Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Notes From The Garden Center Tour

Yesterday, in conjunction with the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago, I attended a garden center tour.  It was quite a long day, but the nurseries and shops we visited were full of hospitality.  We began the morning at Hawthorn Gardens, followed by Atrium Garden Center and Pasquesi Home and Garden.  All three were wonderful places to visit.  The staff really went the extra mile to welcome 400 guests.  We enjoyed a box lunch on the bus, headed toward our afternoon destinations: Tom's Farm Market & Greenhouses and Countryside Flowershop, Nursery and Garden Center.  There was a wonderful feeling of fall in the air -- and the smell of roasted corn!

But my favorite stop of the day was our final destination: The Gardens at Ball.  These beautiful display gardens are located at the headquarters of Ball Horticultural and serve as an inspiration to growers, retailers and gardeners everywhere.  Here are just a few of the many photographs I took there today:

Coleus in hot fall colors.
What a view!
More coleus.
Pockets of color in a perfect lawn.
Rudbeckia 'Cappuccino'
A shady vista.
Zinnia 'Zahara Double Fire'

What a wonderful way to welcome the fall season!

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