October 28, 2013

I'm just a wandering homebody

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I've just returned from a trip to London. If you follow Helene's blog at Graphicality-UK (and I highly recommend it, because it's an excellent blog and her garden is amazing!), you know that I had the pleasure of visiting Helene. More on that visit soon, but I want to do the post justice after I've had a chance to look through all the photos and reflect a bit.

I was thinking of  a way to tie the London trip to my monthly post about John Muir when I came across this interview with Muir about his world travels. If you take the time (five to 10 minutes) to read the inverview, I think you'll find it interesting and entertaining.

Are you like John Muir? Do you feel healthier at home or away from home? Indoors our outdoors?

I'm the opposite of Muir, and yet the same. While I love traveling and feel fortunate to have visited many fascinating places, it always takes me a couple of days to adjust after reaching my destination, and then again after returning home.

But I do agree with Muir that travel is well worth the time and investment. It opens one's eyes to new places and people (and plants), and instills a greater sense of tolerance. You realize that people in different cultures and locales really aren't that different, afterall. I also heartily agree that whether near home or far away, we all benefit from being outdoors!

We spent a lot of time outside in London, as the weather was mild and pleasant for most of the time. In addition to my visit with Helene, I plan to share several other trip highlights soon. I left home just before the first killing frost here in my garden. I figured I'd come back to brown, dead plants and flowers. So as I snapped photos of creative container plantings, unique plants, and artistic garden designs, I did so with a feeling of nostalgia and wistfulness for the growing season just passed.

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But comicly (at least I thought it was humorous), when I stepped out of the terminal at O'Hare Airport ... there were more magnificent potted plants still blooming and very healthy.

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Terrible photo taken at night with my iPhone, but you get the idea.

Better yet, when I got home I saw that the Begonias, Umbrella Grass, and Swiss Chard in my own planters were still alive--even though they weren't covered, watered, or cared for while I was gone. Ha!

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It felt good to be home! Unlike John Muir, I feel very comfortable nestling into my comfy little home--at least until the next big adventure!

We had a great time in London seeing the sights, visiting a few gardens, and most of all--spending time together as a family in a very exciting city.

48 comments:

  1. You have make beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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    1. Thanks! There were so many lovely container plantings in London--I wish I had captured more of them!

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  2. What a wonderful trip that must have been. You captured some striking images.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it was great. London is bigger and more fun than I had imagined! I kind of went nuts with the photos at the gardens.

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  3. Wow how wonderful Beth. I have always wanted to visit London. The trip sounds perfect.

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    1. Yes, it was a great trip. Only a few weird situations--but all trips have little glitches. Those are the stories we remember. :)

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  4. Lovely photos, glad you had lovely plants at home to enjoy as well though! I always loved travelling, and am grateful to have so many rich memories,but now I love to be here, on my Island home, outside whenever possible, indoors if not. I think I am lucky to have had the travel, but even luckier to have wound up here! Look forward to the other posts about your trip.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. I can't imagine traveling as much as some people do, but it sure is fun and you learn so much! Sounds like you've had some great travel experiences, too. I agree--you're lucky to have found such a wonderful place to live.

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  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to read about your adventures. London is a fun city to explore. I have done a lot of traveling and I enjoy seeing and learning about other places too but there is nothing like sleeping at home in one's own bed! :) I don't enjoy the actually "travel" part but I do like exploring once I arrive at my destination.

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    1. You've described exactly how I feel about it, Karin. I enjoy the "travel" part, but I find it's the most stressful aspect of the experience--worrying about security, lugging and keeping track of luggage, and catching the flights. So, it's nice to be back home to a more boring schedule. ;-)

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  6. October seems to be the month to visit London. I was there in October several years ago and the weather was very pleasant, as it was for you. What a terrific city! I am definitely a homebody and have to be dragged away kicking and screaming, but once I'm away I love it and wonder why I don't do travel more often.

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    1. Yes, it's a great city! Huge! Even my husband who grew up in Chicago was impressed with the expansive size of London. Endless activities and cultures to explore. But I'm a towny girl, so I'm glad to be back to a slower pace!

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  7. I like to stay home, outdoors. But travel can be so exciting! I am glad that your garden was still a welcoming sight when you returned home. I would love to visit London sometime and see some English gardens. Looking forward to your posts.

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    1. I wish I'd had more time to explore gardens, but I did see a couple of wonderful ones. And the temperatures were so comfortable--a lot milder than here in Wisconsin now. But I was so happy to get back to my own bed and my comfy, relaxed home.

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  8. The planter box with the Cyclamen and grasses is brilliant. Thanks for traveling so I don't have to.

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    1. Isn't that nifty? I thought it was a unique combination. Cyclamens were everywhere in London. I hadn't thought of putting them in planters before, but I might just do that in the future. Not a traveler, huh? I can understand that--home is so comfy!

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  9. if not at home, then London for me please!

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    1. I enjoyed London! It's not my favorite destination away from home--but definitely very fun!

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  10. I'm a total homebody. Nothing makes me happier than being in my own garden. Great photos. I'm glad you had a good trip.

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    1. Thanks, Grace. I love being in my garden, too. But not during the cold months--I'd rather be in the south in February, for sure!

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  11. I loved London when I was there and want to go back. I love to travel but am happy at home, too. How is your Italy trip coming along?

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    1. Sounds like we have similar preferences--why doesn't that surprise me? ;-) I need to set up a Facebook group for the Italy trip. I'll add you so you can invite your friends.

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  12. Great post Beth! You captured some great images in London and also in your own garden! But I am such a homebody. Yes, travel is good and we do a fair amount of it but I'm never happier than when I get back home! I miss Michigan (which I now consider home) and I can't wait to get back there in April!

