28 December 2015

October At Powell Gardens

The annual convention I have been attending took me to Kansas City, Missouri this past October. A sunny afternoon drive lead me to Powell Gardens just outside the city - (well, a long ways outside the city.) This land has a history that goes back a century, but its life as a botanical garden began fairly recently in 1988. Photos follow.

The main building was in a compelling prairie style, right off Frank Lloyd Wright's drafting board it seemed. Informal details, lighting, and materials were very familiar. Low slung roofs with wide overhangs, natural stone, skylights, and clean flush details where materials met were employed.

Container plantings were full at the end of summer.

Coleus were also full and the size of shrubs.

It was time for Colchicum.

I am not a big fan of succulents, but this pumpkin-colored guy was something I could live with.

A prairie style chapel sits at the edge of a meadow overlooking the lake.

The stone podium continues past the glass back wall toward the lake.

The wall detail where the glass slides into the stone and wood without a frame.

I missed the colorful Jatropha podagrica blooming but not by much.

Powell Gardens had several extensive water gardens, but wading out into the water to read the plant tags was not encouraged.

The lake is a central element with themed gardens arranged around it, and on islands in it.

18 December 2015

Christmas Wreaths of Old Town

The row houses in Old Town Alexandria do not have much front area to decorate. As a result, attention is paid to what decorations there are. They can be quite unique with beautiful details, since they are viewed by pedestrians up close from the brick sidewalks. These are some of my favorite creative door wreaths found this year. Four of them, I have heard, are from a former White House floral decorator. Leave a comment at the end and guess which ones.

Mmmm. Delicious. Red delicious. Fruit are a popular material.

Red, green, gold and white make a nice contrast on a dark colored door.

New meaning to the term "box"wood. Square wreaths are more and more popular each year.

And even fruit is boxed. Love the red against the navy blue. What are those leaves?

Who thought sweet potatoes and nandina were companions.

Staying with the root crops theme, red potatoes, nandina, pachysandra, and who knows what else all tied together with purple ribbon.

Berry Christmas. Using nothing but all kinds of berries for the wreath instead of just for accents.

Not enough holly forces some into using brussels sprouts.

Magnolia leaves with the brown undersides combined alongside the more popular green top sides.

How does the song go ... "Marshmallows roasting on an open fire..." A very sweet design for a black door. I did a triple take when I saw this one, needing to verify that these were real marshmallows.

Show us your favorite wreath creativity.