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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons- Spring

 
I want to show you one more exhibit from the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show, but it's going to take four days to do it. I almost missed this entire display, and I think it was the very best of all. There were four islands of flowers and plant material, one devoted to each of the seasons.

Today I'll bring you spring. The signage said "A time of new growth. Spring showers fall to bring life to the earth. A tree has fallen, a sapling growing near it represents new growth." (OK, so the copywriter wasn't exactly inspired.)

First of all, keep in mind that it was really hard to get a picture that took in the scope of the display. This is the best I can do. The "rain cloud" is a good 20 feet above the floor.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

The cloud is filled with rain which falls gently to renew the flowers.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

The fallen tree, with its roots, shelters new plants and a vernal pool.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

Glorious spring colors erupt with the warmth and rain.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- The Four Seasons spring

There's just not much spring-like here yet, so you might as well enjoy pretty pictures from the show!

In other news: wrote some, and then did a bunch of odds and ends, including Long Distance Hiker stuff. Wanted to get outside, but it was really cold and windy. Temp of 30 with the wind chill making it feel like 19. I wimped out.


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Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Amazing Fair Women

 
Taking a day off from Flower Show pictures because tonight I went to a reader's theater production of an original play called The Amazing Fair Women. It was written by local writer Jane Carpenter, and provides an historical and humorous look at the women who were involved in creating the Women's Building of the 1983 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. Christine Plummer of Ludington directed.

The play provides a setting in which many of the women who contributed to the creation of the building and exhibits look back at the experience, as if they were still alive today.

In this scene, Bertha Palmer (seated), wife of Potter Palmer, of Palmer House fame, interacts with Sophia Hayden (far left) and Enid Yandell (middle). Palmer was the President of the Board of Lady Managers, Yandell was a sculptress, and Hayden was the architect for the stunning building at only 21 years of age.

The Amazing Fair Women

The play was more of an historical lesson than a story with a plot, and the points were enhanced by a screen with photographs of the actual parts of the exhibit or people under discussion.

The Amazing Fair Women

One of the funniest scenes was between Bertha Palmer and Edith Clarke. Once it was decided that there would be a display of books written by women there was little agreement on how they should be displayed. The Dewey Decimal System was quite new, and Clarke, who was head cataloger of the Newberry Library (Chicago), wanted the books organized and displayed using that system. Palmer was more interested in the DISPLAY of the books, and apparently the two women disagreed violently on this point. Clarke persisted and almost finished cataloging the 8000 books by the end of the Exposition.

The Amazing Fair Women

There were other well-played and funny moments as well. You only get to see scenes where my pictures turned out.

The play ended with the women learning about a thing called the internet, and they all were given smart phones and told how to look up their names and the Exposition on Wikipedia!

The Amazing Fair Women

In the gallery at the Arts Center for this past month there has been a Celebration of Women in the Arts, and this play is the culmination.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and did a bunch of odds and ends in the afternoon. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm making progress on anything or just making a bigger mess.

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Bizarre Plants

 
There are always a large number of plants that look bizarre for one reason or another- things that look like someone made them up for a stage play. But they are real, and I love them. Here are a few.

This is Aloe humilis from South Africa. It's sometimes called Spider Aloe.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Aloe humilis

How about a plant that looks pretty much like a few toads huddled together. This is Ariocarpus fissuratus. It's actually a type of cactus from Mexico and Texas. They grow very slowly, but will eventually become taller with a pink blossom.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Ariocarpus fissuratus

This is Euphorbia stenoclada. If you want a genus of plants that grows some bizarre stuff, look no farther than Euphorbia. This comes from Madagascar- also noted for strange plants and animals, and can grow to the size of a tree.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Euphorbia stenoclada

This one is actually a fern! It's Colysis wrightii 'Monstrifera.' This is native to southern China, and from what I read, this is quite a large specimen.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Colysis wrightii Monstrifera

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Colysis wrightii Monstrifera

Back to a cactus, a crested cactus. This comes from Ecuador and Peru, and looks quite different in different seasons. The short "pencils" that grow from the main stems shrivel and curl up. It's Opuntia subulata cristata

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Colysis wrightii Monstrifera

Albuca spiralis is also called Fizzle Sizzle. It comes from South Africa and is a succulent.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Albuca spiralis

Just in case this isn't interesting enough all by itself, here's what it looks like in bloom. Supposedly it smells like butter and vanilla, but I didn't know enough at the time to try to give it a sniff!

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Albuca spiralis

Spring is maybe, maybe beginning to show up here. But I have just a few more things to show you from the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show.

In other news: Well, I had a moderately good day. I wrote in the morning, but didn't feel like doing anything after that. Made myself do little bits on several projects. Actually managed a fair amount on the Long Distance Hikers Recognition, and I uncovered my little trailer. Want to get busy working on it again. Didn't walk at all. That's not so good.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Begonia Parade 3

 
I had to reach back to another Philadelphia Flower Show to get some additional begonia textures, but I think you'll be impressed.

