Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring is Coming!

...although it can be a little difficult to tell, especially since today the weather is barely at freezing and producing snow/sleet/rain mix for the morning commute.

However last Sunday a week ago was just a lovely promise of spring day, sunshine gentle breezes and about 50 degrees. MIL had the excellent notion of checking out the displays inside Matthaei Botanic Gardens greenhouse.

Since it was the first truly warm day around here, we had to brave irritated geese littering the landscape because their nesting pond (just in front of the parking lot for the buildings) hadn't defrosted yet. There were more couples than there are nesting spots, so 'discussions' of possession were heated, and sometimes the outraged pairs will actually stand in the parking lot and accost cars. Maybe they think they are calling upon higher powers to oust the intruding geese?

This pond is about an acre, mostly in cattail swamp, with some goose nests so old that they are built up like swan platforms (maybe that's what they originally were, but have been used by geese the 11 years I've been watching) and pretty inviolate, once the pond melts. Each nesting pair seems to have 3-5 'helpers' who stand guard, and takes sides disputing territory right now! Can be earsplitting.

That day, they did not run at the cars or us, and we made it indoors unscathed. The warm weather made us wish to wander the trails, but they were ankle deep in smushy mud from the thaw of about 6" of wet snow we'd had three days before. We relied on the green and blooms in the display house to add spring color to the day. Very nurturing!

Here are a few samples:

In the tropical room the orchid display was almost done, but these fairy orchids had VERY long fronds... Camera was supposed to focus on them, not the sausage tree fruit hanging in the background!

Some of the enthusiastic tulips (and a cabbage or two) at the entrance

Spring planting in the temperate climate room

Amaryllis in the temperate room, with sun shining through...

A velvet throat...

Part of an instant garden display in the temperate room.

In addition to many acres of woods, streams, meadows and bogs, the botanic gardens have about 2 acres of glass succession houses from which they can pull assorted potted flowering plants and set them close together so that it looks like all these plants were always growing together.

You can't see the pots, and until you figure out the deception, the heart just drops out of your gardening dreams, thinking there's no way you could ever achieve such a crush of beauty.

Now, I have to admit that both of us did momentarily wish for such a situation, where we had four green houses to feed lovelies into one display house....but we recovered quickly from that delusion. We figured up how many volunteers actually staff this place and decided we didn't want to work quite that hard, LOL.

Happy spring!

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