Archive for the ‘General’ category

Looking Back, Moving Forward

January 2, 2016

One of my first posts on this blog had the same title as today’s. Something about the arrival of a new year prompts me to think about what I want the months ahead to bring, and this year is no different.

I started this blog almost exactly seven years ago, originally posting twice a week. Most recently, I’ve posted twice a month with time off for holidays, travel and (once) a broken hand. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts and photographs with the outside world, but I’ve decided it’s time to give Garden Shoots an indefinite hiatus. I’m no longer as intimate a part of the gardening world as I used to be, and it’s been a challenge in the last year or two to come up with topics for posts that I think will appeal to my audience of friends and occasional readers.

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, especially those who’ve taken the time to comment. I’m not disappearing forever from the blogosphere, just taking time off from regular posting. Look for the occasional article when I visit new places, especially if they’re garden-related. For those of you who may be interested in my photography business, you can always find me on Facebook. And below, I hope you enjoy a favorite photo of mine from Tuscany this past May – not a garden, but a beautiful landscape vista.

Launching and maintaining Garden Shoots has been a wonderful experience. Thanks again to everyone who was along for the ride!

Melissa

Val d'Orcia, Tuscany

Vineyard at Dawn, Val d’Orcia

 

 

A Visit to a Memorial in Downtown DC

May 24, 2014

Several weeks ago, on a visit to the National Building Museum with a friend, I came across the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for the first time. Located in the Judiciary Square area of downtown Washington DC (in the 400 block of E Street, N.W.), the memorial honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The memorial occupies a large plaza space in front of the National Building Museum and is reachable by Metro’s Judiciary Square stop.

The circulating pool in the center is a popular site for birds refreshing themselves, but the most striking feature of the memorial is two long curving walls of blue-gray marble walls, carved with the names of over 2000 officers killed in the line of duty (new names are added regularly).

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

A portion of one of the walls carved with names. Flowers are left as tributes, and sometimes photos.

From a design standpoint, the curving walls also provide a place for rest, reflection, and a respite if it is sunny thanks to the carefully pruned linden tree hedges that reminded me somewhat of the hornbeam hedges at Dumbarton Oaks. You can choose one side or the other of the plaza to avoid the sun if it’s very bright.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

One of the curved pathways. There is a seatwall on one side of each of the paths on either side of the plaza while the other wall is carved with names.

At the entrance to each of the curved pathways, there are sculptures of an adult lion protecting its cubs – symbolic of the protective service provided by law enforcement officers to the public.
National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The day I visited, there were flowers bedecking all of the lion statues.

The center of the memorial is a large plaza, planted with honey locust trees, which cast high, light shadows in summer – perfect for sheltering people walking across the plaza.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The center plaza part of the memorial.

The memorial is about three acres in size and apparently is filled with daffodils in bloom in the spring. For more information about its history and events that are held there periodically, please visit its website.

 

 

American University’s Summer Look

July 26, 2013

Last week, on my way to LPI from an early client appointment, I made a quick pit stop at American University’s campus. Although this time of year there are fewer students in residence than usual, the plantings, designed by AU’s resident Landscape Architect H. Paul Davis and his colleagues, looked stunning. I wanted to share a few with you, taken with my Canon G11, before I take August off to re-charge my creative juices. (I’ll also be getting to know my new computer, which finally arrived this week after the old one died over four weeks ago.)

So enjoy the photos, and take a trip to AU (4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW in the District) if you’re in the area.

 

Garden Shoots will be on vacation until September. See you then!

The Blundering Gardener

April 7, 2010

I don’t usually do mid-week posts these days because of my general state of insanity due to work, but I wanted to share some big news with those of you who love gardening and excellent writing, with a dash of humor into the bargain.

The Blundering Gardener, Bonnie Blodgett, gardening writing, gardening videos

Bonnie in full gardening regalia (Drawing courtesy of The Blundering Gardener.com)

My friend Bonnie Blodgett, who lives in St. Paul, MN, for years has published an award-winning quarterly newsletter, The Garden Letter. Recently she  started a new website, The Blundering Gardener, which has just gone live. On it she blogs, talks about her new book (see below), and offers wonderful short videos on everything from how not to get a large birch tree off your pickup truck when you just HAVE to put it in the ground that very day, to beautifying the  top of your garage with cedar shingles.

When I visited her last summer, she had just finished her new book, Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing –  and Discovering –  the Primal Sense. Can you imagine having that happen to you as a gardener – or to anyone, for that matter?  The book is due out in June and I just pre-ordered a copy from Amazon. You can check out some of the glowing advance reviews, including one from Bill Bryson, on her website.  While you’re there, you can also subscribe to The Garden Letter, which Bonnie is still putting out quarterly. I consider the issues required reading.


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