23 January 2017
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Longwood Gardens is a ritual. I’ve been taking my grandchildren there for their entire existence. The most recent trip was with my grandson who becomes at one with the ambience of the gardens as well as his camera.
We waited until the beginning of the month, because we wanted to stroll through the winter holiday displays sans crowds. Our arrival in the Conservatory was a few days before the exhibition’s last hurrah. We were in horticultural heaven, especially content and grateful in the throes of wintry weather.
My grandson is drawn to the unusual, and certainly the family of Pitcher Plants fits his visual sensibilities. As a youngster, he was enamored with the Venus Flytrap. Even today it pulls him into its charm.
But the true treat during this visit was the flowering Sarracenia sp. of the Pitchers with their slippery leaves. This species is found in the Southeast of North America, and their colorful performance made it doubly hard to dislodge our attention.
These eloquent flowers seemed to be peeling away their inner secrets, and the grey day emphasized their dramatic appearance. The display had them in the usual trays, and these tropical plants were backlit by the melancholy afternoon. It gave the blooms a greater appeal, and kept us spying longer than we’ve ever spent at that permanent grouping.
Every experience–inside or out–there reminds me of the way nature and human nature shore each other’s presence. Descriptors abound such as longevity, resilience, stamina, strength in the face of odds for and against continuance.
Our experience is a clear indication of why repeat visits to the gardens always unveils new discoveries. Longwood Gardens is a true year-round national treasure, and fortunately for us just a forty-five journey north.
Tip of the Week:
The Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens began this weekend. Each year the exhibition has varieties that stir the senses and brighten the moodiness brought by winter’s bare landscape. I’ll make it my destination this month, just waiting for the crowds to lessen. Here’s a peek from their site: “As one of the first plant collections at Longwood, orchids have held a place of distinction since 1922. Our talented horticulturists celebrate the beauty and variety of orchids with an artful display that includes a towering 12-foot-tall archway made up of pink Phalaenopsis orchids, giant orbs of orchids, our spectacular purple and white orchid curtain, and more than 200 colorful Vanda hanging from above in our Silver Garden.”
If you are on the East Coast of the USA between now and 31 March, please try to visit this world-renown horticultural treasure. It always perks the spirits and inspires the heart. And keeps me hungry for Spring to arrive.
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1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.