Children’s garden a fantastic wonderland…

As if tours of Kylee’s garden (Our Little Acre) and her mom Louise’s garden (Two Girls with a Purpose) weren’t enough – I got an added bonus.  After lunch I got to see the amazing Children’s Garden that Louise helped design, create and raised the money for it as well.

I thought – yeah, yeah, I expected a few raised beds and maybe a birdhouse or two.  Oh my.  Was I in for a treat, and you will be too.

With an entrance like this, I knew big surprises lay ahead.

Louise and Kylee – ready to lead the tour (with proper rain gear).

Welcome – come on in!

Just follow the path.

Something’s not quite right (angled) about this kiddie fun house.

Who doesn’t love running over a bridge?

The bed that runs along the inside of the circular path unfolds with the letters of the alphabet and plants that start with that letter. From asparagus to zinnia – it’s all about learning.

Beautiful plants dot the garden at every turn.

No shortages of places to play and be “hands on.”

This would inspire any child to eat vegetables.

The Enabling Garden, designed for the disabled, includes raised beds and trellises to make it wheelchair accessible.

Animals – friendly and stauesque – fill this garden with adventure.

This rainbow garden, the contribution to the park from Louise and Kylee’s family, was truly one of my favorites.  Filled with stunning plants in full bloom, they echoed the rainbow pathway just begging to be walked around.

The creativity factor in this soared through the roof.

And the focal point, as if all the other components weren’t enough, is this sculpture that celebrates inclusion, diversity, peace and harmony and love around the world.   (Well, that’s my interpretation of it.)

“Good morning, Mister Sunshine, you brighten up my day.” — Bee Gees
Everyone’s a kid in a children’s garden — even me!
One of the most exciting stops in the garden — the butterfly house.  All the plants in the garden around the house were butterfly friendly.

How insightful.  And what an amazing lesson for children — to see life unfold before their eyes — through two different perspectives.

Pollinator heaven.

And a little clever art with a seat to go along with it.  Perfect for butterfly watching.
Amazing creature.

The inside of the house was covered with chrysalises and butterflies that had just emerged.

They were everywhere – just waiting to join their flying friends.

They paid absolutely no attention to me – leaving my happily snapping away with my camera to capture the  moment.

Then we entered the secret garden – ducking in and finding ourselves in a perfect hideaway.

Kitty guards the entrance.  It’s a stone sculpture – in case you couldn’t tell!

A peaceful Zen garden is one of the last stops around the park.

And finally, a monument that honors the contributions of local businesses and citizens, like Louise,  whose creativity, hard work and financial support made this all possible. 

I only wish I lived near the garden, because it’s really not just for children.  It’s an amazing park that delights the senses of young and old alike.

What an accomplishment, Louise.  My hat’s off to you and all you did to make this a reality.

How to cool off in the heat wave…

The Texas heat has followed us to Indiana. The big heat wave of the Midwest has seen uncharacteristic heat indices of 105-110.

While we’re avoiding actual temps of 100 in Austin, it feels that hot or more here. But after we leave, the heat wave is expected to break and temperatures here will be in the upper 80s.

Sadly, we’ll be gone by then.

Everything is looking for a way to cool off. Yesterday we watched as hundreds of beautiful butterflies found their way to the creek to get a drink. I wish I knew what kind of butterflies these were – they were all over the white and red clover in the pasture.
These swallowtails loved wallowing in the mud.
And Ed the dog went to lie down in the creek, lapping up a nice drink of water while he cooled off.
He’s in the creek about 3-4 times a day – smart enough to know when to cool down in the heat. He showed up at the farm after a long journey last May when we were here. He was lost or abandoned. I believe he was sent as a gift — at a time when the love and companionship of a wonderful dog was the answer to a prayer.

By | 2016-04-14T02:40:14+00:00 August 11th, 2010|Blog, butterflies, creek, dogs, Ed, farm, Indiana, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments

bloom day a day late…

I’ve failed for Bloom Day — I missed it by a day and I didn’t get everything that was blooming. But it’s a long list and much of it has been posted lately, so I’m giving you the short and sweet edition.

The Butterflies are out in full force these days, so I try to keep lots of water (shallow) available for them. Like the birds and the deer, they get thirsty in these 100+ degree days, too.
Grandpa Ott Morning Glory.
My transplanted ditch lily, brought back to me in a bucket from Wisconsin from my good garden-blogging friend, Lori, at the Gardener of Good and Evil.
My Tropical Punch Canna.
Another Morning Glory.
This isn’t technically a bloom yet, it’s going to be beautiful when this Little Gem Magnolia blooms while we are gone next week.

Thanks, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens for inviting us to share our garden beauties with on Bloom Day.

We’re headed to Indiana and Kentucky tomorrow, so look for some cooler posts from the Midwest if my new computer is set up.

Fall projects…

Ahhhh – Autumn. And Soup. All kinds of soup. And today — ta-dah! It’s leek soup from the garden! Early this morning I ventured out to pull up a handful of leeks and with the magic of potatoes and butter and cream (though I did at least TRY to keep it lighter today), we now have a delicious pot of soup for our dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow and …. on and on.
Then, after the soup was simmering, I went out and laid down a row of weedblock and 4 bags of mulch in the big bed. Unfortunately, it didn’t go far enough. But, with my bad arms, it’s better that I do things like this in stages and moderation, so I’m VERY pleased with how PART of the bed looks today. And tomorrow is another day. Besides, my trunk doesn’t hold much more than 4 bags of native Texas hardwood mulch and my tendons were really talking to me last night as I crawled into bed — and that was just from buying the bags!

Beautiful, dappled light in the front yard. This is roughly the spot where we sat in the grass with our jeans and bare feet last week to take a family portrait — dogs and all! I’ll have to see if I can wrangle an electronic photo to post — our photographer was thrilled with the lighting. Haven’t seen them yet, I’m eager to see how all 6 of us turned out!
Some happy Society Garlic
Perky Senna in the Sunshine

Butterflies are free to fly…and fly they did today. I captured lots of them flitting about from flower to flower, enjoying some nice afternoon snacks in the warm sunshine.