Yearly Archives: 2016

Tree of the Year

The votes have been tallied and the people’s choice winner for France’s tree of the year is an ancient zamana tree in Martinique. This island is an overseas department of France, and though I am sure there are many fabulous and fashionable Parisian trees, they would have a hard time competing with this tropical giant. […]



Nocturnal Garden

I enjoyed seeing the permanent Chihuly exhibit in Seattle this spring, and planned to visit a temporary exhibit that opened this April in Atlanta as part of its 40th anniversary celebration. But of course I kept finding other things to do, and only finally managed to drive down for the last day of the Chihuly […]

Flower Sculpture

When other flowers have faded, chrysanthemums in my garden bloom profusely in the fiery shades of autumn leaves, as they have been doing in cultivation since at least the 15th century BC. Like many gardeners I tend to take this beauty for granted. That changed when I visited the New York Botanical Garden during its […]



Rushmore Anniversary

Mount Rushmore is an iconic national monument, completed 75 years ago this month. Originally conceived in 1923 as a tourist attraction, the initial plans included sculptures of Native Americans. But over time it turned instead into a memorial to prominent presidents carved into the granite of South Dakota’s Black Hills. The 60-foot tall faces of […]

Buffalo Roundup

Once there were millions of bison in the Great Plains, shaping the native grasslands that form over 40 percent of North America’s natural landscapes. Hunting led to their near extinction. Only around 1000 were left by the turn of the last century, hastened by the railroads that carried the meat and hides of buffalo back […]



Wyoming Wanders

I first visited Wyoming as a teen, where at a two week summer camp I learned rock climbing and rappelling, climbed mountains higher than I’d ever hiked back east, and rode horses through lonely valleys where we camped in dark nights filled with brilliant starry skies, silent except for an occasional whinny or neigh from […]

Sky Show

  The Blue Ridge Mountains are blue at dawn and dusk, a result of the nearly invisible breath of thousands of trees. Looking at a photo like this, it could be either time of day, since there is a convergence of light and atmosphere when the sun rises and sets. But for me, they feel […]



Magnificent Monarch.

I returned to the North Carolina arboretum recently to enjoy the Nature Connects, Art with LEGO bricks exhibit by Sean Kenney. He was the first of what has grown to become 15 LEGO Certified Professionals. I can assure you I am not in that select group, but I do feel he is a kindred spirit […]

Butterfly Gardening

  Butterfly Gardening. The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville has 434 acres, with over 10 miles of trails winding through forests. I especially enjoy the 65 acres cultivated as assorted gardens, including the delightful quilt garden. This has been planted for over 20 years based on the quilting pattern known as tessellation, where simple shapes […]



Eternal Lotus

  Social media is full of images from fabulous European vacations. Though a tempting travel destination, I saved time and money by visiting a vicarious version of it much closer to home. The Biltmore estate in Asheville was designed after Renaissance chateaus of France, and the elegant gardens and grounds are definitely worthy of a […]