July 18, 2021

Door County, Revisited

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I'm cheating a bit with this post. We spent a few days in Door County, Wisconsin, earlier this month, and it was colder than we'd expected. We still had a wonderful time (first post-vaccination vacation), but I didn't take out the camera much.

So this post includes photos of one specific park from our recent visit, and a collection of colorful annuals and perennials photos from our last visit. I figure the floral displays are often similar from year to year, and Door County always shares amazing creativity in all ways, including with art, gardens, and other displays.

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So, let's start out in Egg Harbor, a quaint bayside town, with a beautiful little waterfront park displaying many recreational boats and lovely maritime views.

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Harbor View Park is a sweet spot to spend some time, no matter what the weather.

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The large boulders along the walkway blend well with the sky and waterway scenes.

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This is a fun place for boaters, walkers, and wanderers.

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The 'Seafarer' statue sets the mood for the historical significance of this town, as a port on the bayside, with access to the larger Lake Michigan and the chain of Great Lakes.

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There's a lovely little garden in the park, too. Some beautiful metalwork sculptures, courtesy David Reimer and Angela Lensch Gallery, were on display--incorporated so beautifully into the landscaping.

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I really enjoyed the moose sculpture.

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And the rooster, I believe on permanent display, by artist William Jauquet.

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We visited the park several times during our recent visit, and one of the evenings featured a free, live band. The weather that evening was more comfortable, and it was lovely to see people enjoying the beautiful evening and the music.

So the remaining photos here show some creative displays of colorful annuals and perennials; not from our 2021 visit, but from our visit three years ago. Door County is always vibrant with potted plants and impressive gardens.

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We did a lot of hiking, too, but with the rain and cold weather, I didn't snap any photos. No matter what the weather, however, Door County, Wisconsin, is one of my favorite summertime destinations. It's a little piece of heaven on earth.

June 29, 2021

Checking Out Grandpa's Roses
At Old World Wisconsin

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Dad and I made a trek over to Old World Wisconsin, in Eagle, a couple of weeks ago. The drought was still bad at that time, so while the tended plants looked fine, much of the area was quite parched.

Old World Wisconsin is a living-history destination that showcases actual stories of early settlers to the state, from the 1840s to the 1910s. It includes historic spaces, gardens and trails, and costumed staff to help tell the stories and answer visitor questions.

My mom and dad worked and volunteered at Old World for many years. Mom's illness and COVID-19 kept them away recently, so Dad was happy to check back on one of his favorite places.

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Part of the purpose of our visit was to check out my great-grandfather's roses, a set of which were donated to Old World a decade ago. You can read about that donation here, and more about the story behind the mid-19th Century grafting of the 'Sweet Mary' rose here.

Two patches of 'Sweet Mary' are planted on either side of the entrance to the Raspberry School, one of the locations where my dad worked as an historical interpreter. It's in the Norwegian section of the park, and though Dad isn't Norwegian, I think he figured his Danish and English heritage were close enough. ;-)

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Because of the drought and because we missed the peak of bloom, the flowers were fading, but we were glad to see that Great-Grandpa's roses still look very healthy.

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Before we left, I wandered a bit in the teaching garden near the entrance to the park. This area of Old World is regularly tended and watered, so the plants looked very happy and healthy.

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Raised beds and planters, and climbing plants offer great examples of time-honored gardening techniques.

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The teaching garden is planted mainly with ornamentals, with blooms included for the entire growing season.

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There's a story behind this silver-spotted skipper butterfly, but let's just say she was a welcomed sight on the Salvia. :)

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Since dad was waiting elsewhere for me, I didn't get the exact names of the hybrids and the cultivars, but I certainly noticed this beautiful double Rugosa Rose. Next time I visit, I'll have to make note of it for future reference.

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The Hollyhocks certainly were healthy, too! I'm trying to start some in my own garden, and they're taking their time, so I really appreciate tall, full examples of this lovely plant.

It was a great visit and a wonderful place to explore. Old World Wisconsin is nearer Milwaukee, but roughly an hour's drive from the Eastern outskirts of Madison. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!

June 15, 2021

Bloom Day on the Cusp of Summer

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I'm sneaking in on the end of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. We're experiencing a moderate drought, with warmer than normal temperatures.

While the smaller gardens are watered, many of the native plants have deep roots and can take the tough conditions. The cutting garden is starting to bloom, and there are continuous flowers (like Snapdragons) for me to display in vases, here and there.

Sometimes, I'm more excited by the buds just about to bloom than the fully flowering plants.

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Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

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Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

And one of the best things about June is the roses. Two favorites are blooming now.

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Oso Easy Double Pink (Rosa spp.

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'At Last' Rose (Rosa spp.)

Several others are approaching, or in full bloom.

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Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

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Russian Stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum)

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'Seniorita Rosalita' Spider Flower (Cleome spp.)

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'State Fair Mix' Zinnias (Z. elegans)

Still others are waning, but still lovely.

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'Ambassador' Alliums

The Alliums are a little further along than this photo from a week ago.

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'May Night' Sage (Salvia nemerosa)

The Salvias need deadheading so they'll bloom again.

Overall, it's been a weird start to the growing season...perhaps something to reflect on in a future post. But there's always so much to be thankful for.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

June 06, 2021

Highlights From Our Early June Hikes

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I generally walk/hike at least a couple of miles each day, no matter the weather. My best friend usually joins me; but sometimes I'm on my own. He's a great trooper, and now that he's a little more mature (2 1/2 years), he's very patient when Mom stops to take photos. We take breaks in the shade on very hot days, like we've had for the past week.

No matter what stage of the growing season, there are always interesting plants. But I'm always quite curious about the blooming and developing plants during the transitions between seasons.

As we move from spring to summer, some native plants are winding down, though still beautiful.

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Geranium maculatum

false solomon's seal
Maianthemum racemosum

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Dodecatheon meadia

The Geraniums and Shooting Stars have been particularly stunning this year. Other common natives are just hitting their stride.

baptisia
Baptisia alba

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Prairie filled with B. alba

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Iris versicolor

anemone
Anemone canadensis

zizia
Zizia aurea
(Interesting beetles!)

milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
(Do you see the monarch egg?)

arnica
Arnica spp.

yarrow
Yarrow millefolium

potentilla
Potentilla simplex

viburnum
Viburnum dentatum

The insects are fun; I love all the flies, caterpillars, and bees.

In a couple of weeks, the fruity snacks along our paths will be ripe.

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Rubus occidentalis

blackberry
Rubus allegheniensis?

I'm looking forward to that refreshment!

I also usually notice plenty of nonnative, invasive plants.

hawkweed
Hieracium aurantiacum

dames rocket
Hesperis matronalis

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Heracleum sphondylium?

While problematic, it's hard to deny the beauty of many invasive plants; if only they wouldn't take over.

We also frequently encounter wildlife during our hikes. Fortunately, the pup wasn't with me when a family of geese walked right up to me.

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The papa hissed at me, but when he backed off and re-entered the pond, I snapped a few photos of the goslings.

Every encounter with wildlife is special, but we try to give them space (the telephoto lens helps).

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Red-bellied woodpecker

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Red-spotted purple

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Viceroy

Every hike is fascinating, fun, and a new, unique adventure!