Rare Plants

You are currently browsing the archive for the Rare Plants category.

“In the beginning, our plant exchange was really small,” says Elkhart County Park Department Chief Naturalist, Jerry Good. “But, it’s been growing. This will be our fifth year.”

Yesterday, DH and I traded plants with more than 60 friends and neighbors. The sun was out. We met new people. We took home a Rose of Sharon, a tea plant and yellow irises. I petted a baby raccoon.

It was a perfect day.

dsc02177.JPG
One man’s excess might be another man’s garden centerpiece.

dsc02180.JPG
Queen patiently waits while her family trades plants and tours the gardens.

dsc02174.JPG
Steve Ganglo, DeFries Garden Park Caretaker, with orphan, Coonie.

dsc02175.JPG
Who could resist that face? Coonie is being raised on half ‘n half and baby formula.

THE CALENDAR GARDEN

Designed by Jon Curtell, DeFries Calendar Garden has a section for each season. It is further divided by months. Every month features  grasses, bushes, plants and flowers at their peak. Native Indiana plants are on the outside of the garden. Horicultural displays are toward the inside.

 
Pathways representing four lunar equinoxes, form a compass leading to a pond in the middle of the Calendar Garden.

water-lily.jpg
The pond with it’s water lilies is the garden focal point. There are goldfish and bluegill, too. The bluegill were added because the park department wanted native Indiana fish. Nobody considered size. As a result, the number of goldfish is dropping.

dsc02211.JPG
A patch of green amidst pink lily pads.

dsc02188.JPG
Every month has a lunar marker featuring a distinct moon phase.

dsc02207.JPG
One of the seasonal sections.

dsc02218.JPG
May is in full bloom.

dsc02225.JPG
The back entrance to the house Beth DeFries built and donated to the Elkhart County Park Department. Steve Ganglo, park caretaker and his wife Linda live here now.

dsc02194.JPG
Benefactor Beth DeFries, an amateur botanist interested in preserving Northern Indiana’s native plants, donated her land and house to Elkhart County’s Park Department.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I couldn’t believe what DH was asking me to do.

We were touring 38-room Oliver Mansion, Copshalom, (http://www.memoriesinmotion.net/south_bend.htm).  And, as we were being shown the gardens, DH had picked seeds from a tree. Then he wanted me to stuff them in my purse. Right in front of everyone.

“Nooooo…..they aren’t going to grow, anyway. You can’t start trees from seeds,” I whispered, giving DH “the look“.

Only one of them did.autumns-visit-006.jpg
These days, Quince trees are few and far between. Before touring the Oliver mansion, I had never heard of a Quince tree.

However, the seed that I had grudgingly put in my purse, the same seed DH carefully planted and nurtured, is thriving.

As it ages our Quince tree will develop a bark similar to that of some crepe myrtle trees. Its fruit will be knobby, mottled, hard and bitter, but so fragrant that in ancient times the fruit was used to perfume rooms, much as we use air fresheners today. It is easily transformed into excellent jams, jellies and preserves.

More about Quince trees: http://msucares.com/lawn/garden/msgardens/02/021202.html