Wednesday, March 30, 2022

GREEN SPRING GARDENS ON MARCH 20TH, 2022 - PART 1

We come here often for our walks, as you will see from all the blog posts I have made from the beginning. You can visit those if you click on the garden's name among the labels at the end of this post (too many to view in one sitting truth be told).  If you are ever in the area and would like to visit, I am including their address this time, and also with a map below:

Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312

There is also a very cute YouTube video I just found, of a walk around the garden, seen from the eyes of a Shebainu.  A very cute dog!  You can see it here.  And talking about dogs, here are four that we saw being walked around the large green.  They were cute too!

As mentioned in my previous post I stopped off at the Edgeworthia chrysantha plant, to see how it was progressing bloom-wise.
   I can be seen on the other side of the plant as Dear Other Half takes a photo.  He takes many of our photos during visits to parks.  I always enjoy seeing what catches his eye on our walks.  This time it was me plus plant.  He uses our larger camera with the zoom lens.  It gets too heavy for me and he carries it most of the time, until I see something like a bird, when I ask for it back.  I take a lot of my photos now with my cell phone.
The plant is not too far from the visitor center.  
At this link I read, "Edgeworthia chrysantha, commonly called paperbush or edgeworthia, is a deciduous suckering shrub that typically grows to 4-6’ tall and as wide. It is native to woodland areas in the Himalayas and China. Short-stalked, lanceolate-oblong, dark green leaves (to 3-5” long and 2” wide) are crowded near the branch ends. Alternate, narrow-oval, dull dark green leaves (to 5” long and 2” wide) are gray-green beneath. No fall color." 
"Young leaves are covered with silky white hairs. Tiny, apetalous, tubular, yellow flowers are compacted into dense, rounded, umbelliferous flower heads (up to 40 flowers per head). Flower buds begin to form in late summer each year, overwinter on the bare stems and burst into bloom from late February to early April before the new leaves emerge. 
Silvery winter flower buds and brown branching are ornamentally attractive. Fruits are dry drupes."  I may be repeating some of the information from a previous post, as I have shared several, but sometimes it is easier to repeat than to look back at the others.
There were freshly planted pansies at one of the entrances... 
and other areas.
The blossoms of the pansy are edible, and are being used for cake decorating and cocktail garnishes.  I think it is very important to note though, and probably goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, that anything we might use for such things, should have been grown without pesticides, or indeed anything that would pass on any toxicity.  I have, some time ago now, seen small containers of pansy petals in supermarkets.  I bought one two or three years ago and used them for a salad.  They looked pretty but I never thought to buy them again.  My curiosity was satisfied.  I thought at the time I would rather see them growing in the garden.
Apparently both the blooms and the leaves are edible and high in Vitamins A and C.  The description I read about them said they taste like a slightly floral version of lettuce.  (I can't remember what they tasted like.)  The flowers can also be used to make syrup-flavored honey and used as a natural dye.   (There were other flowers blooming, but I am going to put those in my next post.)
The only bird that came close enough to photograph was this American Robin digging for its lunch, a worm.  Below, in the top left photo of my collage, you will notice that the robin's eye seems to be opaque.  I smiled at the description found on the Audobon page where the title reads, "Birds Have Built-in-Goggles" and goes on to say that "A third eyelid provides the extra protection needed to fly and hunt". The article goes into more detail which you can read at this link.  
It further goes on to say, "...beneath the outer eyelids lies an extra eyelid, called the nictitating membrane. Nictitating, for all its alliterative syllables, simply means “blinking”. This extra eyelid is hinged at the inner side of the eye and sweeps horizontally across the cornea. The nictitating membrane is largely transparent, and it helps keep the eye moist and clean while guarding it from wind, dust, and hazards."  It is a very interesting article and worth reading

As I usually do, I have more photos to share from our walk, but will post those next time.  Thank you for walking with us, and I hope your day is a great one. 





