Monday, July 28, 2008

Meeting Monica from Michigan

A few weeks ago Monica from Garden Fairie's Musings emailed me to say she'd be in Chicago this weekend for a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden, and invited me to join her for the day on Saturday.

We had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful - temperatures in the mid-80s and sunny. I have a garden glove tanline on my wrists, a sock tanline on my ankles since I garden in running shoes and socks, and now after our visit to the garden on Saturday, I have new camera-strap tan lines to go with the others.

It was a joy to meet Monica and spend the day with her. Her warmth, passion for plants and gardening, and her beautiful smile and easy laughter were infectious.

We were so busy walking, talking, and enjoying the beautiful garden displays, I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I would.

Does anyone know what the purple flower is? I know I've seen it before but am not sure I ever knew what it was called. We couldn't find one that was labeled, and we both thought it was beautiful.

I love the sunlight coming through the foliage on this banana.

This huge swath of Gateway Joe Pye Weed was just coming into bloom, as are mine planted last fall. It was neat to see how big and bold the plants in my garden could become as they mature.

Next time I'll post more pictures and show you my favorite parts of the gardens.


  1. Two envious items...meeting a blogging friend and a visit to a botanical garden...what a lovely way to spend a day, I wish it were possible;-)

    The garden looks beautiful...I always expect the flowering to be over, forgetting that they have a gardening staff and water everything!

    Love the tan line images!


  2. Anonymous10:54 AM

    What a wonderful day! The garden is beautiful and I look forward to seeing more photos.

  3. Hi Linda, Did the photo of the chipmunk turn out?? I enjoyed meeting you, too. Your photos are great! I haven't downloaded mine yet. I now have sandal tan lines, which, I have to be honest, greatly amuse me!
    ~ Monica

  4. I'm glad you had such good weather for your meet up. Wish I could have joined you. I have no clue what the purple flower is, but I've seen it before. I hope you find out, because it's going to drive me crazy.

  5. Anonymous11:35 AM

    It's good you got a day off to go do something fun. I love to meet up with other gardeners. I have glove tan lines too. It makes me look like I have some exotic disease. Your pictures of the botanical garden are beautiful. Looks like they do a good job maintaining it.

  6. What a perfect day strolling through the garden with another flower admirer!
    We recently went to the GA Botanical Garden and enjoyed the day even though it was beastly hot! I need to share some of those pics...

  7. Anonymous3:13 PM

    Sounds like a good gardener's day! Gardens and friends, can't have enough!

  8. Thank you for the wonderful garden tour, it so beautiful. It sounds like you had a wonderful time :).

  9. You know, I've been to Chicago three times and have managed to not go to the botanical gardens even once. How is that?

    It's nice you could meet up with another gardening blogger, I'd like to do that someday too.

    Love the tan line images, you should see my sandal, t-shirt, and shorts lines. On secong though, maybe you shouldn't....

  10. Gail, it was a lovely way to spend a picture-perfect day. I think you'd really enjoy the botanic garden here. Someday. . . ;-) I was impressed with how beautiful, large, and well-maintained it was.

    Perennial Gardener, I hadn't been there since I was a kid, and don't remember much about it. I was happy for the opportunity to see it again. It's really a gorgeous place.

    Monica, I wish! The chipmunk shots came out very blurry, as did most of the waterlily pictures. I was pretty pleased with the rest of the pictures though - I think they turned out nicely even with the bright sunshine.

    Our tan lines make interesting souvenirs!

    MMD, I'd have loved to have met you too. Hopefully we'll have another opportunity before too long. That purple flower is driving me crazy - even the foliage is familiar-looking. I'm glad the weather was beautiful for your event on Saturday too - hopefully not to hot for dressier attire than my shorts, tank top, and sandals.

    Anna, Saturdays for me are usually hectic with household chores and errands. We tired ourselves out with all the walking, but I felt very comfortable with Monica, and it turned out to be a relaxing break from my usual Saturday routine.

    At least I managed to blur the wrist and ankle tan lines a bit! I didn't realize I had the camera around my neck long enough for those tan lines.

    Skeeter, I was glad the temps weren't any higher than mid-80's here. It was a bit warm in the sun, but there was a nice breeze. The ice cream and iced tea we enjoyed were cooling and refreshing too.

    I'd love to see the photos from your botanic garden visit!

    Nancy, I can think of few better ways to spend the day than in good company in a beautiful garden!

    Brenda, Amen to that!

    Kathi, my pleasure! It was a lovely, memorable day.

    Cinj, I've lived here all my life and hadn't managed to get there since I was little kid! It won't be so long before the next time I go though. I hope you'll check it out sometime when you visit. I think you'd love it. Meeting Monica was really neat. I never imagined getting to meet other gardeners in person through blogging!

