Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Orchids’

Pat Graven Stays Close to Nature

 

Pat Graven 001

These wave petunias bloomed during the week of Christmas.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

~Albert Einstein

Take time to smell the roses. Pat Graven takes time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and wants her garden to blend in. The area around her home flourishes with plants that are natural to the area. It’s her place to relax as she works with her plants, and leaves the cares of the world behind for a little while at least.

     But Pat didn’t always live in the country. In fact, she was a city girl from the Cleveland area. There, her grandmothers influenced her life at an early age. One grandmother had a passion for roses and would gather rose petals in the morning to make a facial. The other grandmother would only eat things that were grown on the farm. You can see how Pat came to love nature.

Pat played the shopkeeper

This talented lady even played the shopkeeper in “The Magical World of Dickens”.

     Before coming to this area, Pat worked with the police department in Cleveland as a dispatcher. But once she saw the hills and streams of Guernsey and Muskingum counties, she was hooked.

Pat lime tree 001

Her lime tree needs a lot of sunlight.

     Here she quickly learned to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Her love for animals makes living here extra special as her yard is filled with deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels and many, many birds.

     She seems to have a special attraction for birds as when she finds a dead bird along the road, she’ll stop and carefully pick it up with plastic gloves. Then she buries the bird with a plant, to let it continue to have value.

Pat Sphere Collection

Springtime daffodils are surrounded by a few samples of her special sphere collection.

     Over the years, Pat has picked up spheres of various metals and glass, making an outstanding collection..many from around the world. A special one she picked up on one of her trips to Ireland, a land she enjoyed “just because it feels good there”. She also has treasures from her trips to Mexico and Hawaii. But now, she is content to enjoy her home and surroundings.

Pat Paintings

Galway Bay in Ireland on a moonlit night inspired Pat to paint the picture she is holding.

     This very unique lady also has a talent for painting. Pat didn’t even realize she had this ability until she went to a class taught by Sue Dodd, who was an inspiration. Pat said, “I never would have painted if it weren’t for Sue.” Pat also works with Dickens Victorian Village to create heads for their mannequins.

Pat flower garden 001

Flower gardens such as this can be seen all over the hilltop where Pat lives.

     When Pat decided to begin planting flowers around her home, her first thought was to find plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. When Pat does decide to take a short trip these days, Baker’s Acres – a favorite greenhouse – is her destination.

Pat aloe

Throughout the year, Pat enjoys her rose geranium, citronella and aloe plants.

     In 2006, Pat decided to join the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in Guernsey County. This group of gardeners gives many volunteer hours to the community to make it a more beautiful place to live.

Pat favorite orchid

When Pat grew orchids, this one was her favorite.

     Pat’s goal in joining was “to learn to manage the land properly” since she lives on a farm. Her yard is like none other. In Pat’s eye, “A flower is no more than a weed in disguise.” She loves weeds and has created an unusual and interesting setting by using native plants in a most eye-catching way.

Monarch Butterfly

Pat’s grandson, Joseph, captured this Monarch butterfly having a nectar taste treat.

     Most of what she has learned has been by trial and error. Every year she experiments with a few new plants just to see how they will thrive in our local climate. But you’ll still find many traditional coneflowers, salvia, primrose and lilies surrounding her many artistic garden statues and yard art.

Pat Bathroom Greenhouse

This large bathroom greenhouse is a great place for her jasmine and other plants to thrive.

     Her eyes light up and her face breaks into a smile as she tells you about her latest projects. Just recently her jasmine plant has blossomed for the second time this year. According to Pat, “My whole house smells heavenly.”

Pat Master Gardener

In 2017, Pat was named Master Gardener of the Year.

     In 2017, Pat was named the Guernsey County Master Gardener of the Year. Working with the elementary school children and young ag students to teach gardening skills gives her real pleasure. Often she even has gardening classes at her home on the hill.

Pat and Garden Club friends sharing their straw bale garden.

Kathleen, Vi and Pat, all Master Gardeners, share information about using straw bales as containers for plants.

     Her easy going manner and cheerful smile open the door to many conversations with friends and even strangers. If Pat happens to be stuck in a long line at the store, she doesn’t complain. Her first thought is, “Who can I strike up a conversation with?” Her words of advice to everyone would be, “Happiness is in your destiny. You need not be in a hurry.”

Pat's flowers 001     Would she consider going back to Cleveland and leave this peaceful countryside? “People are so nice down here, why would I ever go back to the city.” The community certainly hopes she will continue to spread her joy of volunteering in so many ways for many years to come.

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A Delightful Touch of Spring : Blooms and Butterflies

Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory

Ready for Spring? After a long, frigid winter, most of us are ready to watch the earth come back to life again with green plants and flowers. If you happen to crave the taste of spring, a trip to Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio will temporarily satisfy your longing for beautiful blossoms and greenery.

Butterfly on Bloom

Butterfly on Bloom

Right now, their theme of “Blooms and Butterflies” seems the perfect way to put a touch of spring in the air. Franklin Park Conservatory provides a wide variety of experiences from botanical gardens and greenhouses to art sculptures and glass exhibits. Those who enjoy flower gardening soak up the scents and admire the picture perfect displays. Visitors enjoy blooms at the conservatory all year long, but the butterflies are a special added attraction.

