Monday, May 21, 2012


 In college the words “Road Trip’ would send a thrill through us.  It meant dropping whatever you were doing, grab a change of clothes, a toothbrush and a few dollars and hit the road.  Maybe heading to a nearby campus to crash on the floor at a friend’s dorm or borrow the house of someone’s parents who just left for a cruise (all participants, to this day, will remain nameless), but no matter the destination, it was always an adventure.
     So a road trip to a Botanical Garden can still be an adventure, in a different sort of way.  Maybe not as spontaneous; having to work around kids’ sporting events and dentist appointments can be difficult.  There may not be a stop at the first package store for beer, but there will be a stop at Starbucks for some lattes.  And maybe there isn’t the same amount of freedom; after all, dinner has to be on the table at a decent time. 
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
     If you are looking for a Garden Road Trip, there are some wonderful places a short drive away.  Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont is only an hour’s drive.  Besides the glorious gardens, they offer classes and events at different times of the year.  

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, located near Duke University is considered one of the premier public gardens in the United States. The JC Raulston Arboretum located at NC State University has one of the largest collections of plant material for the Southeast.  Wandering these beautiful gardens will both, inspire and relax you.  Take a camera to snap some pictures for possible ideas for your own garden.
JC Raulston Arboretum
    Any of the above mentioned gardens would make a memorable road trip and would not require a call to your parents explaining the reason they could not reach you all weekend was because you were at the “library”.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

And The Award Goes To....

I love old movies and movies about old things.  Often, as I sit and watch these wonderful classics, usually alone, because no one else in my family has good taste in movies, I find myself noticing the landscape and the gardens used as settings.  There are some great movies worth watching for the gardens alone.  ‘Secret Garden’ goes without saying, whether you watch the original or any of the remakes, it is beautiful.  ‘Edward Scissorhands’ is one movie I can watch and hardly notice Johnny Depp.  ‘Grey Gardens’ shows what happens when gardens go bad. 

 ‘Marie Antoinette’ shows the splendor of Versailles.  ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or any Jane Austin book made into a movie will have fantastic scenery and along the same lines is any version of ‘Jane Eyre’.  Then there is the vegetable garden in the movie ‘It’s Complicated’…they wired the tomatoes onto the plants to make it look so good.  

 And let’s not forget ‘Being There’ filmed on the breathtaking grounds of the Biltmore House.  The list can go on and on: ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Room with a View’, ‘Atonement’, ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ and even ‘The Godfather’ for its grapevines.
 I can honestly say I have never watched the Academy Awards, but I might start if they ever give an Oscar for the best garden.