36 comments:

  1. These are wonderful closeup shots of the Robin! And that Edgeworthia is sure a strange and exotic looking plant. I had pansies on a birthday cake once, they were candied.

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    1. Thank you Ginny, and interesting about the candied pansies. They must have looked very pretty.

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  2. Glorious. That is a place I would very much like to see.
    And yes, pansies don't float my boat as food.

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    1. Thank you Sue! Yes, I prefer my pansies in the soil :)

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  3. I think the edgeworthia shrub will look even prettier when the leaves are out. The pansies provide a lovely display of colour. I appreciate the work done by the gardeners in our parks.

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    1. I agree Linda and I agree about all the hard work :)

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  4. Same with hibiscus being edible...I'd much rather enjoy them in landscapes than on my plate/Ina cup.
    That bush is highly unusual. I'm thinking it has to be nearly one of a kind. lol And, I'm sure these days with all the laws, importing them into USA is banned ...just a thought.
    Love the series of the robin.

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    1. Thank you Anni :) I didn't know that about the hibiscus Anni. It would be interesting to look up those laws but I agree, bringing plants into the country, no telling what kind of pests come with them that might hurt our crops. I'm sure many countries take extra care these days.

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  5. Awesome photos of the robin. The Edgeworthia is so unique and beautiful. I've always liked pansies.

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    1. Thank you Ann, I was fortunate to get these photos of the robin. I agree with you about the Edgeworthia, and I also have liked pansies :)

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  6. Hello,
    It is wonderful to see all the pretty flowers and blooms. I love seeing all the cute doggies too. It is a pretty spot for your walks. Take care, enjoy your day!

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    1. Hello Eileen, glad you enjoyed and I wish you the same :)

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  7. Wonderful close-up pictures of the robin! You are much farther along with Spring blossoms than we are. We had a spring snow a few days ago. There is still a little snow on the ground from that event. Today we have freezing rain. It is supposed to warm up tomorrow and the next day, it for the foreseeable future temperatures are rarely above 50 degrees.

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    1. Thank you Linda, I hope the weather improves, here too. It's very chilly. Warmer days ahead :)

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  8. my favorite today is you behind the flowers. awesome shot. and that flower we have never heard of until now is just beautiful and weird and odd and gorgeous all at the same time.. fascinating is what it is

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    1. Hi Sandra, and thank you :) It is a fascinating plant.

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  9. Nice to "see" you in this post, Denise, thanks to Gregg! I agree with your comment about pensies and would much rather enjoy them planted than in my food.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, and I'll thank Gregg for you too :) Yes, pansies for the garden :)

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  10. Lovely! It is snowing in Toronto right now, sigh.

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    1. Thank you Christine, and I hope your snow doesn't last too long :)

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  11. Many nice pictures of this garden! I have a friend who resides in Alexandria.

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    1. Hi Gigi and thank you :) Interesting about your friend in Alexandria :) I wonder if he/she goes to the garden?

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  12. It's nice having something that lovely so close to home and easy to walk. Love the dogs and all those flowers are making me wish our Sprinter would turn into spring!

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    1. I agree Jeanie, it is and we are very fortunate. Do hope you see your spring soon :)

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  13. Ahhh, those gorgeous blooms are not native to our country. So people would not see them, unless they lived near a Garden like you do.

    So much new to me info about the robin's eye!!!!!

    Yes, I'm happy to just look at those flowers which can be eaten. :-) Have had them, but don't need them.

    πŸŒΈπŸŒΊπŸŒ·πŸ’“πŸŒ·πŸŒΊπŸŒΈ

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    1. Hello BB, I am always very interested to know where our flowers originally come from. Brought over by early settlers perhaps :) Another pansy for the soil and not for the plate :)

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  14. What a beautiful garden for the daily walk! That robin looks gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Angie, it is a wonderful place for walking and I agree about the robin :)

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  15. Oh Denise, I adore all of these photos, but the lovely portrait of you the most!

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  16. Good to see those flowers growing and blooming.

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