Monday, November 30, 2009

Travels and Home

Thanksgiving is usually associated with travel and home. This year we decided to stay home for the holiday but get out on the weekend to the "big city". Many of my visits to other locales involve trying to visit a local public garden and this weekend was no exception. Our trip to Little Rock took us to Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. They have several distinct garden areas in the park, many of which are maintained by local garden clubs. Unfortunately for us it looked like we were about one week too late to see some blooms (I know they had a good freeze just this past week). Still, when you're a gardener, it counts. Above is a view of the wildflower area. It looks like it would be very nice in bloom.

It had several bluebird houses and a stream in the area. Although they had a separate butterfly garden, I imagine that this area is alive with wildlife.

This sea oats (Chasmanthium) would provide forage.

We arrived fairly late in the day so our sunlight was fading fast. But didn't it highlight this river birch nicely? There was a lovely little seating area near the performing arts theater that showcased these and many other trees, as well as grasses and rudbeckia.

Along a little lake is a 10 acre arboretum with drifts of daffodils (which I'd love to see in the spring) and well labeled trees and shrubs. Take for example this shrubby tree above. Doesn't it look like it would provide a great burst of flowers in the spring? Thankfully it was labeled as Pinckneya pubens 'Larry's Party Pink' (they also called it a poinsettia tree but I think the more common name is fever tree (like the 60's band!)). In fact, because everything was labeled so well, I was able to see what several shrubs I've been considering for my garden looked like in the fall/winter. Very good info.

This label however, caught me by surprise. I'm not really sure what to say about it. I think I won't say anything.

Last but not least, this little viola remained so I could photograph at least one bloom! I will definitely return to this park, hopefully in the spring for their daffodils and azaleas.

Back to my garden, I've been tidying up for the fall, enjoying the remaining fall colors, and planting a few things.

These little birdies are missing their succulent pals.

Those succulents and more go into the storeroom for the winter, where the temps stay warmer than in the unheated greenhouse.

My portable greenhouse still has room for a few more plants. The newly repotted olive tree looks like it may be too tall by next year for the greenhouse.

This photo makes this plant look much bigger than it really is! This is one of the plants I picked up recently at a mostly native plant nursery. It's Viburnum obovatum ‘Mrs Schiller’s Delight’, a dwarf native cultivar. I'm anxious to see how it turns out. It's supposed to be very attractive to butterflies.

Fall colors are really here now. Our red oak is doing its red thing finally. I'm not sure which species this is exactly, but it has grown like crazy since we planted it.

The Japanese maple 'Bloodgood' is really responding to cooler temperatures.

Our pecan tree has been totally devoid of leaves for some time now but the willow oak (Quercus phellus) in the background is still slowly losing them.

I hope you all had as lovely a Thanksgiving holiday as I did!


  1. Lovely post! I love the river birch and sea oats especially... I hope you go back in the spring ... it would be great to see all the promising blooms. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. Carol

  2. Your photos are so gorgeous, especially the shot of the peeling bark. I love wild areas, I hope you go back in spring & take lots of photos to post.

  3. Jean, I agree with MMD, your photos are gorgeous...the blue sky and fall colored leaves are delightful. Glad to hear you had an adventurous holiday. gail

  4. I love that little viburnum! Would it grow up north? That portable greenhouse looks very handy, too. I need to look in to one of those...

  5. Wow, fall still seems in full swing for you! Love the sea oats--an under-utilized plant IMHO. And I agree, travel is good and home is good!

  6. There's still a lot to see at this time of year, and it can be nice to stay home and be a tourist in one's own area (that's what we did too). I love those little clay birds and have one myself but would like a whole shelf like yours.

  7. I believe your oak is a Shumard. I have 2 in my yard and they are gorgeous.

  8. Rambleonrose - the viburnum is supposed to be okay for zones 6 through 9. They look pretty tough to me and they get purplish leaves in fall.

    Anonymous - yes, I believe it's a Shumard oak as well but the guy who delivered it didn't have a tag (although that's what I asked for, you never know!).

  9. Thanks to you all for the compliments and I do hope I make it back there!

    Monica - I totally agree about sea oats being underutilized. They can be a bit weedy but sometimes that's a good thing!

  10. Lovely photos, Jean, including all the fall color in your own garden. I've been to a local park with a prairie area and a nearby forest preserve recently to walk our dog, and I've been surprised to see how much I enjoy the look of wildflowers and natives in the winter. The seedpods and drying foliage have their own kind of beauty.

    Looks like you have been busy! You're going to have plenty of winter blooms as well.

  11. Whoa, Jean! I'm with you on the "late unpleasantness" sign. Not much one can say if they are serious ...

  12. Fantastic pics, looks like a really wonderful area. Have you ever put up any hummingbird feeders?


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