both enjoyed looking at them from an artistic point of view.
I think Claude Monet might have actually enjoyed painting them. 
This is the Common Milkweed.
If you go to this link it will tell you how important Milkweed is to Monarch Butterfly population, and which types of Milkweed they like.
"There are over 100 species of milkweeds in North America and not all of them are used by the Monarchs."  It is also important to note that "although milkweed plants are food for caterpillars, they are also poisonous to humans.  You must not get milkweed sap on your skin or in your eyes.  Milkweed is also toxic if eaten, so keep plants away from young children and pets."
I have always been at the gardens when the Alliums have been in flower, but not today.  
Above photo shows Giant Coneflower, Rudbeckia maxima, and is in the Asteracea family.  It resembles a Brown-eyed Susan, but the petals of the flower hang down, and the center is much taller.  It can grow up to 7 feet tall and is also deer resistant.
These are Bear's Breech - Acanthus mollis.
It grows up to 3 to 5 feet high, and 2 to 3 feet wide.  Grows best in full sun to part shade.  Virtually pest free but you have to watch out for powdery mildew.  It is native to southern Europe and northwestern Africa.
We are almost at the end of our walk.  One more hill to climb back up to the visitor center to reach our exit.  These are called Ostrich Fern, in the family Polypodiaceae.  They can range in color from olive to chartreuse, and vary in size from a quarter of an inch to as tall as 80 feet.  

Ferns have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and are the oldest plants in the world.  They first appeared in the fossil record 369 million years ago, in the late Devonian period.  However, many of the current families and species did not appear until roughly145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous period.  By this time flowering plants had come to dominate many environments.
I also learned that there are 10,560 species of ferns.  The more I read the more interested I became, so forgive the ramble. I found all these interesting facts here if you would like see for yourself.  And if you like the look of those ornamental features near the fern in the above photo, they are called Fiddlehead stakes.  I came across them for sale online.
There are several chairs and benches in and around the garden, and some of the chairs are painted with nature in mind.  That large plant/tree would be a another lovely shady spot to sit under.  It's name is Pawlonia - The Empress Tree.  Very easy to grow and has the prettiest lavender blooms, which you can see at the site.  Growing 8 to 10 feet in its first year, it can reach a height of 40 feet tall.

The lilies were blooming beautifully, and there were a few daylilies also.

If there are novice gardeners out there who would like to know the difference between these two flowers, you can read about them at this link.






The last three photos were taken on the side of the visitor center, where there is yet one last planting bed to look through.  
 Nepenthes Righteous was the name on the little marker.
 Its full name - a hybrid - is Nepenthes 'Rokko' x stenophylla x truncate, and also a pitcher plant.  So much information here.  It is a slow grower and can take 5 to 10 years to mature.  
 So there you go, last photo from our visit to the garden.  I hope you've enjoyed them.  I know these have been pretty long posts.  My next few will be a lot shorter.


Have a great day everyone and thank you for coming along with us on our walk around Meadowlark.




40 comments:

  1. what a lot I have learned here today, and what a fun way to learn it! I didn't know anything about ferns, so very cool! And though I have seen Love-In-A-Mist n bloom, I didn't know that this part of it is the seed pod. The Milkweed has pretty leaves, as does the Bear's Breech, which I have never heard of before. It is so strange looking. A favorite of mine is the wonderful poem!!!

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    1. I am happy you enjoyed it all Ginny, thank you :)

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  2. Even 'cyber visiting' those beautiful gardens is peaceful and rejuvenating. Many, many thanks.

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  3. Yes I very much enjoyed seeing all that was in the gardens I never kknew there were that many Ferns. Thanks for sharing all this

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    1. That's great Margaret, learning about those ferns was not only enjoyable to me, but very interesting :)

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  4. Enjoyed viewing your pics, Denise, and I'm glad you pointed out that your other half was in Pic 2 (I think it was 2). I went back for another look and lo and behold there he was.