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    1. Thanks, Diane! We flew over Michigan from the north to the south on the way into Chicago. Once I saw Lake Michigan, I felt a great sense of being home. I love the Midwest--except in February. ;-)

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  13. I love travelling but it doesn't take me long to get yearnings for home.
    You captured some lovely images. I read of your visit on Helene's blog. London like here in Edinburgh is a very historical city and has lots too offer.
    Good news that a few of your plants decide to remain for your return.

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    1. We flew over Scotland on our way back home. Actually we flew just south of Iceland and directly over the southern tip of Greenland. That was quite a thrill! So, I'm with you--travel is fun, but it's great to get back home!

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  14. Can't wait to read the posts about your trip. We enjoyed our time in the UK, just wish we could have stayed longer and seen more.

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    1. So true! A few hours at Kew was incredibly frustrating. I could have spent the entire week there, and then some!

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  15. Beth, thank for the pictures and the interview' link! Very interesting! I love travelling. But 7-10 days is enough for me, then I just want to be home! You should be proud of your plants! What a great surprise!

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    1. Yes, I was surprised about the survivors! 7-10 days is about right for me, too. I sleep so much better at home. :)

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  16. Beth, I am so pleased to hear that some of your garden plants were waiting for you when you came home :-)
    And thanks for the link to the interview, it had me smiling several times. I have never been a traveller, I have had to travel due to my job when I was still working, I have been to 7 different countries, UK including and I have lived in 23 different houses in 2 different countries in my life – these days I am happy to travel through my TV and make short photo safaris out in my garden. Sadly, like most people, I have never been a tourist in all the cities I have lived in, and neither in London, I have sent off visitors to all the usual tourist places but never got to see them myself. I am looking forward to your next posts and pictures!
    And thanks for your kind words about my blog and garden :-)

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    1. Helene: Sounds like you've had many adventures! That's an interesting thought--how to view our own place of residence as a tourist would. I've explored my area quite a bit, but should try to do more. We had a great time in London, but I was glad to get back to a slower pace at home. ;-)

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  17. Oh, I 'm like you and Muir! While traveling is an exciting and worthy activity, there truly is nowhere like your own bed, your own garden and hearth. I enjoy being out in the working community, but when my husband and I get home,we are the happiest there.

    Fabulous photos, and I still need to get over to see London - and go BACK to Paris!

    Thank you kindly for your comments my dear; you are very lovely to come visit. Anita

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    1. Yes--perfectly expressed! I'm looking forward to a nice cozy fire and a comfortable time at home this weekend! London was wonderful, but it's a huge city and I'm a "town" girl at heart. My daughter loved Paris--I think it was her favorite place so far. I'm so glad I discovered your blog--it's fabulous!

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  18. Oh I went to London just a year ago and I also visited a blogger. Such fun! Like you, there is no place like home. I do love London.

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    1. London is a wonderful place to visit, but it's too large and busy for me--at least the city center. We had a great time, though, and I would love to get back there some day. How neat that you visited a blogger there, too!

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  19. LOVE London and lucky you to get a visit with a garden tour included!

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    1. Yes, truly blessed. Helene was a wonderful host, and her garden is every bit as lovely as it looks on her blog (actually even better in person)!

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  20. Uwielbiam też podróżować na dłużej i na krócej. Być wśród innych widoków, domów, zabytków, ogrodów, ludzi. Gdyby mnie było stać. to ciągle bym podróżowała. Pozdrawiam.
    I also love to travel for longer and for less. Be among other views, houses, monuments, gardens, people. If I could afford. it still would have traveled. Yours.

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    1. For longer and for less--that's exactly how I like it! I prefer longer trips, and only a few times per year. Then you have a chance to settle in to your surroundings and really have time to explore the place.

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  21. I always think it's good to leave home for awhile, then when you get back you really appreciate what you have.

    Sounds like a wonderful trip.

    Jen

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    1. So true, Jen! I am so happy to be home for a while. And the cats (both of whom are sleeping on my lap as I type this comment), are happy we're home, too. It was a great trip, but I'm feeling the "nesting" instinct big time right now.

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  22. Glad your plants were safe to greet you. I loved Helene's post about your visit and also recommend her blog. So many hidden benefits to blogging. My Swiss chard lasts through many freezes.

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    1. I really didn't expect any bedding plants to still be thriving after several nights below 30F while we were gone. Even the Fuchsias are still alive! But I know it's not for long, and that's OK because it's normal for our climate. Time to prepare for winter.

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  23. How did I miss this post?? How exciting to have been in London! And equally exciting to meet up with Helene; I don't usually read her blog, but I will have to check it out, especially if she's posted about your visit. I had the good fortune to have a UK blogger visit me three years ago, and I've been wanting to visit her as well as tour more of London for the past year. Maybe I'll finally get it organized in another year or two:) Like John Muir, I do enjoy traveling and discovering new experiences, but the older I get, it seems like I'm always happy to get home, too. And yes, that jet lag can take awhile to recover from. Glad you had a good time and came home to a few green spots; looking forward to hearing more about this trip!

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    1. Rose: Yes, you will LOVE Helene's blog! London is a fabulous place to visit. In particular, I hope to get back to Kew Gardens someday, because I only had a few hours there. Seriously, I could have spent a week or more at Kew, alone. Yeah, I guess it's the traveling part that tires me out. But that part is fun, too--just a little stressful. Happy to be home now. :)

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  24. How wonderful for you to visit Kew hope weather was kind to you .

    I have been twice but sadly it rained heavy each time I was there.

    Pleased your own plants were still in happy mode for when you got home.

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    1. Kew was definitely a highlight. We didn't have enough time there, though, so I hope to get back someday. The weather was perfect that particular day! Believe it or not, those potted plants on my porch are still alive--and the Swiss Chard is getting pretty big. I'll have to harvest it soon!

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