Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2011 - Winding Down in the Garden

It seems appropriate, somehow, that I finish my Summer Fridays in the Garden, since I spent some of the first Fridays in them. The previous night's concert just whetted my appetite to return ... and to introduce a friend.

R-- had been looking at all my floral photos on the blog and I promised I would take her before the summer was out - as my guest because "membership has its privileges." After a near snafu (she thought I was talking about the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - she's Queens-based; and I'm more north of the City-oriented), we agreed to meet at the train platform ... in the Bronx!

Sadly, the evening's thunderstorms did not mean that we were blessed with a cool day. If anything, the humidity was up, but we managed to explore a tiny portion of the grounds, just around the Conservatory, the Cafe, and Library. The acreage is huge, so we're going to go back when the foliage begins to turn, to hike around the forest trails. Next time, she promises me she'll wear appropriate shoes!

Since I last visited, the water lilies have really grown - no wonder the concerts were so popular!
R-- was telling me that her mother used to cook up lotus pods. The delicacies in different cultures are quite unusual. She's getting used to our cuisine, even after all these years.

Before we got to the Conservatory and the water lily ponds, we explored vegetable gardens that are more familiar to me, and more exotic to R---. My parents and my grandmothers would have been snorting with laughter at the fact that I, an avowed non-nature girl, was talking about composting, and identifying various herbs and vegetables. Look at the size of those cabbages. Makes you want to make coleslaw!

We also headed into the Conservatory to explore the different climates and the Alhambra exhibition. It's a good thing R--- checked out the desert plants and cacti, as she headed to Albuquerque this past weekend.

After the obligatory I'm-taking-a-picture-of-you-taking-a-picture-of-me nonsense, it was time to take the obligatory what-I-ate-when documentation photograph. She is healthy. I was not. Salt is good. But look Mom, I had water with my chips. Not Diet Coke. So that's an improvement.

Because I'm still having some issues with swelling related to gout and the heat, I wore an ankle wrap on our walk, or else I would have been trying to put my feet in all the picturesque fountains throughout the grounds. Doesn't it look tempting though? According to my Zodiac sign, both an air and a water sign (thankyouverymuch), things are looking up.

In all the times I've visited the Botanical Gardens, I had never headed upstairs to the Gallery Spaces in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library. The Beaux Arts building has this beautiful rotunda on the top floor by the Gallery and library. The light filters through the glass tiles floor (see above) onto a lower floor with reading areas and exhibits, leading back to the scientific areas with the Herbarium and digital preservation departments. I'll have to remember to go and hide out there in the winter when I need to get out of the apartment.

Unfortunately R--- had to rush back to the City for an appointment so she never got to take the trolley tour, see the greenhouses, the conifers, or see my favorite spot over looking the waterfall. Maybe later. Until then, we had plans not-so-early the next morning to do a long walk as part of Summer Streets down to and over Brooklyn Bridge. I told you. I jam-packed the weekend.

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