  11. What a great looking botanical garden. How great that you and the Garden faerie got together.

  12. Hi Linda,How totally fun. One would be crazy to visit gardens right now in Florida. I am amazed you can do that in the middle of the day in Chicago and not melt away from the heat.

    The photos are beautiful... always great to be in botanical gardens so full of the best plant life.

    It looks to me like your purple flower is a Tibouchina urvilleana or commonly known as princess flower. I have two of them and they are in bloom right now. They actually grow to be trees here. I saw one in Lake Wales (central Florida) last year that was two stories tall.

    How fun to meet a blogger and to spend that time in a garden together.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  13. Kim and Victoria, it was so pretty, and beautifully maintained. It's a bit far from me - about an hour and a half drive, but well worth it.

    Meems, we were lucky to have such a nice day. Our weather hasn't been too awful this summer - we haven't gotten much higher than the upper 80's, with only a couple of days in the 90's. August is just around the corner though, and it's not unusual to have prolonged heat waves in the 90's, even occasionally hitting 100 degrees. You can never tell around here though. Some years August is cooler than July.

    Thanks for the ID on the Tibouchina! I had a feeling I'd recognize it's name when I saw it. Now I remember we had them last year at nursery. I knew they looked familiar.

  14. Oh, this is so nice! Are you beginning to see a common theme among bloggers? So many of us are meeting. It is so cool! I think your purple flower is a type of bellflower. I love them in my garden. A passalong plant and one that is reliable-it spreads.

  15. Hi Linda, You mentioned Flowers Alive! fertilizer in a comment at Kim and Victoria's. Is that only available mail order? Thanks! Monica
    P.S. I posted my MLive entry on Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, but I'm STILL working on the Chicago Bot garden entry for Garden Faerie's Musings...

  16. Hi Tina, I think it's really cool! And with the Chicago fling in 2009, there will be lots of opportunities for meeting hopefully many more garden blogging friends!

    That purple flower does look a bit like a bellflower in the picture, but up close it's different, and the foliage is different too. I think Meems nailed it and it's actually a Tibouchina.

    Hi Monica, I get the fertilizer online from Gardens Alive. I think that's the only place to get it. I love the stuff. I could write a testimonial about it, especially the tomato fertilizer.

    I'm on my way over to MLive shortly to check out Lurie Garden!

  17. Are you involved with setting it all up? And do you maybe have a timeframe? Chicago is pretty doable from here as it is a straight shot up. I went up there a few years ago when my daughter in law graduated boot camp at Great Lakes. It was so cool. Easy drive too.

  18. Tina, I'm not sure how organized the Chicago contingent is yet or who'll be doing what. I hope to help in any way I can. We hope to get together sometime early this fall to get the ball rolling.

    As I understand, right now dates have only been narrowed down to 'not September,' due to a garden writers' conference planned for September '09.

    It would be wonderful if you could come. I'm sure as plans get solidified, there'll be lots of posts by Chicago-area and other bloggers with dates and other information. I hope to share in getting the word out here on Garden Girl too.

  19. I will check back then!

  20. It looks like a wonderful day, Linda! We used to go to the Chicago Botanical Gardens at least once a year when we lived there, but haven't had a chance to see them since we came to TX...gotta get back there somehow!

    If you can remember what part of the garden you were visiting when you took your photos, the website has a handy list of what's currently blooming in each area.

    Is there a photo of Carolus Linnaeus ahead?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Lovely pictures - I did laugh about your tan lines!
    An Artist's Garden.

  22. Annie, it was a wonderful day. I can't believe I've waited all this time to go up there. Next trip won't be so long a wait though. I really loved it.

    We missed that statue, didn't make it to the Heritage Garden, so I'll have to check him out next time I visit. I'm rather sorry I missed him, he looks like a very cool dude!

    I hope you get a chance to get back there again!

    Karen, thank you!

    I'm still laughing about the tan lines, especially the camera strap tan lines. Those should look really attractive with the dress I'll be wearing for a wedding in a couple of weeks.

  23. It's always a thrill to meet up with friends met through blogging..I can attest to that have met several myself in different parts of the globe! I am on route to Europe soon where I will meet some international blogging friends. Did we ever think this possible when we began our blogs!A day spent in a botanical garden is so interesting and fun!

  24. Isn't that a beautiful garden? I love visiting. The English walled garden is my favorite. The prairie garden too.

  25. I'm envious, too! The Botanical Gardens is on my list of places to visit; I'm hoping I can still get there before the end of the summer.
    Glad you had such a wonderful day.

  26. Anonymous2:16 AM

    It's great to see these summer images from the Botanic Garden. I visited last October, and it was stunning in fall, especially the prairie garden. But I see that summer is equally as lovely.


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