Sunday, September 24, 2017

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (no pics)

Last Thursday my SO and I took a day trip to Grand Rapids, MI, to see at least part of ArtPrize 2017. Since the temperatures were predicted to be above 90 degrees, we wisely limited ourselves to two venues (out of 182!), the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. In the latter, we further limited ourselves to the art (which gratefully was inside), the Japanese garden, and the sculpture garden.

After attending the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling, I wrote a post on the definition of a Japanese garden. Of course, this one had all the elements. While circumnavigating the pond, we felt the garden was not very large, but once we climbed to a high spot, we saw we were wrong. My favorite part was the Zen dry rock garden - boulders surrounded by raked gravel. A docent explained that they used gravel instead of sand so that the form would withstand heavy rains. The raking pattern resembles a pond, which is calming, as opposed to something like a river.

The sculpture collection at the garden is inside and out. Some of the outdoor ones are HUGE. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the battery on my SO's camera died shortly after we started into the outdoor garden. I took advantage of that occurrence to cut the garden tour short because, OMG, the HEAT!

One jarring note to the gardens was the apparent naming rights that abound. There's the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden, the DeVos Keeler Gift Shop, etc. It made me think I have been taking the wrong approach to funding my gardening efforts. If I could get my (not-so-wealthy) friends and relatives to cough up some bucks, I would happily slap their names on sections of my yard. What do you think?

The Patrick J. McDonnell Silvergrass Island

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I can't keep up

It has been almost a month since I last posted. Not a lot worth noting happens in the yard in August - bean picking, a bit of watering, mowing - but by September things are starting to fade, including me. Already I can feel myself shifting to indoor hobbies.

The rudbeckia is just about finished for the season.

The heads on the hydrangea are so HUGE this year, they droop.


The Rose of Sharon is the last to bloom in the spring and one of the last to stop in the fall.

Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite'

I was afraid I had inadvertently pulled up all the volunteer goldenrod, but some persists.

The marigolds are putting on a late show.

Zinnias are one flower you can depend on, all summer long.

'Red Scarlet'

The sunflowers are at various stages, from bloom to droop.

Despite the dogs rampaging through the south bed, some asters are still standing.

This sweet alyssum made a late showing, to provide a lovely contrast to the coleus.

Sedum is another dependable provider of fall color.

'Autumn Joy'

I added some anonymous hardy mums to the big pots. If I had realized how low they would sit, I would have left them in their pots.

The dahlias, planted as a source of dye, continue to pop out one or two blossoms at a time.

'Black Satin'

It's almost time for fall cleanup. It's also almost time for a post mortem, to rehash what went right and what went wrong this year. I'll wait a few months before starting to plan for next year, as that's a good mid-winter project.