Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring week 5.5- April 18

Travel travel travel. This last week we went to Missouri. On our way to Springfield, we stopped for 24 hours in St. Louis. I must devote most of this post to the Missouri Botanical gardens, one of the real garden treasures of the Midwest. We try to get there every time we are in the St. Louis area. There is no bad time of the year. I remember a time I had court in St. Louis in February. The pansies were already out in mass plantings. Like many places in the north there are gardens inside many buildings, which make for much winter enjoyment.
So this year in mid April it was still rather early. I think all of the Midwest has fallen much behind past years for spring progression. Our star magnolia finally opened yesterday in Iowa City. That was April 17. In looking at my garden pictures on the computer I find magnolia pictures on April 3 from both 2003 and 2005. St. Louis last week was still a week or so ahead of Iowa City.
But let me let my pictures do the talking.
The gardens hosted Dale Chihuly’s glass installations maybe two years ago. Some were left behind. The massive construction as you come into the gardens was rather ill lit since it was rainy when we were there. You can still get the idea. His water floats were like big colorful Hershey kisses.

Then there were the cherry trees in the Japanese Garden. They need no commentary.

The woodland garden has been particularly developed in the last ten years. It was of course exploding. I liked this Italian arum and the little white hepatica. One of the things you can do with a digital camera is take lots of pictures. To remember what I have photographed I can just take a picture of the label immediately after the picture itself. You can then google the name and most likely find a source for the plant. I can’t find a source for this particular hepatica. If anyone reads this and has ideas let me know.

Speaking of asking for help, there was this rather interesting water plant in the woodland garden, that did not have a name. Any ideas out there?

As to strange things- this creature was lying on top of a little boxwood. It wasn’t particularly shy.

Then there was the latest art. This skull was certainly striking.

I can’t close without a tulip shot. These big gardens can be all about extravagance. Mass tulip plantings will certainly get you there fast. Tulips in Iowa City will be here soon.

As to Iowa City- well a few warm days this week have the daffodils out, and everything else on its way. Pictures will come Sunday I hope.

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