Columbus – February 2019 – Out of the Cold (for a couple of hours)

Our repeat weekend continued with a visit to a botanical gardens, this time back in Columbus.

They had some orchids, but nothing close to the quantity and quality of the Cleveland show. Mostly it was a good place to walk around in nice warmth and check out plants and flower in the dead of winter.







OK so this is not a flower or plant – it is an exhibit called Waning Light. The website for Franklin Park states ”
local artist Dana Lynn Harper strings together thousands of laminated dichroic film discs and suspends them from the ceiling, creating a cloud of iridescent petals floating and bending through the space. Harper manipulates material, size, color and light to build a dreamlike and otherworldly installation”.

It makes for a great look and atmosphere, with the light of each disc changing as you move around them.




A random rose.




More ‘not a plant’ – Part of the Chihuly Display.




There were a number of ‘upside down’ planters.




Back to our original program – orchids.







Eventually we ran out of orchids and continued through the desert and rain forest sections.








Our couple hours were up so it is back into reality – cold and snow.




Columbus – January 2019 – Snow Day

It’s January, very little events going on, and it snowed enough to make the roads sloppy. But it did add some character to every day objects around the neighborhood.





It was just the right amount of snow, about 3-4″, to not cause total shutdown.





No skating today, unless you want to get very wet.





When the last grass cutting of the season is in neat rows, the snow comes out with the same pattern.





The birds have a home out of the snow.






This flight is grounded.





The large ornamental grasses to cover up the utility box. No longer green, but still with some color to contrast the white.

I hate snow, except once a year. Come on spring.











Columbus – December 2018 – Franklin Park Conservatory Holiday Lights Revisit

Keeping with the annual repeat visits this weekend, we stopped by the Franklin Park Conservatory for their Holiday Lights exhibit.

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The professional division gingerbread house winner.

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They have a mix of traditional holiday floral with the the permanent displays.

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Chihuly glass.

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More floral close ups.

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The center hall was all decked out for the season.

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The other halls had interesting lighting on the plants.

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Outside near the glass blowing studio were additional glass ‘trees’.

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The Children’s Garden had the largest display of lights.

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The glass block steps in the Palm House were lit.

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Additional glass pieces outside on a courtyard.

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Afterwards we made a brief stop at a park downtown for additional lights.

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Columbus – September 2018 – Topiary and Ikenobo

Recently we stopped by Franklin Park and were surprised to see a large area fenced in near the Conservatory that had always been part of the overall park. With our return visit, we found that over the last year they had added the ‘Grand Mallway’, a nicely landscaped area.

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As part of the Conservatory’s Topiary display, there were a number of flamingos displayed here.

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They were an interesting mix of floral and painted moss.

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With our mid September visit, much was still in full bloom.

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The flamingos and sculptures backed by the glass Palm House.

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The Mallway is a great addition – adding much needed outdoor space to the complex.

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Ringing the outside of the area is this covered walkway.

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It also provides interesting views of the Palm House.

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Nearby is the ‘Brides Garden’

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The entrance to the Childrens Garden featured more topiary art.

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Including a butterfly. The Conservatory has a great butterfly display (featured on another blog posting today).

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Topiary Dolphins.

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Mexican Wolves.

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Personally I like the permanent Topiary Gardens downtown. These look like Chia pets.

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In addition the use of paint detracts from the whole topiary idea.

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But the elephants are cool.

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Inside the Ikenobo Society of Ohio had a show.

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The flowers were unique and beautiful.

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Their website describes Ikebono as ‘one of the representative aspects of Japanese traditional culture, and ikebana began with Ikenobo.’

‘In 1462 the name Senkei Ikenobo first appeared in historic records as “master of flower arranging.” Senno Ikenobo, who was active in the late Muromachi period (mid-16th century), established the philosophy of ikebana, completing a compilation of Ikenobo teachings called “Senno Kuden.”’

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Simple yet elegant in their presentation.

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We had popped into the Conservatory for a brief visit, but with the new gardens, the topiary, the butterflies and the Ikenobo we ended up having a full morning of fantastic sights and smells.