Beautiful orchids in various hues and scents

Beautiful orchids in various hues and scents

In the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse, the featured blooms are “Orchids!”. Their varied orchids are much larger than most of us could hope to grow, but provide a peaceful place to relax and dream. Over 1000 orchids of all sizes and hues create a beautiful scene and scent. Soon spring blossoms outside will appear, including tulips, azaleas, lilies, and rhododendrons. Every season has its floral beauty at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Children are fascinated as they watch the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises. Parents have the chance to educate their youngsters on the life of the butterfly from the eggs they lay to the spinning of their protective covering before the appearance of a beautiful butterfly.

Peaceful Annie's Pond

Peaceful Annie’s Pond

Large displays of chrysalises at the Emergence Center give ample opportunity to watch the butterflies come to life. Everything from a small 1 ½” butterfly to a 12″ Attacus Atlas Moth might be making their premiere appearance as you watch.

When the butterflies first emerge, they may hang upside down for several minutes while their wings dry so they can fly away and explore some nearby blossoms. They must enjoy themselves quickly as their average life span is only about two weeks.

Inside the Pacific Island Water Gardens’ section of the conservatory, butterflies fill the air. At least 2000 butterflies are in this warm tropical paradise each day. A Butterfly Release occurs twice a day so the newly free can test their wings as they taste nectar from bright tropical blooms.

"The Sunset Tower" provides a gathering place for many butterflies.

“The Sunset Tower” provides a gathering place for many butterflies.

A favorite resting place for the butterflies was a beautiful piece of art by Chihuly, whose glass designs can be viewed throughout the conservatory. “The Sunset Tower”, in golden sunset tones, gave the butterflies a place to congregate peacefully.

Since most children desperately want an exotic butterfly to land on them for good luck, the naturalist often places the newly released butterfly on a child’s shoulder. Those who could sit still long enough were actually butterfly magnets, and might have three or four butterflies on their shirt. Watching the children brought to mind a piece of advice from Nathaniel Hawthorne:

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

The next time you aren’t pleased with the weather and want to be surrounded by the beauties of nature, take a trip to Columbus and visit the Franklin Park Conservatory. As summer approaches, there is an outdoor butterfly garden to attract Native Ohio Butterflies. Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of “Blooms and Butterflies” this year with your family or friends. You won’t even think about the snow that fell during the winter!

Franklin Park Conservatory can be easily reached off I-70 in Columbus, Ohio using the Broad Street Exit. Turn right onto Broad Street and the conservatory is about one mile down Broad on the left hand side. Watch for entrance signs.

The Magic World of Orchids

Step back into the Victorian era when orchids were a symbol of luxury, and walk leisurely through the Orchid Forest at the Franklin County Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio.  These beautiful orchids, entitled Orchids! Vibrant Victoriana, are displayed in the Dorothy M Davis  Show House, which was built in 1895.  The exotic orchid speaks of refinement and innocence and the elegant Victorian garden is filled with hundreds of incredible orchids in all sizes, shapes and scents.

Paul Busse’s Garden Railroad featuring children’s fairy tales is a popular place to stop and take a break.  In this magical world amongst the foliage in the Himalayan Mountain Biome, three dimensional structures are all made from natural materials.  You might see roof shingles made from fungus, a chimney cap from an acorn, or a door hinge from a tiny leaf.  Moss, twigs, leaves and seeds combine to form houses, bridges, and castles. Children will definitely enjoy the fairy tale settings, while adults will marvel at the construction of the scenery.

In an outdoor garden area, discovered the Hot Shop where a young man, who had been blowing glass for two and a half years, showed the curious visitors how to create a vase. From gathering the hot, hot glass to dipping it in either powdered colored glass or pellets, the glassmaking process produced many questions from those watching. Especially found fascinating the use of thick layers of wet newspaper being used to shape the glass, as seen in the picture above. The young man told the attentive audience, “We are still finding out new things about glass every day.  It is an ongoing learning experience.” His finished vase, which started out with a red glow, turned out to be a beautiful violet shade.

An added attraction was the beautiful blown glass art work by Debora Moore, Collectanea Botanica – Orchidaceae, showing her interpretations of orchids in blown glass sculptures. The Blue Orchid Tree, a beautiful Moore creation, is featured just inside the Cardinal Health Gallery. Debora feels that her work is a figment of her imagination combining the real qualities of the orchid with what she sees in her mind. This glass artist was a student and later an instructor at the Pitchuck Glass School, which was founded by Dale Chihuly whose work is also featured throughout the conservatory on a permanent basis.

My favorite artistic display was the large Pink Glass Orchid. Nature has always been Debora’s inspiration as she uses the medium of glass to express the grandeur and fragility of the natural world. She constantly learns and combines new methods with traditional glassblowing techniques to create her masterpieces.

Today, orchids are the top house plant with 25,000 varieties available. Symbolizing rare and delicate beauty, the orchid is an alluring and captivating plant to enjoy in your home. Franklin Conservatory is one of those places you can visit again and again, as they have featured shows throughout the year as well as an outdoor garden that blooms seasonally.

Walt Whitman wrote,”Give me a garden of flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” This is one of those special places that answers that request.

Franklin Park Conservatory can easily be reached off I-70 as it passes through Columbus, Ohio. Exit on 315 North and quickly you will make another exit onto Route 40 where you will turn right.  You are almost there as just a few blocks through the city, you will find Franklin Park on the right hand side.

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