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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Healing Moment

No, it's not a visit with Aimee Semple McPherson or Pat Robertson.


Over at the Seymour Botanical Conservatory, the current display in the ever changing areas is "The Healing Garden."  

We all need a conservatory like this in our back yards don't we? 

Just the right size for starting a few seeds and keeping a plant or  two.


Stepping inside, I feel better already.

Azaleas, Oxalis triangularis, and Cyclamen (oh my!)
A

Scented Pelargonium, Stachys byzantina, and others.  I think we were supposed to touch and smell these.

This Pelargonium came with instructions. I don't often criticize the efforts of anyone who gardens but in a botanical garden, it would be nice if signage carried the correct name of the plants. In an effort to educate the public, how about "Pelargonium 'Graveolens' or P. 'Rosat' (Scented Geranium.)"

Some plants are labeled; others not. However, the staff are always willing to identify plants for you.


Don't forget to look up!

The sign on this Agave reads "Century Plant."  Really?  

Meanwhile, this sign was great and I learned something about pepper! Since pot is now legal here and impairs memory, perhaps users should include more pepper in their diets.

The first time I've seen Piper nigrum in person.

Looking up again. 

The tropical area has more permanent plants.  I wonder were the idea to hang Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish Moss) in my greenhouse?



This fellow looks really great with his Rhipsalis coiffure.


New flush of growth on this cycad. 

Deeper and deeper into the jungle.

There are almost always orchids in bloom here if you enjoy them.  

Orchids out of bloom  are sort of meh.




More Spanish Moss and orchids. 


Something else I didn't know!

And in the gift shop, these pots that I'm seeing in lots of places this spring.  I really like the shape and material  but what will thrive in such dark conditions?  Gnomes, fairies, slugs, snails, earwigs, spiders, and Flinstones action figures of course, but what about plants?

My five senses have been awakened although, to be honest, I didn't taste anything.   Well, four out of five isn't bad. If you're in the hood, stop by and see the latest exhibit at the Seymour Conservatory!

29 comments:

  1. Haha..you are funny, Peter. Flinstones action figures with giant slugs, of course. Oh, and I'm building a little conservatory for seed starting just like this. Just my size.

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    1. Hooray, I can't wait to come and visit your nice little conservatory:)

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  2. I really should go back, it's been quite a while since I was there. All that tropical foliage is very inspiring.

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    1. It's a great place to visit, especially in January and February when you really need a dose of summer!

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  3. Can you believe there are no conservatories in Ottawa? I love this city but that is one of its greatest disappointments. I cant get my plant fix unless I drive 2 hours to Montreal! Luckily, the RONA close to my house has a mini green house which I frequent often just to take in the sites. The gardener there just smiles whenever he sees me. I try to avoid being seen by him him on most days because I think he must think I'm obsessed. Rightly so! Anyway the point of this long story is to say thank you for giving me my plant fix in large doses today. And those Spanish moss again! My collection of Tillandsias will not be complete without them. I"m on the hunt for them here in Ottawa. Who knows, I just might be lucky.

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    1. Oh Barbara, everyone knows you're obsessed and hiding won't help. I'm always happy to provide a plant fix! Sorry that Ottawa doesn't have a conservatory. Perhaps you could start a campaign. Would there be space somewhere on the Museum of Nature grounds? Seems like it would be a perfect fit. I've had good luck ordering Spanish Moss online (ebay) from a fellow who lives in Florida and sends ten pound boxes of the stuff for about thirty bucks.

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  4. Can you imagine what it costs to heat and cool that structure?

    Prompted by your photos of Spanish Moss, I ran out to see what mine looks like -- I tend to ignore things. As I approached the greenhouse door i heard a little commotion and looked just in time to see a thin black tail disappearing under the water barrels. How many rat snakes do you suppose the conservatory has? Did you see or hear any peeper frogs?

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    1. I saw your post about the snake. Being unaccustomed to living with snakes and their behavior, I'd be a bit freaked out. The peepers were singing through the winter this year but for the last couple of months, nothing. I've heard that they have strong homing instincts and may have tried to go back. I'll not try again with adult frogs but if I find tadpoles, that might be better.

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    2. P.S. Heating costs about three hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. Single pane glass offers little insulation! Cooling is mostly just opening windows I think.

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  5. Yes I would be very happy to have that in my back yard. Or even for there to be such a building in Portland!

    I had a little disagreement with my mother in law over the use of the term "century plant"...I referred to an agave by it's botanical name (probably an Agave americana) and she corrected me, saying "that's a century plant"...I should have just let it go but do you think I could?

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    1. It really is a small gem!

      If you're right, you're right. Incidentally, I still don't know the variety of that Agave. The volunteer said that she'd always heard it called a blue agave but that's a common name for Agave tequilana which this is not.

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  6. I wonder how much pepper one has to consume to improve memory? It's a wonderful conservatory - I always enjoy "our" visits.

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    1. I forgot. Your company on our visits is always a joy.

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  7. I love the air inside conservatories like this. Although botanical nomenclature is great, when it's lacking I take the hint and just enjoy the plants and the space and stop worrying about what exactly I'm looking at. :)

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    1. You're a wise man, Alan as enjoyment of the space and plants is the best part of a visit anyway. When you convert your garage, you'll be able to experience that wonderful air every day!

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  8. How lovely, this is just the sort of greenhouse that I would like to spend my winter days in. Or one like yours would do me very nicely.

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    1. You've mentioned your greenhouse before haven't you? With all of your plant treasures, I'll bet it's a lovely place on winter days!

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  9. Yes, I definitely need that conservatory. Now if I can just buy the neighbors house and demolish it, I'll be all set.

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    1. Pesky neighbors anyway! Aren't they the ones who think you're crazy for rolling around on the ground in pleasure from the fragrance of lilies?

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  10. Healing gardens are all the rage in hospitals these days. Our little blogging community should never suffer a single ailment.

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    1. Maybe an aching back every now and then.

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  11. The pots like that one with the gnome -- Alison went to visit her MIL once and visited a nursery that had regular clay pots lying on their sides with ceramic trinkets inside. I coped that with Beatrice Potter figurines in my 'fairy house' period. A new puppy -- a Lab, of course -- found the figures rather tasty, I took them up and the moment faded.

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    1. Interesting what our puppy friends find tasty! I'll bet those figures are still around somewhere and you could recreate the moment.

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  12. I do like that visit to the conservatory. You are very fortunate to have one nearby: they are just a magical place to while away a few hours on a rainy day, Matt

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    1. Hi Matt, Thanks for finding my blog and commenting! I am fortunate to be able to walk over there whenever I wish.

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  13. That conservatory is such a special place. I always enjoy my visits there, and not being the botanical name expert, i.e.. plant snob, that you are, it's OK with me to call the scented geraniums.
    :-)

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    1. I don't mind the use of common names and certainly scented geraniums are more frequently called just that. The educational piece, though, is a good thing. Most zoos have common names for animals followed by the Latin. Makes for interesting web searches on the smart phone. In the case of the Century Plant, that's like calling it an Agave. Which one? There are hundreds of varieties from two inch miniatures to giants that tower above people's heads. I'm far from a plant name expert but I like playing around with Latin for fun.

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  14. Yes, a conservatory like that would be mighty nice! A little Spanish moss, a few orchids, great foliage, a couple of fairy gardens ... looks like fun. :)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.