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Hampstead Heath, London

“Two roads diverged in the woods and I, I took the one less travelled by…”

Earlier in the week I spent the day at Hampstead Heath, one of London’s largest greenspaces. I smiled over this actual fork in the road as the memory of Robert Frost’s poem flooded back.

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Such a perfect metaphor for the chain of events that’s brought me to London at this particular point in time. 

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We all remember reciting and analyzing “The Road Not Taken” and hearing our English teachers’ cautionary tales of consequences from good vs. bad choices. I always thought the poem meant “mistakes will ruin your life”..maybe even land you behind bars.

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Walking through the Heath, I saw the poem from a different perspective. Actually, it hit me like a ton of bricks when I passed this fantastic property on its outskirts:

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Had my life gone smoothly–good marriage instead of bad, years not lost to drugs, and a house not lost to foreclosure–I might never have discovered the strength and resilence I see in myself today.  I doubt I’d be on this wonderful solo adventure.

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Until next time..
:) :) :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur (European Orchid Conference)

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: blur.

Yesterday I attended the European Orchid Conference. What an incredible blur of form and color!

image The conference is hosted from April 9-12 at the RHS Horticultural Halls. The main exhibit area featured displays from around the world. Vendor booths and a second set of exhibits were set up across the street.

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Here are the best photos of the zillion I took! :)

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wpid-wp-1428663543804.jpeg image image Until next time…

:) :) :)

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Wordless Wednesday: Victoria & Albert Museum

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. I particularly enjoyed this sculpture:

rodiThe Prodigal Son, Auguste Rodin

Rodin used a variation of this figure in his marble Fugit Amor. Both works were created between 1885-87.

The V&A is well worth a visit: even the building is an architectural delight!
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Until next time..
:) :) :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

I’ve been in London since March 21st…brrrr! Compared to Vero Beach this great city is COLD!! 😄

Last Thursday I met Claire of Promenade Plantings for a tour of the Chelsea Physic Garden, an apothecary that features herbal and medicinal plants from around the world.  Of course everything was labelled…except the one I’ve chosen for this week’s challenge! Claire thought it might be an Angelica and we both thought it was quite ephemeral.  If anyone can identify it let me know?

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A word about today’s post: this is my first attempt at creating content via the WordPress android app.  Quite difficult to ascertain what the published result will be! Keeping fingers crossed!

Until next time…
😄😄😄

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale (Iceland)

For this week’s challenge I pulled the best shots from our trip to Reykjavik and the Ring Road. Nothing says scale better than Iceland’s sweeping vistas and urban contrasts.

Reykjavik from Perlan Viewing Deck

Reykjavik from Perlan Viewing Deck

Tjörnin Pond, Reykjavik City Centre

Tjörnin Pond, Reykjavik City Centre

Perlan Observation Deck, Reykjavik

Perlan Observation Deck, Reykjavik

A sign that could use a little English! ;)

A sign that could use a little English! ;)

Hydroponic Greenhouse, Hveragerði

Hydroponic Greenhouse, Hveragerði

Farmhouse, Skogar

Farmhouse, Skogar

Steps at Skogafoss  Waterfall

Steps at Skogafoss Waterfall

Skogafoss Runoff

Skogafoss Runoff

Rowan Tree with Berries, Reyjkavik Airbnb

Rowan Tree with Berries, Reyjkavik Airbnb

No real sun while we were there…and it was very cold and miserably wet! I can’t say we actually liked Iceland, but it was a memorable stop enroute to London!

Until next time…
:) :) :)

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Petrea volubilis (Gardenfest part 2)

Petrea volubilis (aka Queen’s Wreath) is a Caribbean/Central American winter blooming vine with long drooping racemes and sandpapery oval leaves. It caught my eye at Gardenfest where i mistook it for the beloved northern Wisteria!

Petrea Volubilis, Gardenfest 2015

Queen’s Wreath begins flowering while still quite young although it takes 2-3 years to bloom profusely. The 5-lobed corolla is dark blue/violet subtended by a larger, widely-spaced and lighter blue, purplish or white calyx approx 1.75″ wide. The calyx persists after the corolla falls, gradually turning brown and dropping several weeks later. If the flowers have been pollinated, a fruit capsule develops in the center of the calyx. The calyx takes on the role of flight wings, spinning on the wind to assist seed dispersal.

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P. volubilis is a zone 10-11 plant with hardiness just above freezing.  Here in Vero Beach it flowers most heavily during February and sporadically through the year with the exception of our steamy summer months.

For best results, plant in a sunny location near an arbor, gazebo, fence, or tree where it can climb and cascade into sunlight. If steady supports are supplied, it can be used as a rambling or controlled vine.

In its native habitat, Queen’s Wreath can reach up to 40′ tall with equal spread, but an occasional pruning will keep it smaller. I’ve seen it trimmed into hanging baskets, sprawling over itself as a subshrub, and even planted as a ornamental standard. Such a versatile and beautiful tropical plant!

After getting established, P. volubilis requires little care and infrequent irrigation. Fertilize as needed. Keep lawn grass back from the root zone and protect smaller, immature plantiings when frost is forecast.

Until next time…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth (Gardenfest part 1)

I kept this week’s photo challenge in mind while taking pictures at Gardenfest.

First up: looking down a row of incredible Medinilla magnifca

Medinilla magnifica, Gardenfest 2015

Medinilla magnifica, Gardenfest 2015

…and a row of bananas:

Going Bananas, Gardenfest 2015

Going Bananas, Gardenfest 2015

Next, a view through the Spanish Moss:

Looking through the Spanish Moss, Gardenfest 2015

Looking through the Spanish Moss, Gardenfest 2015

…and a wander under impressive Live Oaks:

Under the oaks, Gardenfest 2015

Under the oaks, Gardenfest 2015

Each year Gardenfest grows bigger and better, with increasingly unusual vendors and displays.  Definitely one of Vero Beach‘s premier in-season events!  Part 2 later in the week!

Until next time…

:) :) :)