In the ‘Hood

Paper wasp nest

This has probably been hanging over my head as I walked for most of the summer.  One of the other walking ladies in the neighborhood told me where to look for it, high over the street.  What a work of architecture!  And from what I read, a very temporary home.  All of the workers will soon come to an end and the pregnant females will find a more sheltered place to over winter.  The type of wasp that makes these large nests is not agressive like yellow jackets or hornets. 

And wasps are good for gardens.  A large part of their diet is caterpillars, also flies and beetle larve.

This second, somewhat ordinary shot says “home” to me.  Ahhhh; home.

street

More Route 117 Commute

Adonis?
Adonis?

Some things that catch my eye as I drive to and from work.  I would like to know more about this statue; I’ve named him Adonis Rising but may be offending some artist.  He doesn’t look completely comfortable with his place in the garden for some reason.

The homeowner in the next shot always uses the picket fence to set off nice plantings.  Those may be some of the tallest grasses I’ve seen.

Very tall grasses
Very tall grasses
Autumn Clematis
Autumn Clematis

Autumn Clematis cover a shed in Stow, MA.

 

Overlook Farm, MA

amaranths in Peru garden
amaranths in Peru garden

Sister, neice and I visited Overlook Farm on Saturday, an educational endeavor in eastern-central Massachusetts, owned and run by Heifer International.  Visitors are welcome to look around the grounds and the demonstration gardens include small sites representing how people live around the world.  The garden representing Peru had the broadest display of amaranth varieties that I’ve seen recently, where it’s used as a food crop.

Amaranth
Amaranth

My sister and I both live in heavily wooded areas with small spaces for gardens and my niece lives in a condo where she gardens on her deck.  We were green with envy on seeing the two acre food garden on a sunny slope, not a wisp of shade in sight.

Cabbage in the food garden
Cabbage in the food garden
cabbages and brocolli
cabbages and brocolli
Bright Lights swiss chard
Bright Lights swiss chard

Hamilton Dahlia Farm (MI)

[oqeygallery id=19]To someone starved to see dahlias growing as I was this summer, Hamilton Dahlia Farm in Hamilton, MI, is a Las Vegas sized, all you can eat buffet.  Lots of variety, for every taste, and it goes on for acres. The difficult part of this post was selecting which of the many beautiful dahlias to feature in the gallery.  The Farm is not a public garden where you might go to see how dahlias work in mixed borders, like the Peace Garden in Caen, France.  You may see the occasional weed or stem from quick and efficient dead-heading.  Don’t worry, the sheer vibrance of these beautiful flowers captures the eye and sends their charms straight to the heart.  And, in terms of dahlias by the square foot, the Farm is actually several times the size of those gardens and other French dahlia demostration gardens like  Orleans La Source, Coutances, and Parc Floral Vincennes.  The Farm sells its dahlias wholesale; there were a couple of wedding parties there the same day that I was, picking them by the dozen, and also sells retail at two different farm markets in Michigan.  On Saturdays they sell at Fulton Street Market in Grand Rapids, which is where the last shot was taken.

Most of my success has been with small varieties, starting with some I bought for my deck boxes a couple of years ago.  So I made a beeline for the largest, bowling-ball-wanabees with beauty treatments.  Most of the pictures I selected feature them.  Where I could find the name tags, I’ve labeled them.  The Farm’s web site also has many beautiful pictures, all labeled.