Chanticleer Gardens

The other day I received the May 2008 Horticulture magazine and saw on pages 47-51 that Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA won The Award for Garden Excellence in 2007. I visited there in April 2005, before I was really into taking photos of everything, even though the people I was with wouldn’t believe that because I still have tons of photos from the place. But I don’t have any photos of the very cool old house or the signs. So here’s a bit of what I do have.

Ah, green grass.

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Minder Ruin, where Minder House once stood – a second home on the property.

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Terraces leading up to Minder Ruin.

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These huge acorns are located within the ruin.

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There’s nothing like spring trees and flowers in blossom. . .

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I love this cool stone shed.

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And the water garden.

We went into the woods (you know me, I have to go into the woods) and saw Jack in the Pulpit
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Among other flowers:
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And trees growing side by side:
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And hellebores, one of my favorite springtime plants:
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And flowering shrubs:

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If you ever make it to the eastern end of PA, I recommend visiting Chanticleer Garden!

Cylindrical Hay Bales, X Marks the Spot

For the past few months every time I go to and from Onondaga Co. I pass by a huge field of cylindrical hay bales in Cayugo Co. Today (Jan 3rd when I wrote this) I decided to actually stop on my way home and photograph part of the field – it’s much larger than it shows here:
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I remember reading somewhere how many square hay bales are in a cylindrical hay bale but I don’t remember the figures off the top of my head.
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So I typed the question “how many square bales of hay in a roll?” into ask.com and came up with “it depends” with a bunch of stuff about moisture, size etc. Argh! I heard that answer so many times from one of my profs. He would ask a question and I’d come up with the answer I thought he wanted. It would burn me when he said “well, it depends.” Even so, I still hang around with him because he is a nice person – and when he starts asking me a question you know what my answer is! Anyway, I do know there’s some number greater than one square hay bale in a cylindrical hay bale.
I was watching the sky all of the way home tonight and snapping photos – without looking at the camera to see what I was taking because people were driving idiotically (don’t get me started on mini-vans).
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I love this photo on so many levels – the wispy dark clouds, the plane trails to show *just* how close we really do come to other planes while flying without knowing it (ignorance is bliss in that case), the barn, the winter tree silouettes, the sun, and the impending gorgeous sunset – which it was. This is only part of the beauty of the sunset tonight:

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And at 3:25 PM the MONY tower in Syracuse read 51 degrees F. On January 3, 2007. Go figure. It must be because I actually paid a man to come plow my driveway for the first time ever this winter instead of doing it myself (because I listened to my friends who said it was going to be a bad winter, uh huh). You know, it’s like when you wash your vehicle and then it rains.

Hummingbirds, Turfgrass, Cat, Rat

For the past couple of days I’ve seen hummingbirds hanging around the Rose of Sharon – taking nourishment from the flowers – they wiz around so fast I can’t even think of getting the camera ready to catch them.

The guy kitty-corner to me watered his lawn yesterday. Okay, with *all* of the rain we’ve had in the last month, there is NO need to water ANYTHING. Except he cuts his grass down to within an 1″ of it’s life – twice a week – which means the roots are about 1″ long – so there’s no chance for it. It just makes me sad that people waste water like that. Not that I live in a water crisis area, but still, it is a waste. I’m sure my lawn drives the poor man crazy. It is mowed once every two weeks (it doesn’t really grow that much this time of year) and when it is mowed it is mowed to 3″ so it stays nice and green, even when we’re in the middle of a drought. That would drive people crazy who need the perfectly manucured lawn, but not me.

It bugs me that the neighbors’ cats like to hang out in my back yard, but today I came home just in time to see one of the cats walk away with a big grey something in its mouth – too big to be a mouse, and I could only see it’s big fat grey backside, so I’m clueless. This is one day I’m happy I have cats for free in my yard. Just as long as it stays away from my toads, snakes and other garden necessities.

I’m really surprised at the great weather we’ve been having here – nice and cool, no humidity, and nights great for sleeping. This is not how I remember August, but I’m not complaining! Now if I could capture a photo of the full moon right now, that would be so great! I can’t see it anywhere from my home given the trees.

And because I don’t like photoless blog entries, here’s a photo I took at Cornell Plantations a year ago:
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Thank you Susan Gets Native!

Susan from Susan Gets Native has a blog entry about my poison ivy, and a photo of possible a poison ivy plant in her yard. I think it is poison ivy, based on my “Leaves of Three, Let It Be” rule and from looking at photos in books and the internet. Thank you Susan, for reading, and for blogging about me! It’s nice to know there are nice people like you who care!

When I went to get my mail from today and Saturday it hurt my poison ivy rashes/blisters very bad to be outside. If someone could explain that, I would really appreciate it. It’s like the air outside has spikes that stick right into my skin. This having to be stuck inside on these gorgeous days is really getting to me. I’ve taken to watching TV (boring, snore), reading through a stack of magazines, blogging too much here and elsewhere, all while tending to my leaky, itchy, painful skin. So while I’m reading through a magazine I overhear a stupid commercial on TV for Diet Cranberry Juice. Two guys are standing in a cranberry bog, and at the end they refer to Wheatgrass as if it is the type of grass growing in the lawn (something like “it’s way better tasting than your lawn, which you wouldn’t want to eat anyway”) How ignorant is that? Wheatgrass is excellent for humans to juice and drink (starting in a very small quantity at first because it is *very* powerful stuff). I drink wheatgrass every day. It is an acquired taste, but it tastes so good once you get used to it. There’s lots of information about Wheatgrass out there – my favorite is Ann Wigmore’s The Wheatgrass Book. And no, wheatgrass is not on the list of turf grass. Okay, I know I need to get a life, I’m trying to get better, and then my blog will return to some semblance of normalcy, maybe.