Saturday, July 28, 2012

Memories of Crimson Dawn

"History and mystery beckon from atop Casper Mountain in the heart of central Wyoming. Trails wind gently among the pine and aspen while the log cabin museum provides a warm step back in time. Crimson Dawn Park and Museum welcomes you to the enchanted world of Neal Forsling's creative and inspirational legacy." This is the description from Crimson Dawns web page of a hidden log cabin found on top of Casper Mountain Wyoming. This post doesn't have anything  to do with the history of the place but of a visit we made in summer of 1987. Cindy and I were in our seventh year of marriage and had two tag-a-longs: Jeremy 5 and John 19 months. That summer was a hot summer if I remember right, similar to this summers heat wave. We went to the top of the mountain with my mother and of course my camera to cool off and inspect the museum. Upon arrival my boys ran to this unique looking bench made from twisted tree limbs. Wow, what a photo op. There were not digital cameras at this day and age, so film had to be developed. The day of taking multiple photos had not yet arrived and also you could not preview them. Fortunately one photo turned out well as you can see below.
I had to take another image of the original photograph as we do not have a negative. It tuned out well, however. John probably spelled Koolade or something on himself and took his clothes off . Hee hee. It is definetly our favorite picture of the boys.

On the trip this summer we wanted to go back to Crimson Dawn and possibly relive some memories. Mother had a little difficulty finding the correct road. After finding the right turn, I had visions of finding the same bench and taking a photo of Cindy and I sitting on it.
Twenty five years later and little worst for wear, the bench is still there. However, like us, it is a little worn and aged. A unique patina I suppose. The bench was not strong enough to sit on, so we just enjoyed the fact that it was still there and provided fond memories.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh my Gosh....(another)Calamagrostis.

During my recent visit to Colorado and Wyoming, I noticed an overabundance or use of certain plants. I can speculate on how certain plants become popular in different regions of the country. Recommendations from experts, like extension agents, nurserymen, architects and such can play a large role. Botanical gardens offer views of plants in comparable landscape designs. Views of plants in magazines, newspapers, and even blogs can format our thinking also. I suppose viewing plants in landscapes in your community plays a strong role also, especially plants that succeed....

Well there was one plant which I strongly like, Calamagrostis acutifolia 'Karl Foerster'. I grow it in my own garden (9 plants as a matter of fact). I like this cool season grass as it blooms early in the year, will grow under trees(though not flourish), and has a great vertical growth habit. But...I swear when viewing Colorado/Wyoming landscapes they were everywhere (along with russian sage). I literally got sick of seeing them. There must be a Johnny Foersterseed going around planting these suckers. In commercial as well as residential designs, this grass was in every design.
(Shown in the background at the Cheyenne,Wyoming Botanical Gardens).

I thing back of past gardening trends and abundance of certain plants that were popular in my geographical areas: high school days: railroad ties, phitzer juniper and yucca. college days: Bradford Pear, Crape Myrtle, Boxwood, Procumbens and Blue Rug Juniper. Yaupon Holly multi-trunk tree form, Dwarf Yaupon Holly, Red Oak and Chinese Pistache trees. Recently Atlas Cedar, Deodora Cedar, Japanese Maple 'Bloodgood', Red Barberry, and Crape Myrtle. Can you think of others in your area or times in your life?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

I got my laptop back! After a new screen, motherboard, and power adapter(the dog chewed on the original) I'm back on the blogging trail. I'm probably going to miss Bloom Day (or did), so I will post on Pam Penick's meme, Foliage Followup. Actually this isn't a garden but what the heck. Imagine yourself on a horse holding the reins, looking for foliage combos, spitting out a chew, and shouting out "morning glory!

Bear Trap Meadow-Casper Mountain-Near Casper, Wyoming.  
Mostly Lodgepole Pine, Spruce, and Aspen.
Sage and prairie-Witches Mountain near Casper Wyoming.
Many photos to follow.......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back at Last

Kind of. Upon returning a week ago Monday from our eleven day vacation to Colorado and Wyoming, our laptop computer decides to hibernate. No longer showing it's technological  and digital masterpieces of artistry or data. Arghh. Isn't technology great? Or I should say, ain't it frustrating when you rely on something non-human or human I suppose, that just doesn't work. Therefore I haven't recieved my blog posting fix for two weeks and many ideas and inspirations have dissipated into oblivion. Maybe never to see fruition again. Let's hope not. My son brought his work computer along this week for a visit, so I am posting now.What a treat! I had a general idea about my next blog post ten days ago. However after reading a few posts from my favorite bloggers, I had to respond to Professer Roush's recent post on our visit to his garden. You can enjoy his post here.

I wanted to do full blown posts on many of the Xeriscape/Botanical Gardens I had visited in Wyoming. The gardens were cardoned off in Colorado Springs during the Waldo Canyon wildfire so I couldn't visit those. One of the plants I found fascinating at the Cheyenne Wyoming botanical gardens was the plant pictured below:
Centaurea macrocepha
At the time I couldn't figure out what in the world this plant was with the unusual bloom or seedhead? I had no clue. I plucked a bloom and asked my mother when we reached Casper. She couldn't identify it either. So I kept the bloom along with gathered seeds of other praire plants along our trip. After leaving Casper and visiting Professor Roush's garden in Manhatten, Kansas, we were saying our goodbyes and I spied the plant. The same one. The plant I couldn't identify. Centauea macrocepha! The professor had written a post on this plant previously after a garden tour, view this post here. Needless to say I grabbed two spent seed heads ready for planting. Yes!
Photo from Cheyenne Botanical Garden first visit.
Photo a week later.
A day later at Professor Roush's I recieved dried seed heads ready for next year! These images do not do it justice.
 Destiny I suppose. he he. My visit was a blast, even though it was over a hundred degrees and humid. Photos and stories will follow in coming weeks as I recieve my computer back. When ever you have a chance, visit your fellow garden bloggers as friendships can become real.