It was such a beautiful day to take a walk, made even better by these picturesque surroundings.
Not far from the bridge there was another bench and we sat for a while taking it all in. On each bench is a small plaque engraved with the name or names of persons who want to be remembered. This was behind us.
There were also occasional reminders to slow down and enjoy nature.
I would love one of these trees in our garden. Do you have one? When the sunlight shone on its leaves it was gorgeous, hard to capture in a photograph.
Many of you will recognize the Japanese maple, also known as Red emperor maple, Palmate maple and Smooth japanese maple. It's botanical name is Acer palmatum.
This kind of maple tree originated from northeast Asia. The Japanese horticultural communities have selectively bred it for centuries and cultivated more than 1000 gardening species. Therefore, they are often called Japanese maple, although it is also native to Korea, China, and even regions of Russia and Mongolia.
The following photo shows a Carolina allspice, a species of Sweetshrub. It is also known as the Bubby bush, Eastern sweetshrub, Sweet Betsy, Sweet bubby bush, Sweet shrub, Common sweetshrub and Carolina sweetshrub.
It's botanical name is Calycanthus floridus. It has reddish brown flowers that interestingly have a banana-strawberry fragrance. The leaves when crushed also have a very pleasant aroma. Both these parts of the plant, the leaves and the flower, can be put into potpourris. Even the bark exudes a pleasant smell.
The Carolina allspice gets its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. I borrowed the following photo online.
It is a perennial and blooms in late spring and summer.
The blooms shown above are from the Red buckeye, also known as Scarlet buckeye, Firecracker plant, Buckeye tree and Woolly buckeye. Its botanical name is Aesculus pavia. This is widely planted for its beautiful flowers and these flowers are very attractive to birds and bees.
The plant is named Red buckeye for the color of the flowers, and the similarity of the seed to a deer or buck's eye. You can see how the tree looks in my post from yesterday, the trees with the pink blooms in the fifth photo, and part of one in the foreground on the 7th of that post.
Here you can see leaves from the Ginkgo tree, also known as Maidenhair tree and Kew tree. Its botanical name is Ginkgo biloba.
Ginkgo is a living fossil - a tree with such a long history that there are recognizable fossils dating to as much as 170 million years ago, to the Middle Jurassic period. Ginkgo is considered one of the earliest plant species, the only living plant species in the order of Ginkgoales, which first appeared over 290 million years ago, and cultivated by humans throughout history. It is the oldest tree species in the world.
Referring to its other name Maidenhair tree, it was given the name maidenhair tree, in England, because the leaves look similar to the native maidenhair fern. The word Ginkgo comes from the Chinese yinxing meaning 'silver apricot'. The last time I remember seeing a Ginkgo tree was in Williamsburg, Virginia There is one in the historical part of the town, on the main street. It turns a glorious gold in the Fall.
According to my plant app “Picture This”, which is where I get most my information, this is a Norway Maple. Also known as Great maple, Plane maple and Harlequin maple. Its Botanical name is Acer platanoides. It can grow to a height of 40 to 50 feet, occasionally exceeding 90 feet. The Norway maples originate from Europe, populating from Norway towards southern Europe. It symbolizes perseverance.
I was very taken with the sphere sculpture below, and was happy to find the person's website who created it. If you click here you can read how it was built.
It is very rare that I can find info on a sculpture I like in such detail. The person who created it is Devin Devine based in Pennsylvania. He used Pennsylvania bluestone. (Devin is a stone sculpture and hardscaping contractor.)
One of the things I enjoyed reading at his site was the following:
"Pennsylvania Bluestone was formed at the bottom of subterranean lakes around 360 million years ago during what is called the Devonian Period, quarried mostly in North Eastern Pennsylvania along the Pennsylvania and New York border. It is sandstone containing feldspar and small amounts of mica. It is called bluestone but comes in a variety of colors, depending on the mineral content."
More information on bluestone can be found at this link also. Just scroll down a bit until you come to photo of the bluestone wall. There is also a great diagram of how these layers formed millions of years ago. (Information online is like a ripple in a pond.) Interestingly so, this site also mentions information on bluestone at Stonehenge in the UK. Some of the rocks there contain Bluestone. The site goes on to mention other parts of the world where this stone has been found.
This is the end of Part 2. There will be a Part 3 of these gardens, but I have a couple of posts to share before those.