Garden Blog

Thoughts About Valentine's Day



In the very practical country and times in which I grew up in New Zealand, Valentine’s Day was not celebrated. So, when my husband and I moved to the US I was confused about the customs surrounding the celebration. The first year we lived in the country, Bruce arrived home with some long-stemmed red roses on the 14th of February. Since I did not own a vase that would accommodate them I did the eminently sensible thing, cut off the stems and floated the heads in a bowl.

End of Year Thoughts



The end of the year is time to gather up the memories of the past year and we have our share in the Dunn Gardens.

2017 has been full of what you would expect in a garden: blooms that signal the start of the year, flowers that are so enchanting they make you breathless, leaves of blazing fall color that, in time, dropped to reveal the special, stark beauty of a bare tree.

Winter Solstice



At Dunn Gardens we are coming up on our Winter Solstice Stroll, one of our flat out most loved events. If we are really honest, we are cheating and holding it ahead of schedule; December 10 as opposed to December 21. It turns out the date of the actual solstice varies from year to year. It can be as late as December 23. The last time that happened was in 1903. It’s probably not a good idea to make plans to celebrate the next December 23rd solstice since it will not happen till 2303.

Thinking About Trees



I began thinking about trees, initially because they were absent and later because they were large. Bruce and I took a summer holiday in the UK in the course of which we walked around the Cornwall coast, an area notable for its rocky grandeur and spectacular views of the sea. What it doesn’t have, it may be fairly asserted, is trees among the bracken, stinging nettles, and grasses that line the walking paths. In addition to our West Coast Walk we visited significant public gardens where the trees are so large and old they tested my imagination.

Lavender Wands and More



Lavender is to herbs what roses are to flowers: an aristocratic bloom that has fascinated people over the centuries. Besides the distinctive, beguiling smell and the wow factor when looking at a field of the bushes in bloom, lavender is reputed to be able to soothe anything that ails you. Claims are made for its power to fix acne, burns, and insomnia, along with many other complaints in between. It is possible to ingest it as well in small quanitities; my particular experience was in ice cream.

A Picnic at the Dunn



The Dunn is joining a long established tradition of holding a picnic in the garden. Our particular one is in August—details will follow.

The word “picnic” invites investigation. It conjures up smells of hot dogs, chicken salad, cookies, the sounds of music, children running and sunburn. As a child I could never figure out why the sandwich at the beach tasted much better than the same sandwich eaten at home—despite the fact they were often sprinkled with sand.


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