Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens - Captivating views


In late afternoon on the last, very full, day of the 2017 Garden Bloggers' Fling, we arrived at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.  We were scheduled to attend a dinner in the garden's Atrium at 6pm, which left us with relatively little time to tour the property's 95 acres.  Susie of pbmGarden and I practically sprinted in the direction of a scenic overlook that stood atop a spiral mound in the distance (point 14 on the map found here), admiring some flowers along the way.

This long bed, bordering a wide section of lawn, was dominated by plants favored by pollinators

Echinacea purpurea, Daucus carota and other plants I won't try to identify

Inula helenium maybe?

A little further along the path, we found a large collection of beautiful daylilies.  All the Hemerocallis seemed to be at their peak in the Capital Region during the Fling.

This rustic pergola marked the scenic overlook at the top of a spiral path leading up a lawn-covered mound


The spectacular views from the top of the mound and back down at its base are what I remember most clearly about my visit to Meadowlark.

This gazebo stood at the end of a wooden boardwalk extending into one of the lakes

Facing in another direction, I could see across 2 lakes, surrounded by more rolling lawn


Back down on the main path, we skirted around the lakes, briefly stopping to snap a few photos of what I think was the Toddler's Tea Garden.

However, it was absent of toddlers when we passed by


Along the edges of one of the lakes, we found lotus in bloom.

You can find lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in Southern California but they're not common.  The sight of them always takes my breath away.


I was enamored with the geese we saw on the lake and at its edges but, based on the comments I heard from those around me, I think I may have been the only one in the vicinity who liked them.

My impression was that many of the locals held views of Canada geese similar to those held of the wild peacocks in my own community, where the birds are loved by some but despised by many


My favorite vista was one looking back across the lake toward the lotus.

The sky, trees and even people on the lake's shoreline are neatly mirrored in the lake's surface.  I'm tagging this as my Wednesday Vignette this week.  For other WVs, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


Having little time left, Susie and I headed back in the general direction of the Atrium, stopping for a quick spin through the Korean Bell Garden.

Clockwise from the lower left: the entrance to this garden, one of the decorated walls surrounding it, the view from the structure within which the bell stands, and the Bell of Peace and Harmony itself.  (You can find a better view of the bell here.)


We enjoyed a great dinner.  I even won a bottle of wine (based only on discovery of a ticket taped to the bottom of the chair I'd selected), which I asked the catering staff to open so my table companions could share it.  I've no photos of the wine or the wonderful dinner but suffice it to say that it was a great way to end the Fling.

I've covered just a portion of the venues we visited during the course of the Fling.  I'll pick up others now and then but I thought I'd take this opportunity to formally thank Tammy Schmitt, the Director of the Capital Region Fling; the rest of her team, Michele Shaw, Wendy Kremer, Teri Speight, and Peggy Riccio; all the gardeners who generously opened their spaces; and the sponsors.  Well done all!


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. Ninety-five acres to explore in so little time seems like a daunting task. Looks like you found some great spaces to photograph. I share your love of Canadian Geese but they do tend to leave small-dog-sized waste (free fertilizer)all over lawns. Some people find stepping in that a bit off putting. Glad that you enjoyed the fling and thanks for sharing it!

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    1. I suppose that cleaning up goose poop on acres of rolling lawn might give me a jaundiced view of geese too. At least the geese didn't seem to consume ornamental plants, which can't be said of peacocks.

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  2. You made it much further into the garden than I did, what a beautiful place. I'm so glad you attended the DC Fling!

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    1. I found it relaxing to see such a broad open landscape after days of focusing on the minutiae in smaller settings. I was glad to see you again, Loree!

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  3. That garden was so big, I'm sure there are going to be lots of posts showing areas I didn't get to see, like this one. That overlook showing the two lakes is great, I didn't even realize there were two lakes. I did see that daylily border, which pleased me, being a daylily fan, no pun intended. Yes, most people on the East Coast despise Canada geese, and consider them to be winged vermin.

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    1. That view of the Canada geese came through loud and clear, Alison, but really the birds just seemed to be going about their business (pun intended). According to the map, there were actually 3 lakes! I missed the 3rd one.

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  4. A really big Garden and beautiful! I love the lotus too, they are gorgeous plants, the one in your pictures is Mrs. Perry Slocum one of my fav Lotus varieties and a very fast grower!

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  5. Such beautiful vistas, wherever you look! Thanks for ID-ing the Daucus carota for me. It volunteered itself in my hell strip, and to date I have wondered what it was. Now I need to research what it is - maybe I shouldn't pull it out...?

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    1. It's not invasive in my climate, Anna, but I can't speak for yours!

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  6. So many acres, so little time?

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    1. Exactly, although by that time, after 6 prior stops that day, the energy was lagging a bit too.

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  7. Kris, it was great fun wandering through this pleasure garden with you, now for a second time. The weather was lovely that day and I was surprised there weren't more people, but with so much acreage, there was just plenty of room. The long views here were spectacular. Great photo of that lotus. Nearby remember I tried to photograph the redwinged blackbird? Unfortunately the images were too fuzzy.

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    1. I enjoyed the time we spent together during the Fling, Susie - our talks made the bus rides seem much shorter! I took a couple of shots of that red-winged blackbird too but neither of mine were clear either.

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  8. This was a very pleasant garden indeed and great spot for Fling wrap-up. There were lots of areas left unseen within our window of opportunity. I did see the Daylilies though !

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    1. The daylilies were fantastic throughout the Capital Region. It perked my interest in adding more to my own garden.

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  9. I love the vignette of Echinacea and Daucus - what a pleasant combination! And the lotus... beautiful... On behalf of the geese, I lived quite a few years in an area that had many lakes - two within view of our property. Canada geese were always around; admittedly, they rarely patrolled our yard, perhaps because of our dogs? At any rate, I never ceased to feel the thrill as those big wings whooshed overhead.

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    1. My brother has seen them in flight over his inland valley area but I never have. They seem like stately birds, even if they poop a lot.

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  10. Kathy and I covered quite a bit of ground in that garden in a short period of time too. One of these days I'll have to take a closer look at my pictures :).

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    1. I've yet to go through the majority of my pictures either, Sue. I started with the venues that stood out most in my mind but I intend to work through all of them - eventually.

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