Sweden, Part 2

The next part of my Swedish adventure comprised a hike out to a pretty stretch of white sand beach and a walk in Trädgårdsföreningen, or the Garden Society of Gothenburg.

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1. This was our ultimate destination that day, a beautiful stretch of white beach. Unfortunately, a storm was racing us there. It did not quite beat us, however, and we were able to swim for about five minutes. Don’t mistake that for disappointment; I was just proud to get in the water again for a while because while I like to and can swim, I may or may not be terrified of the sea, the ocean, possibly even lakes. And ponds. I’m okay with puddles, though.

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2. Lichen. As my friend told me, it’s not a photo album of mine unless there’s some lichen.

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3. Wild lupine was everywhere

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4. See?

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5. Prince Bertil’s Path

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6. The tall rhododendrons blew this girl away.

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7. Wild geranium everywhere

Now we’re going to Gothenburg (Göteborg). Everyone, hold onto your butts.

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8 – Inside a greenhouse

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11 – If seared flesh were a beautiful flower

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12 – I find the placement of the flower on this branch beguiling and wonderful. It’s like the tree is wearing a bracelet.

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14 – More wild geraniums

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15 – Pretty damn Swedish, if you ask me. Not as Swedish as it gets, but pretty Swedish.

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16 – A more expansive view of the grounds at the Gothenburg Garden Society

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17 – The yellows popped on the cloudy day

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18 – Magnolia (?) and geraniums

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19 – Double columbine

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20 – Viburnum?

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21 – Redvein Enkianthus. I didn’t know what this was when I took the picture. I Googled “pink bell-shaped flower.” I figured it was in the same family as blueberries, and hey, guess what. I WAS RIGHT.

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22 – Some day I shall have such a nice mix of textures in the garden.

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May Day

Since we last spoke, I’d say we’ve come as close to spring as we’ve ever been. No. I’m going to be bold. We’re not merely close to spring. It is spring. Right now. Gone, we hope, are the nights where we constantly fret as the overnight low hovers in the upper 30s and we wonder if we’ve made foolish landscaping decisions. Just today, I walked across town because I was delighted to discover that, in the couple of hours since I’d been outside, the blustery, cloudy day had actually become BALMY.

In celebration of this, I’m going to share some pictures I took on a day that is, officially or not, the King o’ Spring, May Day. As it happened, May Day 2014, in my neck of the world anyway, couldn’t have been much farther from spring if it tried. But I took these pictures at the greenhouse with my phone (where else, and on what other device?) and I’ve been sitting on them like a slow, lazy hen on so many cracked eggs. And wouldn’t you know, I found that even though it was gloomy out, these lovely flowers made it anything but, so it was actually quite a cheery May Day.

Also I’ve been busy blah blah whatever still not giving up picture project whatever blah but BY THE WAY, in a few weeks I’m going somewhere TERRIBLY INTERESTING AND WONDERFUL and I hope to share possibly THE MOST EXCITING PICTURES THIS BLOG HAS EVER, EVER SEEN. Crap, I just oversold it. Also, I might try to be “in the moment” or whatever and not take 12,000 pictures so maybe just disregard all that. But maybe don’t.

I haven’t looked at these pictures since I edited them and now I’m chuckling at how much I messed with the color. Oh, Me of a Week Ago! To be fair, though, this is totally how I see the world.

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African daisies!!! (Osteospermum spp.)

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My favorite osteo we carry, the one with the little spoon-petals. I think this cultivar is ‘Purple Spoon.’ (That would make sense, wouldn’t it?)

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I don’t remember what this is, because I’m a complete and utter monster.

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Some Gerbera daisies, three of which I later bought, and am just now remembering have been sitting in my porch for a couple days because I had to hide them from my cat the other night when I brought them in from the balcony (STILL TOO COLD, UGH, NOT HARDY ENOUGH YET, BUT MAYBE NOW)

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Geraniums. I don’t like geraniums that much. They’re fine. I guess. I get pretty offended when I touch one and there’s just a deluge of petals. I really enjoy how they smell, though. I’m not sure why.

