Saturday, July 25, 2015

Begonia update

Begonia hybrid seedlings

Begonias have been a sorely-needed bright spot in an otherwise bad gardening year.  Two cold winters in a row, combined with more than my usual degree of neglect, have taken a hard toll and I've had many losses.  But those losses have opened up some opportunities, bringing more sun into what was an increasingly overgrown garden, and opening up some space to try new plants.  And among the losses, I've had a few pleasant surprises.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

And now for something completely different

Eye Dream of Genie
Eye Dream of Genie

I'll never look at my garden the same way again.  I've just spent the last two days wasting my time playing expanding my repertoire of blogging skills with Google Deep Dream and it brought out my long-dormant artistic side.  As soon as I saw what it did to a photo of my eye (see original below), I was hooked.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

I've been making an effort to get out and visit more gardens this year, so when Washington Gardener Magazine and DC Gardens announced they were having a "tweet-up" at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, DC last weekend, I decided it was about time I re-visited a garden that's practically in my own backyard.  I'll keep my comments brief because my friend and fellow garden blogger Teresa Speight has already written a great blog post about the garden and the event: A Gem in the City – Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer means great gardens in Washington, DC

National Museum of Natural History (Constitution Avenue entrance)

I'm privileged to work at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and a beautiful garden greets me as I arrive at work every morning.  As the summer gets hotter and hotter, it just keeps getting better and better.  I know a lot of people don't like the heat and humidity of a Washington, DC summer but this is when our public gardens really start to hit their stride.  Don't get me wrong, I love spring gardens with their tulips, daffodils, peonies, bleeding heart, foxglove, poppies, and bluebells, but by mid-summer, most of these plants look the worse for wear.  Some of them, like oriental poppies, bleeding heart, and most spring bulbs, have the good sense to go dormant in our summer heat but gardens that depend too heavily on these spring-flowering plants aren't worth seeing the rest of the year.