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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Not your usual wildlife area

 As much as I love actual nature preserves, it is no secret that the Toledo Botanical Garden  is also a favorite place. This 60+-acre public park is home not only to spectacular plantings (including one of my absolutely favorite trees, a magnificent copper beech) but also to a number of arts organizations and a variety of small animals, including a sizeable population of the ever-amusing fox squirrel.

Who wouldn't love that tail?

In addition to the shady garden with its impressive rhododendron and hosta collections, the TBG also hosts several formal gardens. Such places are Not Generally My Style as designing them requires traits like discipline and restraint, neither of which I have in my relationships with plants. But a disciplined garden is not a bad thing (not that I am likely ever to live with one).

The contrast between this exuberant native baptisia and the classical statue is amusing.

This time of year many of the visual standouts are old roses

 and some knockout peonies,

but the highlight of my June 1 visit was the scent of the hedge of white rugosa.

These plants do not have the visual "oomph" of some of their companions, but the scent carries a long way and is one of the delights of summer. Walking past the rugosa hedge also provides aural amusement as the unmistakable buzz of large bees is everywhere. A formal English-style planting is not the first image  that springs to mind when one thinks of pollinator gardens, but this hedge is a magnet for bees of all sorts. I was fortunate enough to witness a brief skirmish between two bees interested in the same 

and the dance of what I could not help but think was a very happy bumblebee.


Not where one might expect to find wild ecstasy, but I'll take it.

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