With a Little Help From My Friends

You never know what the day will bring. I thought we were having a Longview Arboretum Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the office today, but the volunteers had other ideas. They turned it into an early birthday party for me, complete with cake, presents, sweet comments, and a brick with my name on it! Thanks for everyone involved … bunch of sneaky people, all of you.

I’m all smiles as Jannice Urban and Anne Hugman present me with a brick. Click image for larger view.

Perhaps it’s time for a quick garden stroll to work off the cake…

Volunteer Martha Hood poses with the Arboretum’s massive banana.
Big ol’ perennial hibiscus flowers steal the show.

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The white version of Texas Star hibiscus is surprisingly elegant.
The stunning blue sprays of golden dewdrop (Duranta erecta).
The hydrangeas are kickin’ in for the fall.
Delicate, burgundy growth on ‘Baby Dragon’ Shantung maple.
Giant colocasia leaves are simply massive!
Screaming red blossoms of canna bring some sizzle to the garden.
One of our LANC board members, Robin Maley, acquired and planted 21 candle tree (Senna alata) seedlings in late May in honor of the victims of the Uvalde shooting. Today, they are 12 to 15 feet tall.

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Finally, a little pleasant porch weather. Ahhhh…
So I’m sitting out here in the darkness—the moon’s not quite up yet, but the computer screen glow kind of evens things up a bit. Thinking about good friends, old friends, new friends … things I’m glad I chanced and things I regret not trying … and the many things that lie ahead, out of my sight at this time.

The point is that we remember great ideas, whether spoken quietly or sung into the air. I sit here thinking about words and friends when a night bird begins singing, and I have all of this sloshing away in my cement mixer when it starts to make a bit of sense: I associate different songs with different people in my life. I do the same with pithy quotes … garden quotes … let’s get started!

For Mark Carter:
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
— Thomas Jefferson

For Jannice Urban:
That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.
— Shakespeare

For … ahem … me:
Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.
— Lou Erickson

For Greg Grant:
Tickle it with a hoe and it will laugh into a harvest.
— English saying

For my dad:
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
— Mark Twain

For Lynn Sperry:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
— Dorothy Francis Gurney

For Rebecca Redfox:
The world around you becomes your repose and your sort of spiritual something from which you draw strength and pleasure and relaxation and delight.
— Lady Bird Johnson

For Zach Gomez:
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness.
— Andrew Marvell

For Jan Barth:
In the garden were to be seen the most wonderful flowers, and to the costliest of them silver bells were tied, which sounded, so that nobody should pass by without noticing the flowers.
— Hans Christian Andersen

For Richard Hartman:
Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
— Shakespeare

For Henry Painter:
When you’re green, you grow. When you’re ripe, you rot.
— Ray Kroc

For Mike Williams:
I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden in the shade.
— Richard Starkey

Perhaps it’s best to leave this one undedicated…
Why are husbands like lawnmowers? They are difficult to get started, emit foul smells, and don’t work half the time.
— Unknown

PS—Just a thought here … if you are thinking about the upcoming holiday season, think about your local public garden. Family memberships to public gardens make amazing gifts! It’s literally the gift of quality time spent with friends and family in a beautiful place … healthier than a fruitcake and it sure beats another knickknack. Many garden memberships even have reciprocal admission to other gardens … join one garden: get free admission to fifty! AND you get to support the entire horticultural community in your area because public gardens are the hub … the nexus … the BEEHIVE CENTRAL of all things gardening.
This year,
Give a Garden!


Time to party at the Longview Arboretum & Nature Center! Come join us for our fall concert series. Thursday nights, 6pm to 8pm. Gates open at 5pm; tickets are just $10; AND you can bring a cooler to make a great evening of it however you want!

And while you’re at it, make plans to attend our annual Garden Party fund-raiser on Saturday, October 22. The Royal Dukes will be layin’ down the jams, so prepare to boogie! Live auction, great food, open bar, and a few surprises, too.

Go to http://www.longviewarboretum.org for details!

Posted by Steven Chamblee
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