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    1. Thank you Valerie, yes, he was almost invisible wasn't he? :)

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    1. Muito obrigado, e desejo-lhe um bom fim de semana também :)

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  6. I've enjoyed the walk with so much to see there in the different areas of the gardens.

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    1. Happy to hear that, these gardens are always fun to browse around, in all seasons aren't they? :)

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  7. Hello, lovely images from your garden walk. The flowers are all beautiful. I love all the lilies. Wishing you a happy day and a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, so glad you enjoyed them all. A happy day and weekend to you also :)

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  8. amazing, amazing, amazing garden and photos. i was thinking what a pretty bug that was when i read it is a pest. my favorite shot is the zebra chairs... that photo speaks to me... the ferns i LOVE and i have never owned a whirly gig, because i am not a fan of them BUT i want one of these. love it. My mother was a whirly gig lover

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    1. Hi Sandra, thank you :) I love to look at the whirligigs, but have never wanted one for my own garden. Not sure why considering I thinks these are lovely.

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  9. This is a marathon of a post. You must have stayed up all night to do this one. What a great place to go if you like plants.

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    1. Hi Red, I do these posts in different stages. In the morning before the day begins I will start the post, leave it and come back later when I have some time. It could take me two or three days to complete one. That way I don't get so overwhelmed and make less mistakes :)

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    1. Thank you Cloudia and you are very welcome :)

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  11. Hi Denise,
    Another interesting post from these super gardens, some excellent flower images especially the Pitcher plant, a real beauty.
    All the best,
    John

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    1. Hi John, happy you found my post interesting and enjoyed all the photos. All the best to you too :)

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  12. What a great post, stunning photos. It is sad the prettiest of beetles are harmful in the garden!!! Enjoy your weekend Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, and it certainly is. You enjoy your weekend also :)

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    1. It certainly is Christine, we love going there.

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  14. What fun chairs! And I like the fern grove.

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    1. Thanks Linda, both are great but the fern grove is beautiful with the dappled sunlight.

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  15. You certainly have shown and explained some lovely blooms here, Denise. And looks like the weather was perfect as well.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, and the weather was indeed perfect :) It was overcast and the temperature was tolerable, not too hot.

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  16. I really did enjoy every single one....so much beauty.

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    1. Hi Rose, that's wonderful. I am glad you enjoyed this :)

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  17. Wow, such a poetic, well photographed and researched post. You are really in touch with the world around you. We have lots of geese on our Arkansas River Parks here in Tulsa and they are quite territorial but they have never bothered me.

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    1. Thank you Yogi, I enjoy being around nature that's for sure. I have only had two goose incidents in my life. One a rather annoyed snow goose chased me around a lake when I was six years' old after the sandwich I was eating. I screamed blue-bloody murder but the goose would not give up. Of course, I could have dropped the sandwich sooner, lol! The other time was when we were at our favorite part of Meadowlark and I didn't realize we were very near a nest that a pair of Canada Geese had been building. The one bared its tongue at me, hissed and pecked at my shoelaces. I didn't move for a while because I didn't want to antagonize it further, but he didn't stop until we moved and then I looked over the edge of the seating area and saw flattened grass and the beginnings of a nest. I am more observant now during nesting season :)

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  18. It’s wonderful to see so much variety, I learned quite a lot! Love seeing the geese too! hugs!

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    1. Thank you Lavender, happy you enjoyed. Hugs to you too :)

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  19. a gorgeous spot denise, i enjoyed all the pretty flowers and all the details you shared about them!! the weeping willow is a favorite tree of mine, it has such a pretty shape and has always reminded me of an umbrella!!

    i have had a few unfortunate experiences with Canadian geese, they always seem a little "cranky"!!!

    my daylilies are all a bloom...now the daylily maintenance begins!! have a great week!!

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    1. That's great Debbie, so glad you enjoyed everything. I never take those geese for granted, adore them but you know :) I'd love to see some of your daylilies.

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