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Friday, June 22, 2018

Dow Gardens - Texture

You know I love textures! Here are four from the Dow Gardens. First is an ornamental, columnar white cedar (also called arborvitae). They are all Thuja occidentalis, but there are a number of varieties. I think this one with the "dancing" sprays of needles may be 'Hetz Wintergreen.'

ornamental cedar trees Dow Gardens

This is a Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa macra, variety 'All Gold.' I'll bet in a slight breeze this just flows like water.

Japanese Forest Grass Dow Gardens

Begonias always catch my eye. There are SO many varieties and colors and leaf shapes. I have no idea what this one is. It was in their small conservatory. Almost nothing in there was labeled. It was more like just a storage space for plants that aren't hardy. But the texture of this one is fantastic.

begonia Dow Gardens

Finally, this is not anything rare at all, except it was in bloom. It's a foxtail asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii'. These began showing up in city planters a few years ago, and they are definitely a worthy addition to streetscapes.

foxtail asparagus fern Dow Gardens

I'm beginning to find some other things I might want to put in the blog, but there is still so much good stuff from Dow Gardens. I guess you'll have to come back to see what I pick next.

In other news: I spent the morning editing The Bigg Boss (15 chapters done), and then went out to distribute flyers and posters for our author event in the afternoon. Not my favorite activity by a long shot, but I got it done.

See Yellow Begonia
See Dow Gardens - Color
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dow Gardens - Color

There are so many beautiful individual plants I could show you! Dow Gardens is like a big flower show... the good stuff just keeps coming.

But I can't move away from it just yet. Today I'll show you some of my favorite pictures that exemplify COLOR. It's no surprise that several of them are coleus (now broken into two genera, so I didn't capitalize it). We probably all know coleus... it's that great planter specimen that features beautifully variegated leaves. They are a relative of mint, but without the minty smell. They are great for showy gardens because if you pinch off the blossoms, the gorgeous leaves just keep their beauty all season long.

Here are two varieties side by side in a planter. Everything from bright and splotchy to dark and geometric


How about the 'stripe-me-pink' oyster plant? This is a variety of my Moses-in-a-boat with colored leaves. Technically Rhoeo discolor or Tradescantia discolor (names are changing faster than one can keep up).

striped oyster plant

Back to coleus for an interesting salmon color variety.

salmon coleus

I debated whether to show you this one under "color" or hold it for "design," but you get it today. This is some variety of Clematis.

magenta clematis

Finally, we're back to another display of coleus. This one is in the colors I was trying to pair in my own flower garden, maroon and yellow. So I particularly like this.


In other news: My writing workshop ended today. Great stuff! I'll be doing a post about it on the other blog.

See Philadelphia Flower Show 2011 Coleus
See Oyster Plant
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dow Gardens- Naturalistic Landscapes

One of the things that amazed me most at Dow Gardens is the emphasis on trees. Designing with trees means being able to see at least 50 years into the future and imagine what those shapes and textures and tones are going to look like. I suppose there is software now that would allow you to do this. But when Dow Gardens was created, the designer had to see it in his mind. Maybe he would sketch his vision.

Today, I want to show you some naturalistic landscapes. I'm not calling them natural because they are all planted and manipulated. I'm not even sure the waterways are natural. Certainly the smaller ones on the property were created artificially.

landscape at Dow Gardens

Some, like the one above include manicured lawns. Others, like the one below just beckon you to come find a trail through the woods.

landscape at Dow Gardens

Hard to believe this is all designed and created for the effect, isn't it?

landscape at Dow Gardens

Here's another that looks completely "wild."

landscape at Dow Gardens

The textures alone make this one yummy!

landscape at Dow Gardens

I'm working hard and having a blast at the writer workshop. Tomorrow is the last day.

See Dow Gardens- Branches
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dow Gardens - Architecture

There are still a couple of days of my seminar, and time for blogging is limited. I'll give you another quick look at Dow Gardens today. Herbert Dow is the man who founded Dow Chemical Company. His home is in the center of the Gardens. It's basically a Craftsman bungalow style, but huge. Tours are possible, but not the day I was there.

Herbert Dow house

One of his sons, Alden, grew up and became an architect. He also liked to experiment with creating new materials. Apparently he invented the tiles that form the siding for his house, near one of the edges of the Garden. Yes, the water is right up there practically level with the patio. Or do you call it a dock in this case? At any rate, the lines of the roof are interesting.

Alden Dow house

Here's another view of Alden's home.

Alden Dow house

Now I have to scoot and do my writing assignment for tomorrow.

See Dow Gardens
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Monday, June 18, 2018

Hikers Haven

Sunday, I spent the day with trail friends Connie and Jerry. Jerry has hiked the Appalachian Trail. They are both long-time volunteers for the North Country Trail, and Jerry helped build the Midland to Mackinac Trail. They both also do trail maintenance on some of those miles.

hikers haven

I was welcomed and well-fed. We went to church together. After a hot afternoon, we decided to forego dinner in favor of ice cream. Perfect choice! I think the three flavors we ended up with were raspberry cheesecake, Scout mint chocolate, and turtle cheesecake.

eating ice cream

My next hiking plan may be starting to simmer. We'll see.

Then I was off to my next destination, Interlochen, where I am now.

In other news: I don't have my assignment for tomorrow finished... have to get back to work.

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