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The biggest greenhouse at our greenhouse is not a very big greenhouse but it is pretty precious.

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Florist’s Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida). These really are true-blue, although it’s always interesting just how ZINGY a blue it renders on camera.

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Here’s a petunia that everyone is losing their minds over right now: ‘Cha Ching Cherry.’ Petunias are definitely at the bottom of my list of favorite annuals, but even I love this damn cultivar.

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Water beads so prettily on some leaves. Like day lilies. And lupines, as in the above picture!

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Some more lupine leaves for ya.

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This is kind of what things look like. This is back in the bulbs section with the irises and day lilies and Asiatic lilies and such.

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The herbs are also back in the corner where the above picture was taken, too, but you wouldn’t know it.

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One of our baby stonecrops, I think, held over from last year.

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A few of our coral bells taken from Tickseedville, population: me. (Actually, I don’t have any tickseed. I had one once, and it died.)

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Beautiful deep-colored foliage of the perennial geranium. Why don’t I have any?

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Coral bell flowers, unsure of the cultivar.

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Coral bell next to hosta.

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Holding raindrops hostage

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What a mighty gob o’ water.

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So many beautiful hens and chicks!

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I keep forgetting what this is but it’s hardy and I want it and I need it yesterday. The purple is so bright, the flowers seem to last a while, and I love the maroon foliage.

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Viola and Pansy Lane

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The fine foliage of astilbe

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A forlorn, torn hosta leaf

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Closing up shop for the night. Either forlorn or cozy, depending on how you look at it. This is what we have to do the first few weeks the greenhouse is open. I was very happy to learn when I worked last night that we would only be covering two tables that night. Note in the background some faint color in the sky. This was the only non-gray sky we experienced for days and days, and it was right at the end of May Day. HOW SPECIAL.

Cleaning out my phone

My phone has accumulated 1000 or so pictures over the summer and fall. Here is a small handful of them!

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This beauty is a type of gentian. The flower stays closed up like this in a cluster. Hey, do you like movies that portray a rich tapestry of Appalachian misery? Then I would recommend Chasing Spirits. The reason I bring it up is one of its characters is named Gentian Violet.

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This picture is noisy, but here it is anyway. It’s a pretty flower. I don’t know what it is. This is my guess based on 30 seconds of research on the website Minnesota Wildflowers: agastache.

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Isn’t fungus tremendous?

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Look, galls. My sister used to tell me when I was a kid that these are bat droppings. That is not accurate.

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This was taken on a path going through the state forest my family stayed at late this summer / early fall.

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On the path were such things as fallen leaves.

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And more fallen leaves.

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A nest nestled among ferns.

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Probably 30% of the pictures on my phone are of cats, mine or the farm cats. From top to bottom, these are Cookie, Fred, Princess, and Short Tail.

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Cookie

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My dad inherited his dad’s fishing boat and we went fishing more this summer than we have in many past years combined. We still caught about the same number of fish, though.

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This summer I encountered so many dragonflies with broken wings it seemed a veritable epidemic had struck.

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Basswood

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A marshy area on the edge of town. I was being bit by so many mosquitoes as I was taking pictures this night. I feel like you should be able to see a couple of them in this picture.

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Vervain

July 2nd pictures

I probably don’t need to mention that it’s hot here. It’s hot everywhere. We broke a heat record today, but I remember I heard something about Atlanta breaking a record the other day (106 degrees), and you know, some states are on fire, or battered by thunderstorms and without power. Soooo. I guess we have it pretty good here.

I couldn’t really hack the heat, though. I fell asleep in the pool for a while and that was a trip. But then I woke up and took these pictures and all the plants were starting to get sad and thirsty but I tried to fix that and I saw some cool things.

1. This swallowtail (I think that’s what it is, I know pretty much nothing about butterflies) was on a total nectar bender. Also very skittish. I was happy to at least get a few semi-clear shots of it.

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