Sunday, February 27, 2011

Akron Home and Flower Show

The Akron Home and Flower show was this weekend at the John S Knight Center and of course we went. The Knight Center is a nice intimate setting for a flower show. It has a wonderful stage area which has the Akron skyline as a backdrop. Every time we go to downtown Akron, we have a great time.

This year Ed Begley Jr was one of the featured speakers. We heard Mr. Begley speak two years ago at the Akron Show, so this year we made a point of getting there early enough to get a seat. His talk on sustainable living is full of common sense solutions and to my continued surprise and admiration, adheres to all the rules of economics. There is no pie in the sky, lost in the woods ramblings. We can all have a smaller footprint than we do now. Even though Mr. Begley was preaching to the choir, it was still fun to hear. You could tell the audience was working their own check list, making check marks next to every suggestion.

Jan at Thanks for Today has a gardeners’ sustainable living project in March. Last year’s entrants were a fount of knowledge. It fits right in with Mr. Begley’s philosophy.

I can't resist taking pictures of hosta.
Or getting my picture taken with a mascot.

Only at a garden show will you see hosta and tulips together.

Friday, February 25, 2011

snow day

While the weather reports Thursday evening called for a storm of epic proportions, there was no new snow on the ground at midnight. Even before the storm arrived, school districts were calling off school. The race seemed to be on to see which county would close the most schools. When I got up at 0430, there was just a light snow. The television weather people were speaking in terms of the apocalypse, yet none of the large districts in Cuyahoga County had called off. I put on a pot of coffee and sat back waiting for something to happen. Well it did. By 0500 the snow was that pretty, heavy snow that looks so nice on a Saturday afternoon when you are sitting by a fire. By 0530 the wind had picked up and the snow was coming at us horizontally. It was so thick that I thought ODOT wasn’t going to be able to keep up. Still, none of the big districts had called off. I was resigned to a wintery driving adventure heading to a classroom whose students were all exercising a personal snow day. Common sense prevailed in the halls of administration land. I received the official notice: SNOW DAY.

The tree is still sad.

As luck would have it, Jimmy had just gotten home from two weeks in North Carolina. We were happy to see him and I was happy that I wasn’t going to shovel snow. All hail Jimmy, shoveler of long driveways.
The Akron Home and Flower Show is this weekend.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the tree is sad

Winter just doesn't seem to want to go away. Just when I thought that maybe, just maybe we could make it to March without any more snow, another storm is heading our way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

family pictures and azaleas

Pat and I just spent a long weekend in Chicago scanning pictures from our moms' boxes of pictures. We’ve been doing this for 6-9 months or so. I want to hear the stories behind the pictures before the memories get too worn.

We’ve been regaled with stories of G-men breaking into my great-grandparent Drees farm house in Northern Minnesota during prohibition, carting my Uncle Matt off the hoosegow, but not before my Great-Grandma Drees whacked a G-man with a cast iron skillet. Pat found out the history about her family trips to Marshall Field during Christmas with tea in the Walnut room. Her Mom went as a little girl. Pat and I can’t tell our children and soon-to-be grandchildren any family story unless we know it.

I remember going to the Garfield Park Conservatory when I was little. When I got older, I wondered if this was a “fatherly” thing to do or if something drew my Dad to the park. I scanned a picture album from my Dad which had pictures from 1938. Within the folder album, I found my answer, page after page of pictures of tropical plants from the Lincoln Park and Garfield Park conservatories. Little did my Dad know, but a few years later, he would get to see exotic plants up close. Maybe my gardening comes from my Dad. We decided to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory on our way home. What’s an extra couple of hours?

The conservatory’s azalea display opened this last weekend. There were families with little kids enjoying the plants and flowers. The kids darted around exploring all the new sights. For a moment, one of those little kids was me.

About now, Pat asked "how come we can't get our azeleas to look like this?" I hid behind the "I don't know anything about sun plants" line. Oh yeah, azeleas are shade plants.

There was so much to show that I'll need another post.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heat wave

We’re having a heat wave in Cleveland. The temps are in the mid 40s. You can go outside with just a heavy sweatshirt. Spring can’t be far behind. With the balmy temps, I can finally get into the back yard. While I prefer the yard lush and green, the snow does look pretty cool, especially with the animal tracks.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Big Home and Garden Expo part2

Two of the coolest gardens at the garden show were the Wizard of Oz and the Alice in Wonderland gardens. I couldn’t resist having Pat take a picture of me with the White Rabbit. I kept looking for the flying monkeys, but couldn’t find any. Just as well, they scared the bejeezus out of me when I was little and still kind of give me the willies. Walking through these gardens was like going to a twin bill.