Since the weather has been so nice I closed my book and we went back to the Smith-Gilbert Gardens. I wrote several posts about these gardens. When we visited them the first time in August 2011 I gave the history of the gardens and you can read it here. I wrote three more posts about them (here, here, and here.) The gardens are only about 4.5 miles from our house. After walking with the crowds at the Decatur Book Festival and the Marietta Art in the Park it was a nice change to walk in deserted gardens. People may visit them on week-ends but when we went, last week on Tuesday September 10th, and again yesterday, Wednesday 18th, we only saw a couple of people who were leaving. Only one tree was turning gold; most of the others are still green.
Last week we spent most of our time at the Bonsai Garden and the Rose Garden. Yesterday was spent at the Rose Garden again, then walking around the ponds and the waterfall. I took many pictures of course (250+) - more than I can show here. If the rain we experienced all summer made me a bit sad and depressed, the nice weather and low humidity - 82 F / 28 C last week and 77 F / 25 C yesterday brought the sunshine inside and out. More than the weather, though, being among the 3,000 species of plants in the gardens, walking on the lush woodland paths, listening to the sound of rushing water and the calls of the birds - how can one not feel contented? Just after a couple of hours in these gardens and any stress, worry, problem or sadness I may have had are all gone and forgotten.
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life.
- Rachel Carson, American Conservationist, 1907-1964
After walking by the Hiram Butler House (circa 1882) - the former home of Richard Smith and Dr. Gilbert, I saw pretty purple flowers around a sculpture I had not noticed before. It is called "Transformation" and was made in 1990 of stoneware by Tom Suomaleinen (American, born in 1939.)
Going by a large brown clay pot I saw an orange butterfly. It kept flying away but finally stopped on a daisy and I could take its photo. (Click on collages twice to enlarge.)
Then I could see the rose garden. I have traveled far to visit rose gardens, such as the International Woodland Park Rose Garden in Seattle, Washington, the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California, the Columbus Park of Roses in Columbus, Ohio and the rose garden at the Malmaison Castle near Paris, France. I also took many film pictures at the small rose garden when we stayed at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC., and I used to have a 150 rose garden many years ago. Last year in May we visited the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York and I spent hours in the rose garden there (will write a post on this in future.) But now, I can be in a beautiful rose garden very close to our home. My husband usually goes ahead to other parts of the gardens as I stay so long among the roses where I am surrounded by beauty and lovely fragrances.
It is almost October and the roses are still giving a good show. I truly believe I could stay among the roses all afternoon. Here are some of them.
Some of these roses I know very well as they were in my garden, too. Double Delight was one chosen by my daughter and is lovely at any stage of its bloom.
Dainty Bess is one of my favorite and true to its name.
There are so many varieties of roses - all beautiful, as the little white rose called Iceberg in the bottom left of the collage below.
One of the most heat tolerant and hardy of roses is the warm butter-yellow rose called Julia Child in the US. In the United Kingdom they changed its name to Absolutely Fabulous, but whatever its name, it is a lovely and strong floribunda rose. The brilliant happy yellow color of the rose goes well with Julia Child, American Chef and author (1912-2004.)
But there was more to see. I found my husband partially hidden by giant leaves near the entrance to the Bonsai Garden. The informative panels explain well how to grow Bonsai trees. (Don't forget to click twice on collages to be able to read the panels.)
The Japanese art form of growing Bonsai trees is thousand years old. A gentleman was in this garden and explained to me that some of these trees had been cultivated in the ground for up to 20 years or more. Every year or so the trees have to be dug up from the ground and the roots cut down so the trees can stay in a dwarf state. You certainly have to be a patient person to grow bonsai! But it is said that the primary purpose of growing bonsai is for contemplation ... I was able to contemplate quite a few aesthetic specimen.
Time for a break though. We walked through shady and sunny paths to arrive at the little picnic area. It will be a while until leaves turn gold - maybe early November.
I had brought a small piece of home baked fresh fig cake and our strong expresso blend coffee. I also picked up two coffee mugs - those we received as a souvenir for going through the North Cape in Norway while aboard the Lofoten. It was so peaceful and quiet in the picnic area - we should come more often to drink our second cup of coffee.
But we could not linger as we still wished to go watch the Koi fish swimming in the front water garden pond and the birds splashing in the large bird fountain.
To get back to the back pond and waterfall I walked by pretty little wildflowers and other exotic species.
I found the waterfall - softly gurgling and soaking the rock boulders.
Then I walked down the little stream and stopped to sit on a bench and listen to its flowing sound as it tumbled over the rocks. From my bench I could see the small pond bordered by large green leaves vegetation and could smell the fragrant lilies.
Sitting in the middle of this little green oasis my head was clear of life's demands - just the birds and the water made a small babbling noise.
Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad,
whatever is done and suffered by her creatures.
All scars she heals,
whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.
- John Muir, Scottish-born American Naturalist, 1838-1914