Thursday, May 20, 2021

A WALK AROUND BROOKSIDE GARDENS, MARYLAND ON TUESDAY, MAY 4TH, 2021 - PART 2

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.







46 comments:

  1. The Allspice is so unusual! Is this where the allspice spice comes from, that we use in cooking? I have really never seen a tree with blooms this color. My next favorite is the beautiful Japanese Maple. At times, they almost look luminescent.

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    1. That’s a great question Ginny. I found this about the allspice we use in the kitchen.

      “Allspice, also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento, is the dried unripe berry of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world. The name "allspice" was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who valued it as a spice that combined the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.”

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  2. Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. Thank you so much for this beauty.

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    1. So happy you enjoyed Sue :) and you are very welcome.

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  3. What a glorious place and so beautiful to look at the photos of it.

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  4. Brookside Gardens must be a wonderful place to walk around with picturesque views and many unusual trees and structures of interest. Thank you for the tour and information you have take the trouble to research and share.

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    1. You are very welcome Linda, happy you enjoyed both the information and the photos :)

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  5. A beautiful park, it is true that you should slow down to appreciate the unusual plants and trees. I am delighted with the unusual sculpture. Have a nice day and weekend :)

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    1. Thank you Lucyna, I agree wholeheartedly. You have a nice day and weekend also :)

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  6. Hello Denise,
    Lovely photos from your visit to the gardens. We do have a few of the Maple trees around our yard. I would love one of the Sweetshrub, the flower and scent look and sound wonderful. The stone sculpture is cool looking! Take care, enjoy your day!

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    1. Hello Eileen, how lucky you are to have so the maple trees in your yard. Thank you and you enjoy your day also :)

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  7. Oh wow, such a beautiful place and fantastic photos Denise. That sphere is really amazing too!

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    1. Thank you Martha, I wouldn't mind having one of those sphere's in my garden :)

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  8. in Georgia we call those Sweet shrubs and boy are they sweet smelling. I loved them as a child and wonder if my allergy will allow me to smell them now... that stone sphere is amazing. i love it... the best way to enjoy that beautiful park is to stand and make like a tree. just stand and stare... gorgeous

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    1. Thanks for the info Sandra and the memories :) I agree, we should just stand and star for a while.

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  9. excellent pictures...
    love to read your descriptions about garden and it plants....

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    1. Thank you Tanza, so glad you enjoyed this post :)

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  10. Nice emphasis on greenery in this post.

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    1. Thank you Red, it was a perfect day, perfect lighting to show the greenery off to its full advantage, and even then my photos didn't do them justice :)

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  11. What a lovely place to walk and excellent photos.
    Keep safe and well. Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, much appreciated and you keep safe and well also :)

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  12. the garden is amazing and I love all your photos

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  13. I love Japanese maple. Good to know they do well in Korea, too. But not here in Hawaii.

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    1. There are a few smaller ones in our neighborhood. I have had my eye on them for a long time :)

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  14. Stupendous Denise. I am sure the spice bush would not survive this far south, but, I'd love have one.
    All your photos are stellar. The first two would make GREAT jigsaw puzzles.

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    1. Thank you Anni :) Great idea on the jigsaw puzzle. I see a lot of flowers, plants and trees that I would like in our own garden :)

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  15. What a glorious garden, Denise. I love all the details about each tree you featured. I've always wanted a Japanese maple as well. On our morning walks we see a few and their beauty is eye catching. Your photos are outstanding!

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    1. Happy you enjoyed Martha Ellen :) Thank you so much.

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  16. I love beautiful gardens that are pleasing to the eye in terms of landscaping, water features, and garden art and not just the flowers that are there and Brookside Gardens certainly is that. That first shot is gorgeous. I love the big bluestone sphere. Some people are not just artists, they are also superb craftsmen.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more Yogi. And the sphere’s designer is a true artist :)

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  17. A big WOW to your first two photographs.
    Such a lovely and very interesting garden.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan, so glad you enjoyed my post :)

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  18. Such a beautiful garden to enjoy. Glad you could. Thanks for your thorough information!

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    1. You are very welcome Ellen :) I am happy to share this garden with you and happy you enjoyed my post.

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  19. We just bought a Japanese maple from Walmart and it's very small. Blandy has a ginkgo grove that is spectacular in autumn. I like that bluestone sculpture.

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    1. Hi Linda, how wonderful. You will enjoy seeing it grow. I can only imagine how gorgeous Blandy’s ginkgo grove is in the autumn. Glad you enjoyed the sculpture too. It will always be a favorite of mine.

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  20. Those Japanese maples are particularly stunning. This looks like a wonderful garden, beautifully organized with good documentation and nice resting spots.

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    1. I agree, it is a marvelous garden. Thanks Jeanie :)

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  21. What a gorgeous garden! We did plant a Japanese maple outside our Illinois house. We didn't expect it to get quite as big as it did. But it's pretty anyway.

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    1. I didn't know they grew that big either but I have seen several of the smaller ones in our neighborhood. Absolutely love them! Thanks Kay :)

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