Showing posts from November, 2014

Caraway day!

[CAVEAT: Do click on the pix: for some reason, Blogspot is making the pictures blurry unless you click. Click twice and you can zoom in on various parts of the pictures. I must be uploading too large of files--sorry!]
Treading gently to avoid the obvious pun, I begin (and end) this shortish blog with shots from the Wet Mountain Valley, one of Colorado's many magical and less visited corners: that's the backbone of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance, that have only one paved pass (La Veta) that traverses them at their only "low" point at 9,426' (2,873 m). Most of the spine of the Sangres stays above 12,000' for a hundred miles and more--with only a few hideous four wheel drive roads approaching the divide (but not the Continental Divide--which swerves far to the West on to the La Garitas and San Juans.) Colorado is a very cool place.
On the way TO the Wet Mountains, north of Walsenburg we stopped at one foothills locale that was full of interesti…

North Carolina Arboretum near Asheville (Part 3)

I've already posted two rather longish blogs about this arboretum: and now a third? Well--it is a big place (400 acres!), and the terrain is hilly and the architecture grand throughout. There are enough cool plants to justify this focus: and the maintenance of the facility and collections is terrific. I have to say that part of the reason I seem to obsess is because he setting, the scope and the status it already has are such that it could be poised to make a great mark on American Horticulture: what's missing at this point is publicity and a more visible research and public engagement function--which could easily come about with the right new staff. Kelly Norris at Des Moines Botanical garden is the perfect example of the dynamic impact a personality can have on an institution: Kelly's put Des Moines on the Horticultural map in just a year or two! Although I have no doubt Kelly's got a terrific team to work with (and CEO Stephanie Jutila has been orchestrating effect…

Prose poem: "The house on the hill with a view"

Hang in there....[I get deep quick in this short Post (just one picture [can you believe it?]!): I promise it's worth it if you can untangle a few baroque threads of thought]. For as long as I can remember, I have marveled at this house on a hill a mile or two east of the Clifton cutoff (on Highway 141) Just east of Highway 50 just south of Grand Junction heading back towards Palisade. If that sentence made sense to you, you're a bona-fide slopey and deserve an extra box of overripes next August (you'll know what I mean)...

How far back do I remember? Forty years minimum it's been since Paul Maslin taught me about this cut-off that saves at least half an hour when you're tooling north alongside the Gunnison river which is headed that direction. You've just passed Whitewater where 141 goes West towards Gateway (another long story--that haunting canyon where the Gunnison once raged).

Back to the house: I've decided it's a symbol of Civilization: we'v…

Barbour of the ville.

Back in June I got a call from Mike Barbour--a wonderfully talented horticulturist--suggesting I drop by and check out his garden (I hadn't been there in MUCH too long). I first met Mike when he worked at Timberline Gardens--not far away from where he lives. Jan and I dropped by--at dusk--which explains the moody darkness of the pix (I lightened them up a lot in photoshop). Even in their distorted form [Jane Strong informed me that the photos look better if you click on them--it fixes the fuzz factor...I just discovered that if you double click on any portion of any picture, you can zoom in--first time I discovered this feature of Blogspot--woo hoo!], I think you will agree that Mike's a terrific gardener, as well as being a great guy altogether! With subzero temps every night pretty much this past few days, a quick peek back a few months seems like a good idea, don't you agree?

Hardly a conventional front garden--but what pleasing design!

I love this mint--which I fir…