Thursday, April 30, 2009

DC Trip - Zoo and Cherry Blossoms

Beginning of this month, we took a trip to NoVA, meeting up with family from the NorthEast and went to the National Zoo.

These pictures are from the Amazonia indoor exhibit which features aquatic life such as:
I found this beetle outline amazing. I did not get a good photo without reflection of all the people looking at it. This is the best one. Credit of the display is given to Gary Hevel of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History for sharing his wisdom, time and insects.

It is the outline of a chiasognathus granti (Grant's stag beetle) from Chile.

On our way back from the hotel, we decided to take a driving tour of the Tidal Basin area to say we saw the cherry blossoms which we saw plenty of from the truck. Wow! There were a ton of people there!


Our trip included dinner at 2 brew pubs.

The first night we met at
Rock Bottom Brewery at the Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington.

The second night, after the zoo, we headed over to the
Capital City Brewing Company in their Arlington location. We ate outside which was nice.

Both places were good. Their handcrafted signature microbrews were tasty and the food delicious. If I had to pick one, it would have to be Capital City.

Thanks to the pubcrawler site
http://www.pubcrawler.com/ once again for recommending brewpubs and microbreweries for our travels. I recommend using it whenever you travel ;-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Busch Gardens for Easter

We continued our Easter tradition with getting our season passes to Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg. Here are 2 pictures of the Banbury market in England:
and some other garden displays:
Hanging basket near land of the dragons Germany:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jack Frost Brunnera

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ common name Siberian Bugloss
or the False forget-me-not (as I read it called on Dave's Garden). That is truly the reason I took to this beauty when I first saw it a few years back at a garden center. It has a beautiful silvery variegated leaf all season, reminiscent of many hostas, but in early spring you get the dainty blue flower just like the forget me nots that I have started from seed some years but don't have any left.
This shade perennial is what reminds me to get into my 1 and only shade garden and start cleaning it up. Most especially, tearing out the creeping jenny!


I also should divide all my hostas again and I may even try dividing the astilbe since they are so huge!
Problem is, I have no more shade. So most any plant I divide out of this area is going to become an experiment for a hot, sunny spot. I wish them luck or I wish me to find and plant some more fast growing shade trees.

Now I need to research which of the following might fare well in the hot sun and which will just die. I'll take a risk with the plants but not offer them up as sacrificial lambs!

Mainly it's Astilbe & hostas. I have lupine in there as well but I don't think they like being moved. I have some bleeding heart but they're are not prolific yet so they can stay. Same with the jacob's ladder and the jack in the pulpit. I also have some plants in other areas that I would love to move to the shade to keep them happy. My Johnson Blue hardy perennial geranium / cranesbill looks great right now but once the hot summer sun hits it, it suffers. I'd like to enjoy it longer in the season so I need to move her to a shadier spot. Same with the Georgia Blue Speedwell Veronica.
Any thoughts and free advice ;-) from fellow gardener readers would be much appreciated!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blue & Silver Pinwheel Gardens are Pinwheels for Prevention


My friends and I were moved when we saw the pinwheels for prevention display at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago. It was even mentioned by one that it was such a great idea for schools in the area to get involved. I just loved the look of 3,000 spinners along the lake. We hadn't heard of this before so assumed it was something only being done here.

A few days later, I noticed a blue and silver pinwheel display on the "Main Street" of Goochland. a.k.a. route 6 / River Road West near the Goochland County Chamber of Commerce.

Then, last night we went to a Legend Brewers Tasting Night at Java Jodi's coffee cafe. There they were again! I saw a container full of them on the counter. After asking about them, I bought 1 for each of my kids and this morning decided to Google some information about these windwheels.

I learned that April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month back in 1983. The pinwheel is a symbol of hope, health and happiness - what we all desire for children we know and love, and for children everywhere.

There are pinwheel gardens popping up everywhere in the country this month. From what I see advertised in the Richmond area, in addition to the LG display, Virginia Commonwealth University - VCU has about 1,000 in their garden between the business building and student commons, the Children's Museum of Richmond and Reveille Weekday School are planning to participate.

Now I have learned that right here in Goochland Courthouse, we are planting these gardens of hope as well!

The Pinwheels for Prevention National site: http://pinwheelsforprevention.org/
The Virginia Prevent Child Abuse site http://www.preventchildabuseva.org/ has a pinwheel section http://www.preventchildabuseva.org/pinwheels.htm that includes a feature story about the Lewis Ginter display.

As far as the Legend tasting night goes, we got to try some tasty brews. Check out their site;: http://www.legendbrewing.com/

The Legend Brown Ale has been our favorite microbrew of theirs. However, we sampled the Dopplebock and decided to buy that last night at Java Jodi's. Legend is a relatively small operation here in Richmond, started in 1994, but just got their bottling line setup and are ready to start producing six packs. Should be in stores by June.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Joey!

We were at a birthday party this weekend at the home of a fellow gardener. I snapped a few photos. I just LOVE this mirror on the crawlspace door. Isn't it just such a hobbit house entrance?


I am amazed at how her bleeding hearts are just THRIVING in their spot. Mine do ok but nothing like these!
Dicentra spectabilis (red)

Dicentra spectabilis 'alba' (white)


And then there was this guy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The grounds at Lewis Ginter early Spring

Here are some additional photos of the grounds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
A view of the Treehouse in the Children's Garden.
A view of the garden in front of Historic Bloemendaal House.


The waterfall was very interesting to the boys.

Trip to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

I visited Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond today with 2 other moms and a total of 4 preschool boys. We all had a GREAT time. Here are some of my better flower photos, mostly orchids from the conservatory.



Of course the outdoor gardens are full of every type of daffodil you could want to see. Here is one showing the foggy morning we had on the white and peach colored Trumpet Daffodil - Narcissus "Pink Silk" amaryllidaceae.

I was happy to see this. I had seen this at the Richmond Home & Garden show a month ago and couldn't recall what it was. Now I know!
Flame Lily - Clivia miniata - South Africa - Amaryllidaceae

I'll post more from our trip later.