Sunday, July 27, 2014

good blog reads

the big little guy has been into fishing this summer.  fish, fish, fish.  my sister and I had to take him to the bass pro shop on our texas trip.  you all know that bass pro is a tourist attraction, right?  i don't mind.  it's in his blood.  my dad and brothers are all fishermen by trade and passion.  i keep a bag packed with a good book and my latest crochet project for his fishing excursion.  and my iphone is always handy for surfing and photography.  here are a few new blogs that have been keeping me company.  the first is very pretty and stylish baking.  the second has a bent toward memory keeping.  the third is straight up homesteading.  the rest are eclectic/lifestyle i would say.  i just picked up the summer issue of artful blogging, so i should have more soon!  :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

texas: fort worth botanical gardens

 we pretty much find critters wherever we go.  this little guy was ferocious!

 and because one can never have too many grasshopper pictures.

here is the moon flower sans grasshoppers.  very pretty.  and my brother-in-law says that they attract luna moths.  now i want one. 

 i suspect this might be a luna caterpillar.

 and continuing with the creature feature, here are some excellent specimens of the homo sapien.

there were several really nice pond areas with a variety of water lilies.  i liked that they were kept in pots, so the potential for invasive growth was kept under control.

string of pearls or string of peas or some such.  it was a tree.

 these are indigenous to tennessee, except ours are orange.

it seems that every botanical garden has a signature flower.  at the fort worth botanical garden, it was the hibiscus.  they were scattered everywhere throughout the 109 acre property.

the name escapes me at the moment, but these are sold everywhere in tennessee in the spring from fine garden centers to grocery stores.  they are on my list of must haves for next year.

yellow yucca.

red yucca.  i believe this variety must be indigenous to texas.  it was very popular in landscaping there.

 a veritable sea of verbena.

roses were another focus, as there were several large sections devoted to them.  although they were mostly spent by late july when we visited, i still managed to find a few blooming beauties.

the color on this one was SO vibrant.
and perhaps best of all, the fort worth botanical garden was completely free.  wow.  i could hardly believe it.  texans surely love their flowers!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

president andrew jackson's home

flashback to may of this year and i got to go on a field trip with my son to the hermitage, the home of president andrew jackson (1829-1837).  the texas sister and I have been wanting to go visit (she likes old homes and i like gardens), but for one reason or another we've never managed it on her trips here.  we're going to remedy that the next time she comes. 

i believe this was the foreman's cabin on the property?  i don't quite remember.

we weren't allowed to take any photos inside the president's home, but they had the foreman's cabin set up and allowed photos.

again, i don't remember properly, but i think this may have been a former home of the jackson's that was moved to the property and set up as two small cabins when once it was a two story home.

tool shed?


and oh the flowers.  they were in their prime then and i was in love.  i knew i wanted peonies one day, but this solidified my resolve.

i have never really desired roses, but the heirloom roses in this garden were gorgeous.  now i want roses.

i have absolutely no idea what this is, but i want it too.

pink peony.

heirloom rose.

foxglove with peony.  what a winning combination.

poppy.  yes, please.

heirloom rose.  I was especially drawn to the foliage around the bud on these.  so cool.

i made a mental note of the layout of this garden.  it was basically a large rectangular space divided into four quadrants.  there were walkways and beds around the edges of each quadrant with green space in the middle.  hey!  i have a large empty rectangular green space.  oh the possibilities!

the students toured the hermitage and also acted as jr. docents when they were there.  each one was given a few lines to memorize and then stood at specified locations and shared their new knowledge with other visitors there that day.

this is one of my favorite photos of my baby.  i need to convert it to black and white (the color is a little off for some reason) and print and frame it.

this is gabriel standing in front of his spot at the summer kitchen.  he was so proud of this assignment.  i think you can even see that in his smile.

turning in their costumes before heading back to school.  good-bye hermitage!  until next time . . .

linking up with manneskjur and "how does your garden grow?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

roadside attractions: texas wildflowers and grasshoppers

we spent a lovely long weekend in texas with my sister and her family.  they've built a new house and needed to christen it with houseguests.  we are very obliging in that way and she is an awesome hostess.  since it was such hard work taking care of us (or more likely due to the fact that her husband's work had called all night long), she decided to take a nap the morning after our arrival and we took the opportunity to take a walk.  she expected us to be gone twenty minutes, but obviously she is not familiar with our propensity to take photos.  the two mile walk to the end of her road and back took a good hour and a half.  i am hesitant to say that everything is bigger and better in texas, but most certainly the grasshoppers are.  g enjoyed capturing those for me to document.  and while there were still a few straggling wildflowers, now i am anxious to visit in the spring or early summer to see them in their glory.  bluebonnets have been on my bucket list for quite some time.

i've seen these flowers before!


we have these in florida, but they're pink.

getting a close-up of the freckles from his fishing/camping trip the weekend before.

not a grasshopper.

 his favorite.

my favorite.