This is one from this year, and it's called 'Silver Jewell.' The picture doesn't quite do it justice. There was such a reflective, pebbly texture on the leaves they almost did sparkle.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- begonia Silver Jewell

Now, we'll hop back to 2015 for three pictures of a begonia called 'Red Fred.' These are two different plants of the same variety. The first one shows how large and smooth (not to mention red) the leaves are.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia Red Fred

When the plants grow, the form spreads out more.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia Red Fred

And look at the stems and the new growth! Everything is just popping with furry bristles.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia Red Fred

Here's another pebbled one called 'Soli Mutata,' because just as the name suggests, the leaves change color somewhat in the sun. It's a native of Brazil.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia Soli Mutata

Begonia sizemoreae, at this year's show, comes from Vietnam. The hairs are not always so pronounced as in this specimen, but you've got to admit its got texture!

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- begonia sizemoreae

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- begonia sizemoreae

The last one also was from 2015, and I don't have its exact label, but I think it must be a variety of Begonia x erythrophylla ‘Bunchii’, or 'Lettuce-leaf' begonia.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia lettuce leaf

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia lettuce leaf

Philadelphia Flower Show 2015- begonia lettuce leaf

How's that for a textural tour without ever leaving the genus?

In other news: Managed to sleep last night, and got back on track. I wrote in the morning, worked on Long Distance Hiker stuff in the afternoon and did some other record keeping. Walked 3 miles including a trip to the library.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Begonia Parade 2

 
Here is the second group of begonia pictures from the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show. Today's focus will be on color variation in the leaves. Although, sometimes it's hard to choose whether to focus on colors or textures. I have a couple more for tomorrow with definitely interesting textures, but you could make a case that I should have saved this first one from today for that group.

In any case, begonias are amazing in their variety of leaves (let alone some of the great, pure colors of the flowers). You could group them by shape, color, or texture.

This one is Begonia 'Marmaduke.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

I've encountered Begonia 'Looking Glass' before, in an all-white garden at the 2011 Philadelphia Flower Show. But this picture shows it much better, by itself.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

Next we have green with red spots in Begonia 'Harmony Ray Glow.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

The solid and intense red color in these leaves is sometimes seen in the simple bedding plants you can get at any garden store in the spring, but this is Begonia 'Manaus.' And this one took a blue ribbon, and two special recognition awards from the American Begonia Society.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

Let's flip the colors from above. Now we have redish leaves with green spots in Begonia 'Kit Kat.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

Today's last one is a tiny specimen in a terrarium. Its color and shape almost make it look like a coleus. This is Begonia 'Rex Cultorum.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 - begonia

Plants are amazing. There are almost 400,000 species, let alone the varieties within the species- such as begonias- once the gardeners start tinkering with them. I'll never run out of things to learn.

In other news: today was a complete loss. I couldn't sleep last night and felt like crap all day. Could not get moving at all. Of course the risk is that I'll wake up at 9 pm and repeat the cycle all over again tomorrow. But I hope not.

See Begonia Parade 1
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Buckeye Trail Patch

 
It is late and I am tired. I'm going to do a quickie post to show you that I finally received my patch for completing the entire Buckeye Trail (finished in May 2017).

I love patches!

Buckeye Trail completion patch

In other news: It was a busy day. I worked on the book in the morning, and on Long Distance Hiker recognition in the afternoon. Then I walked 3 miles, had writers' group and did grocery shopping. I'm ready for bed.


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Monday, March 25, 2019

Begonia Parade 1

 
One of my favorite genera of plants is Begonia. It's also one of the largest with over 1800 species, not to mention all the various ornamental cultivars that have been bred. The flowers can also be stunning, but the leaves are amazing in their varieties of shape, color and texture. They are tropical and sub-tropical plants, growing largely in the shade of the understory. In temperate regions they are used as houseplants or annual bedding plants. Don't be expecting the sad little pink things you see put out in the sun in the summer. That's not the way to make "real" begonias happy. Today I'll show you a few from the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show.

This is variety 'Escargot.' I think you can see why!

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

But don't get too attached to that shape of leaf. This one is some unknown variety. So many cultivars have been developed that sometimes their names get lost in the shuffle.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

This is Begonia venosa, one of the ones that has not been tinkered with. The leaves are softly furry, and it grows in Brazil. The flowers are clusters of white petals on long pink stems. This plant took a blue ribbon, and an American Begonia Society ribbon for best foliage. I'm not entirely sure why- perhaps it was in particularly good condition. Nothing I read says it is more difficult to grow than other begonias.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

Sometimes the leaves are soft and furry, as above. Sometimes they are shiny and bold. This is variety 'Thurstonii.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

This is one of my personal favorites, but again the exact variety was not known. Notice the polka dots in the edging of the leaves.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

This is 'Little Darling.'

Philadelphia Flower Show 2019- Begonia

Of course, you are going to see more of these. Every time I look at the pictures I am entranced all over again.

In other news: I wrote my newspaper column, did more laundry, did some cleaning and some odds and ends, and walked 3 miles.

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