Back to the photos and accompanying memories that I still have, which I think is luckily most of what I lost from my crashed hard drive, minus many from my time in New England and perhaps some from my college campus. One of the field trips I went on as an intern at Garden In the Woods was to Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick, two islands off the coast of Massachusetts. Thankfully I still have those pictures, but not nearly as many as I wish I had taken. One of two gardens we visited on the islands was the famous Polly Hill Arboretum.
|A taste of things to come, a Stewartia and dwarf conifers greet you near the entrance.|
|The visitor center is a charming and appropriately coastal-looking building.|
|I just love Cryptomeria japonica, the fluted trunk and reddish bark so reminiscent of the Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) I grew up with.|
|Cones of Cryptomeria japonica have a fascinating structure.|
|Speaking of structures, I loved this rustic arbor above this seating area. It would be nice to see what it looks like two years later with the clematis planted at the base having gained some height and in full bloom.|
|New Englanders may lament their rocky soil, but it certainly does provide ample local materials for hardscaping. I loved seeing these dry-stack walls everywhere, covered here by a climbing hydrangea.|
|While woodies dominate here, a few herbaceous borders injected a bit more summer color into the arboretum.|
|Green fruit stick up from the leaves like little alien antennae. In fall, these will turn red and produce a beautiful display.|
|The flaking bark and branch structure of kousa dogwoods makes them attractive regardless of the season, living sculpture that I find more appealing than most man-made (or woman-made) artwork.|
|A view of the allee from the other side of another dry-stack wall.|
Enough philosophy. I wish I had taken more pictures of the play pen, home of many wonderful rhododendrons and dwarf conifers. I remember it was rather dark from being overgrown and a bit hard to take decent pictures with the camera I had at the time, but I think the real reasons for the shortage are that I was too busy ogling the plants, and some part of my mind realized that we had a lot more to see on this field trip and I needed to conserve memory and battery power.
|One of the plants in the play pen I deemed worth of a photo was Rhododendron nakaharae 'Fuzzy'. Those hairy leaves just look so cuddly.|
|The knuckled trunks of this rhododendron made me think of some many-limbed alien crustacean.|
|Luckily, one species of Stewartia was still in bloom. The distinctive purple filaments of Stewartia malacodendron make this species especially unique and beautiful.|
What have you been doing with your winter (technically still late fall)? Do you reminisce with pictures from warmer days, perhaps taking inspiration from them for the future? Are you busy digging through catalogs planning your spring orders?