Tag Archives: climbing trees

July in the Garden

bee balm, echinacea

The year has a rhythm of seasons and each season has it’s own beginning, middle, and end. Mid-July, high summer, hot and dry. Weeding in the garden has slowed down with the lack of rain. Daylilies, beebalm, echinacea, daisies, all out in full force! It’s beautiful and quiet, visitors relaxing in the shade and catching whatever breeze might come up over Kingston Hill. Evidence of four-legged visitors is clear in the neatly “pruned” hostas all over the Garden.


I haven’t seen them yet so they must be wandering in at night. Other, very small critters hop around with no fear, too young to realize I could be a predator. So far they prefer the clover in the grass to my perennials, so I can sit back and enjoy their wide-eyed little faces and big ears.

rabbit in grass

July is a great time to take notes on what will need to be dug, divided, or moved in the fall. It’s also a good time to take pictures, for fun as well as for creating a visual history of the garden.

honey bee on echinacea

bee on teasel

Finally, the little bit of a lull in July allows time for learning something new on a hot afternoon.

climbing ropes

climbing tree with ropes

Louis in tree

way up in tree

down from tree with ropes


Change is Good, Part One



Sometimes a landscape feature seems to have such permanence, that in our minds we can’t visualize something else. Whatever tree, rock, garden is there has “always” been there and we don’t even see it any more.  Or, in my case, I see it, but can’t begin to imagine changing it. Luckily for me, there are some folks here with more vivid imaginations than mine! The out-of-control hedge along the west side of the greenhouse and the junipers casting substantial shade over the same greenhouse have been in place at the Botanical Gardens for a long, long time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be changed…

The picture above gives a sense of  how big that hedge really was. The greenhouse next to it was losing out on sunlight. At the end of the alley between the greenhouse and the hedge were five junipers, also casting long dark shadows over the greenhouse.

First to go was the hedge:

west garden

And then the junipers, all except one:

last juniper

Often there are features that should be preserved, such as our  1940 WPA-built walls. The beautiful stones create a framework for the Gardens and remind us of our history.  Our large old trees can serve the same purpose, and I love them for that! But the Botanical Gardens are for the most part a “dynamic” garden,  an ever-changing place, as opposed to a “static” garden which reflects a certain time period and is held there. Change can be a little jarring at first, but after a bit of adjustment  it is like taking a deep breath and straightening up your shoulders after being hunched over a task. It feels good!

mike in tree