Friday, July 22, 2005

Public Inspiration

I have a secret. No, I’m not having a torrid affair with Tim. Rather, twice a week, when I’m supposed to be training to run half of the Flying Pig Marathon with Brit, I instead walk along the Ohio River and ogle the parks’ plantings. Summer in Cincinnati is simply too hot and steamy to run at noon. Besides, my great running speed reduces the flowers to a blur. I need to stop and smell the roses.

My walk begins and ends at Sawyer Point. The park caters to large crowds, and thus features mostly trees, grassy areas, and annual plantings. Looking beyond the Disneyland-like glare of the marigolds, impatiens, and zinnias, there are a few inspirational plantings. For instance, this shade bed is lush with a mix of perennials, like hostas, and annuals, like caladium. In the summer heat it seems especially tropical.

The landscaping highlights, though, are in the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park. Despite its unwieldy and overly-P.C. name, the park has more to offer than images of open hands. The plantings are inspiring, artful, and well tended. I’ve enjoyed watching the seasons progress in the park and have found it especially valuable to illustrate how different one plant can look over the course of the year. For instance, the forsythia, so striking in the spring, are now nondescript. The park has influenced my own landscaping. I was inspired to purchase a Miss Kim Lilac after smelling the combined fragrance of the dozens that line the parking lot. I often pause at the wall planted with trumpet vines to imagine how my deck will someday be similarly covered.

One of the first things I see upon entering the park is this planting of daylilies in alternating, contrasting colors. The contrast of yellow and pink blooms is enchanting.

For Zoey, of Perennial Passion, here are some striking container shots. I’d love to know what the plant with both purple foliage and flowers is. It reminds me of spiderwort.

I was surprised to see trees in bloom in July. I haven’t a clue what these are – they may not even be true trees. The color combination is very pleasing.

Finally, this is my current favorite planting in the park. There are two rock islands in a grassy sea within the Australia section. A flowery beach rings each island. This is the more striking of the two. (The other island is missing the yellow flowers.)

What public space inspires your garden?


Blogger Beth said...

The flowering trees are bushes and a tree. The plants on the left are oleander, and the pink tree is a crepe myrtle.
Pretty park!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Hi Kasmira, Thanks for the container shots. The purple foliage reminds you of spiderwort because that is what it is --The Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) is a member of the spiderwort family. I have it in one of my wall planters. In warmer climates (like zone 7+) it is a perennial. I overwintered mine in the basement. It the past few years it has become a trendy plant to use in containers.

3:42 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

You are so fortunate to have a park with such nice plantings. In my town every public space has the same flowers, a mix of popular annuals and perennials straight out of the local nurseries, planted in rows.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I was going to tell you that the pink bush is crepe myrtle. We have one in front of my kitchen window. Mine doesn't seem as fuschia color as the park near you.
What a lovely place to stroll you have there.
You all will have to come to the Philly area sometime to see Longwood Gardens near where I live.

7:29 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

Dianne, I'm just a couple of hours from Philly. Longwood Gardens is on my list of places to visit now that my parental duties have ended and I have time to do things I like to do.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I am in a small enough community that the local garden club maintains a lovely perennial planting at the entrance to the post office.

I love to see what it looks like as the seasons pass.

I really ought to get out and visit some of the more notable gardens in Michigan. The Dow Gardens, the Cranbrook Gardens... Or even go down to Belle Isle and see what is going on at the Conservatory.

4:24 PM  
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Blogger Stivel Velasquez said...

A flower, also known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to mediate the union of male sperm with female ovum in order to produce seeds. The process begins with pollination, is followed by fertilization, leading to the formation and dispersal of the seeds. march madness For the higher plants, seeds are the next generation, and serve as the primary means by which individuals of a species are dispersed across the landscape. The grouping of flowers on a plant are called the inflorescence.In addition to serving as the reproductive organs of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans, mainly to beautify their environment but also as a source of food.

2:40 PM  

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