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Mansfield, OH – August 2018 – Kingwood Center Gardens

For this warm and windy Saturday we headed to Mansfield to see the Kingwood Center Gardens.  These gardens, and the mansion, were built by Charles King, who made his money leading a company that made electrical fittings for the trolleys and railroads of the early 1900s.

The house and grounds were built in 1926, and feature 47 acres of formal gardens, as well as greenhouses.

When Mr King died in the 1950s the estate was turned over to a private foundation that to this day own and operate the beautiful grounds.

My first photo of the day was taken with the ‘wrong’ settings. A couple of nights earlier there was a vivid full moon and I had changed the white balance and numerous other settings, forgetting to reset them. When I took the photo of the fountain it did not represent it’s actual look, but rather this ‘full moon’ look.

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Returning my camera to more proper settings for garden photography we set off. We were immediately impressed with the landscaping.

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As we made our way through the gardens we passed numerous planters with interesting mixes within each one.

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The stone paths and perfectly trimmed hedges framed the flora.

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The newest lens was perfect for some close ups.

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With the full frame capabilities, getting clear shots of the flowers is much easier.

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So much easier I came home with numerous photos of insects on plants and flowers.

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Additional planters on stone walls.

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The lawn and gardens in front of the house was immaculate (except for some gardener put tire tracks in it 🙂 )

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As with most gardens, weddings are a big business. Unfortunately for the bride this day some heavy rains came later, after we finished our tour.

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The house opened at 11, and a local peacock was there waiting for entry.

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While not extensive, there was some statuary well placed throughout the gardens.

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The carriage house had 5 bays for automobiles. What could be better, a 5 car garage and great landscaping.

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One of the greenhouses featured cacti.

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More insect closeups, this time in the greenhouse. Fortunately for this one he stayed away from the nearby Venus fly trap.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the Kingwood Center Gardens. While not Longwood (who is), this is one of the best, if not the best, gardens we have seen in Ohio.

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Cincinnati – June 2018 – Flowering Competition

One thing is certain, there is competition for everything. On this hot Saturday we found ourselves at the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati for the annual Daylily competition.

But first we checked out the rest of the historic conservatory.

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The building is fairly small for a conservatory, however when it was opened in 1933 it was one of the best in the country. They do make great use of the space they have.

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As with most conservatories, it was very colorful.

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Normally when you go to a conservatory and go into the tropics areas you feel the heat and humidity, although on this day it was nearly 100 F in Cincinnati so it was actually cooler inside than out.

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They had a great variety of plants.

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The Daylily competition was held in the Bonsai room. Normally the bonsai trees are the center of attention, but not this day!

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There was a separate competition for the centerpieces.

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The colors were very vivid, with many reds and oranges not normally seen on daylillies.

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While a competition, everyone there were very friendly and anxious to talk to you about growing the flowers, and encouraging you to join their club.

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A beautiful start to our afternoon in Cincinnati.

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Oyster Bay, NY – May 2018 – Running of the Brides at Planting Fields Arboretum

Our next stop of Long Island North Shore former estates is the Planting Fields Arboretum. As with the others it was an estate for a wealthy New York City resident – William Robertson Coe. William took an easier route to wealth, he married into it.

The Coe’s were avid gardeners, hiring renown landscape artists to design the estate. In the mid 1950s it became a temporary campus for the State University of New York, but finally in the mid 1960s it became an arboretum.

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One of the more interesting features is a tunnel of evergreens.

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Eventually we went into the greenhouses and were met with a nice collection of flowers and plants.

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We left the greenhouses and made our way over to the Italian Gardens.

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Nearby is the mansion, which in keeping with the theme of the day was closed to visitors.

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As we returned to the Italian Gardens we first met the ‘running of the brides’. Apparently this is a very popular place for wedding photography, and for the rest of the afternoon we were dodging brides.

We saw about 10 different wedding groups (on a Tuesday afternoon)!

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Finally we left the wedding parties and moved to another greenhouse.

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Our wedding day complete, we went back into the town of Oyster Bay where we were greeted with a great statue of their favorite son, Teddy Roosevelt.

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