Saturday, November 20, 2010

fun in columbus

The drive to Columbus in the spring and summer is a trip through a green rolling countryside. In November, the same trip is fog shrouded, leafless brown and gray.

I’ve been in Columbus for the last two days attending a seminar. There are gaps in the schedule so I’ve been able to explore. I have always liked exploring. Whether it was my Dad packing us all in the 56 Pontiac and counting all 10,000 lakes in Minnesota or finding every place Abraham Lincoln stepped foot in, exploring with the Boy Scouts, or stopping by every historical bronze plaque when I was driving for a living, I can’t resist the chance to see something new.

At last year’s seminar, I visited the state capitol building. The Columbus Dispatch’s office is across the street with a huge neon sign. It’s like the founders of the paper told the politicians, all those years ago, that they were going to keep an eye on them and report all the shenanigans. It’s a mini lesson in political science. The capitol is surrounded by bronze monuments to the sons and daughters of Ohio who fought in our wars so they could get a memorial one day. If I was an 8th grade teacher, I would take my students on a capital tour, just like they do in Illinois (excepting that you visit Springfield, not Columbus).

Pat and I took time Friday to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory. Lona over at A Hocking Hills Garden posted about it sometime ago and I thought what a neat place, I have to visit. It’s only November, no snow has graced us yet and I already need my gardening fix. August seems like a faint memory. Pat and I do not have house plants. As good as we do outside; we kill everything that enters the house. I think it is just the way of the universe that Pat and I can not grow house plants (If this isn’t a plaintive cry for help, I don’t know what is). Back to the Conservatory, the grounds are autumnal brown, the bushes like skeletons waiting for a coat of snow. Inside you are greeted by the wonderful displays of glass. The Conservatory has a collection of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. Pieces of artwork are interspersed throughout the conservatory. You wander along seeing green, green and suddenly brilliant color. The place is beyond cool. All I could think was: “now this is garden ornamentation, Pat….”

Boy, I did not want to go back to the seminar.














Besides the glass globes, the pool was filled with these man eating goldfish.
The Conservatory has a hot shop for glass work. Demonstrations are ongoing and the creations are sold in the gift shop. Yeah, some went home with us. It is an amazing process.



Just like the birds, I was off to the seminar.


14 comments:

Marguerite said...

what a beautiful exhibit and interesting way to use decorative glass. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Great photos Jim, I would have had a hard time going back to the seminar also.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Great photos Jim, I would have had a hard time going back to the seminar also.

Eileen

Rene said...

What else can I say but, WOW! Great post Jim. Thanks for sharing.

Floridagirl said...

What a wonderful place! Love that decorative glass! I too cannot seem to keep houseplants alive, or even container plants on the porch, for that matter. There's watering to remember, mites to spray, misting for humidity. Oh, and the fertilizer. We can't just rake old leaves and shovel compost into the pots. I think I'm actually a very poor gardener, and my plants rooted in soil are just growing themselves.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I am so glad you took in the Franklin Park Conservatory. Isn't it wonderful? I could go back once a week and still find little nooks and crannies that I had missed. The scenery is always changing. I just ask my daughter the other day that I wondered what they do at Christmas there. I would love to see it at night when it is all lit up in color. You can go there in the dead of winter into the Desert or Palm room to escape winter blahs. LOL! Hope you did enjoy the seminars too.

Kalipso said...

I saw the work of Dave Chihuly in 2005 in London. He has the diplay of his glass work all over the Kew garden where I did the horticultural internship. Interesting work. Thanks for reminding me of it.

lifeshighway said...

I love the glass work at the Conservatory. I have seen Dale Chihuly work before. It is spectacular.

Christine B. said...

If only I could afford a display of glass by Chihuly! I had to settle for a few glass items at the last garden show I went to in Seattle. The I come to read a local garden expert condemned all use of glass in the garden, something about cleaning up shards;) I ignored him and put my glass items in the garden and haven't regretted it. Of course, I suppose this means none of the children can ever play softball in the backyard....

Christine in Alaska

Meredith said...

I saw Dave Chihuly's sculptures a few years ago at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and I didn't want to leave. My group had to drag me away. So I can understand your not wanting to return to the seminar. That shot of the lavender eggplant-looking pieces is heavenly beautiful, Jim.

Guess what? I can't keep a houseplant alive, either! My neighbors recently gave me a pretty one, and it is already looking sick, and I have a very pitiful example of an African Violet on my desk in front of me, silently begging to be gifted to my mother so she can rescue it from its misery. ;)

carolynsshadegardens.com said...

That glass artwork is incredible--thank you for sharing it with us. Maybe I will get there some day!

Esther Montgomery said...

Some weird and wonderful things in the conservatory!

You Dad was clever to organise such orgiginal (and challenging!) trips.

In our family, my husband likes indoor plants while I think they get in the way. At this time of year, though, I have to bring in some of the potted plants from the garden or they will die - then we start fighting over space on the windowsills!

Esther

Mark and Gaz said...

Great photos, I remember seeing Dale Chihuly exhibit similar artworks at Kew Gardens in London a couple of years or so back.

Siddhartha Joshi said...

beautiful images...