Sunday, July 27, 2014

Denver Botanic Gardens: Four Years Later

Randee, Grace, and Kelly at the Denver Botanic Gardens
My first visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens was in 2010. I was so impressed by this gorgeous garden in the heart of the city!  My previous blog post about the Denver Botanic Gardens was full of photos of their stunning grass garden and the naturalistic plantings.  This past June, I was able to visit again for the American Public Gardens Association's annual conference.  All I have to say is WOW, they have really stepped up their display!
Dry stream bed at the entrance to the DBG
Mordecai Children's Garden
Mordecai Children's Garden
Formal design in the Herb Garden
Fence bordering the Herb Garden
The different textures of the foliage next to the arrangement of pebbles in the path create movement through the June's PlantAsia garden
We visited at the start of their Chihuly exhibit, which runs from June 14-November 30th, 2014.  Dale Chihuly is a glass artist who has exhibited at many gardens around the world.  Placed within the planting beds, many of his sculptures replicate plants in shape and color, while others are a stark contrast with bright colors, hard lines, and even polka dots.  I left the Gardens with so many great ideas about art in the garden, new uses of interesting plant material, and dreams of rock gardening in the south.
Wispy tiger-striped glass contrasts with pinks and yellows in the O'Fallon Perennial Walk
I love the way the bright blue glass in "Blue Fiddleheads" picks up the silvery blue of the blue spruce (Picea pungens 'Montgomery') in the O'Fallon Perennial Walk

Rock Alpine Garden with "Neodymium Reeds"
"Green Hornets and Gold Waterdrops" in the foreground and "Neodymium Reeds"in the background
Later in the week, we visited the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.  This branch location of DBG is a working farm with nature trails, a butterfly house, a community supported agriculture (CSA) operation, and rental facilities.  It was a fun-filled evening complete with hayrides, swing dancing, and enjoying the tranquil beauty of the preserved site.  This piece of land really is a gem and it is so wonderful that DBG has saved it from being developed.

Green Farm Barn at DBG's Chatfield
Main building at DBG's Chatfield

Seasonal indoor butterfly exhibit DBG's Chatfield

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Charity Quilt for Lewis Ginter

My version of the City Play pattern by Cherry House Quilts
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Cherri House, from Cherry House Quilts, lecture to the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild (I miss the Guild!).  Cherri showed us some of her gorgeous quilts and I totally fell in love with "City Play."  I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to give it a try, and I recently had the opportunity to do it!
This is the original quilt that Cherri showed us at the Philly Modern Quilt Guild Lecture in 2011
Each Fall, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden holds a fundraising gala, "Splendor Under Glass."  It is a fun black tie event held in our Conservatory.  The best part of the night for me is watching all of our garden friends enjoying the garden and I love to hear everyone's thoughts about the displays and collections.  This year, as an additional fundraising piece, there will be items for sale that are the keys to the garden's success, or "Garden Keys."  One of the Garden Keys will be my quilt!

I don't have a wide range of solids in my fabric stash, so Garden volunteer and avid quilter, Barb Sawyer, donated most of the material for the quilt.  Thank you Barb!

It was very fun to make and I have to admit, now that it is finished, I like it so much that a part of me doesn't want to give it away.  However, I hope that it successfully raises some money for the Garden and that whoever buys it enjoys it as much as I do!
I finished the top in time to bring it to Michigan on my summer vacation and use my Aunt Cindy's long arm quilting machine.
Long arm quilting machines are too much fun.  I need one of these!
The theme for Splendor Under Glass is a rising phoenix, so I use a quilting pattern that looked like flames.
The backing and binding material was a peach and orange print.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Impromptu Ice Sculptures

I figured that a hot day in July deserved some cooling off, so I wanted to share a few photos that I took this winter.  Ornamental grasses give a wonderful textural element in the summer landscape, but waiting for spring to cut them back can lead to surprises in the winter garden such as these impromptu ice sculptures!

Our irrigation system at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was in the process of being winterized and a malfunction in the middle of a chilly night caused these beautiful ice sculptures on ornamental grasses and trees in our parking lot.  Don't they make you feel cooler?

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