My husband and I had the good fortune to host a quick visit from Christina and her husband this week and it was such a great experience.
The weather was more than a bit challenging, as we are in the middle of a serious heat wave. Maximum temperature records are flying out the window, including here in the Piedmont area where we live. The average temperature at this time of year is 85°F (29.4°C); however, yesterday was a sunny, hot, humid 100°F (37.7°C) day.
Our guests were real troopers as we tried to catch some of the garden highlights in this area. We started humbly with a look around pbmGarden. The meditation circle, Christina said, is what first drew her to my blog, so it was a treat to see her and her husband navigating the labyrinth.
Next up we toured Duke Gardens in Durham and though we did not cover all 55 acres, we managed to see quite a lot of the specialized gardens. Christina’s husband was quite interested in seeing North American birds and were able to spot American robin, red-bellied woodpecker, Eastern bluebird, brown thrasher, crow and blue jay, among others. An Eastern towhee was audible but never stepped out where we could spot it.
While cooling off at water’s edge we encountered a variety of ducks, watched a family of Canada geese and admired a stately Great Blue Heron. All the birds seemed eager to pose.
Across the water in the distance we could see a focal point of the Asiatic Arboretum, a red Japanese-style arched bridge, which we later crossed.
The White Garden showcased beautiful hydrangeas.
As time ran short we had to scrap plans for Niche Gardens, a retail nursery for native and unusual plants. But before it closed for the day we managed a brief stop at nearby North Carolina Botanical Garden, where we saw a sampling of milkweeds, ferns (including southern maidenhair), carnivorous plants and trumpet vines. We admired the enormous leaves of Magnolia macrophylla (Big-leaf Magnolia), a staff member explained to us about vining spinach that grows all summer and Christina was able to get a close-up look at a bee-covered Vitex angus-castus tree. Our bird list for the day grew to include American goldfinch and mourning dove.
There were a thousand more places I wanted to share and a thousand more things to say, but all too soon it was time to say good-bye. Thanks Christina for stopping in.