Monday, July 28, 2008

Gardens Update: On Location at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, UT

One of the nice things about visiting John's parents in Utah is that there is always something interesting to do outside. It really doesn't matter the season, either. Although, when we were there recently, it was very hot and surprisingly humid for a desert. Regardless, that didn't stop us from exploring.

The green-eyed Susans in the photo above are from the Thanksgiving Point Gardens John's mom and I visited while we were there.

That's the view from the back of the visitor's center. You can't see this place (all 55 acres of it) from the highway at all. We nearly missed it.

The gardens are easily walkable, with brick paths leading to the various exhibit gardens. Along the way, there are water treatments, shady spots, and benches (although not too many of those). You do have the option of taking a Segway or a golf cart, if you cannot walk the 5 miles or so of gardens. We opted to walk since it was the morning and relatively cool when we started.

All around us were clever uses of gardening techniques, such as fun shapes, like these waves. The gardeners also planted several different species of plants together, with very similar colors to create a striking appearance.

I'm still trying to find out what these blue flowers below are. Anyone know?

Here's a close-up:

Because many of the beds were filled with annuals, it amazed me how much time (and money) it must have taken to achieve such a lush look.

Eventually, we walked to the rose garden, which (I hate to say) was underwhelming compared to the other displays.

Walking out of the rose garden, we came to a high stairway. We climbed the stairs, which led us to this view.

When you wind your way down from the top, here's the view back to the visitor's center.

The Italian garden isn't so much a garden as it is a giant water treatment.

It reminded me of a series of large bathtubs.

This may be a bit tough to see in the photo, but the image is a sculpture of a carousel, with the horses decorated with mosses and flowering plants. It's quite beautiful.

Here's another view.

After we finished up at the gardens, we ate lunch at a lovely restaurant on the site called The Harvest. In fact, all the meals we had while we were out there were very tasty.

If you haven't yet visited the Salt Lake City area (and this is about 30 minutes South of the city), when you do, put Thanksgiving Point Gardens on your list of things to do on a sunny, warm day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Broken Stove Poem

Broken Stove Poem

You, of the enameled steel variety,
Will burn no more of my cakes, cookies, and potatoes.
Your insulation long gone,
Was missing long before we made our heated acquaintance.
I will not miss the click, click, clicks of your gas igniter.
Nor will I mourn the small electrocution
Supplied by your ungrounded oven light switch.
I cannot speak for the young technician who was scarred
By your sparky shouting,
But "Workers Compensation" played at my lips.
He was happy to turn you in for a younger model.
Happy to lug you to the curb for the Freecycler
Who will take his chances on your capricious temper.
Your gleaming replacement heats quickly for me,
Like you never did.
Shiny and eager, her fiery sealed burners await my instructions.
Her long arm locks across her body
In a show of self-cleaning allegiance,
Unlike your not-easy-off-at-all interior.
Gold broken stove, I will not remember you warmly.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Garden Update: Morning Glories

One of the few seeds that the #$%^ squirrels didn't eat was the Convolvulus or Bush Morning Glory. The Blue Enchantment variety in my front garden has truly been enjoying the rainy and hot weather we've had here over the past few weeks.

I can also see that the cosmos are about 8-in high, but have yet to sprout buds. However, I had bought some colorful annuals back at the Rutgers Gardens sale and Home Depot, so there will be color up there at the front for a while until the later summer flowers open.

In the meantime, I can see that a few of the gladiolas already have buds. That's fast!

Finally, a few days ago, I spotted my first wee praying mantis in the bed closest to the house. I'm sure that as the weather heats up a bit, I'll see more. Until that happens, I'll just have to keep changing the bag-a-bug bags and encouraging the birds to come an eat the @#$% Japanese beetles. Ugh.