Tag Archives: garden

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

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Michelle.Fitzurka.Teapot

A recent Digital Photography class gave me an excuse to spend a lovely afternoon at a local herb garden.  I found this delightful teapot next to a shaded iron bench overlooking a small pond.  Just a stone’s throw from a tiny fairy garden, and a perfect spot for a precious moment of reflection and relaxation.

Michelle.Fitzurka.Reflection

If you have a picture to share of this week’s theme, join in the weekly photo challenge by clicking: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/photo-challenge-object/#more-68154

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth!

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Earlier in the spring, I brought my children to a butterfly garden at Brookside Gardens.  It was surreal and so delightful to walk into a room with so many stunning colors fluttering around us!  This week’s photo challenge gives me the perfect opportunity to share pictures of the growth cycle for the Monarch butterfly!  …And their chrysalis is among the most incredible I have ever seen in nature!

  

A Festival Frolic in Annapolis

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Phew!  In desperate need of a break from Google Sketchup tutorials, I am sharing a fun find here in downtown Annapolis.  This weekend, my oldest daughter & I spent a special ‘Mommy & Me’ day at the “First Sunday Arts Festival.”  Even with the heat, it was a nice post derecho diversion.  Speaking of which, our prayers go out to those of you who are still dealing with the aftermath of power outages and damage!  With the intense and rather unseasonal temperatures in our region, it’s not a time that you want to be without A/C!  What a crazy & unexpected mess!!!

KeyLime Designs by Mollie Dennis
(click here to learn more about this artist)

So in spite of the recent tribulations, the crowd and the vendors seemed to be in good spirits, the music was lively and the breeze was just right…  I wanted to share a few pictures of some of our favorite vendors of the day.  Probably one I liked the most was a table of beautiful children’s artwork by KeyLime Designs.  Artist, Mollie Dennis has a degree in Art Education and has focused her talents on these charming and cheerfully colored collages.

Decorative pieces by Art Sea
(click here to find out more about her seaside decor)

Another table we enjoyed was covered with inventive creations by Art Sea… and who wouldn’t love the name! 🙂  Her specialty was a collection of lovely sailboats she crafted from driftwood and grommeted decorator fabrics.  What a great idea for repurposing natural materials into something, oh, so very Chesapeake Chic!

There were clothing vendors, jewelry, housewares, whimsical garden ornamentals, natural soaps… everything you can imagine, and some gorgeous fine art displays.  It was a textile paradise!

And then there was the food!  My feeling is that it’s just not a festival until you have a taste of the town.  Living in Maryland for around 12 years now, you get used to the usual crab claims of the locals and frankly, I was up for something a little different. As we turned the corner of West Street and found another row of tables down Calvert, we were drawn to a tent bearing the sign, “Mad Flava Catering.”  The grill was flaming, the aroma of Caribbean jerked chicken was wafting and my mouth was watering!  One taste, and we knew this was the real deal!  The chef, Andre Sherwood, is Jamaican born and bottles this amazing sauce.  I bought 3 jars, got home and cooked up a batch of chicken for my — and I don’t use this term lightly — highly flavor-critical family.  It was a unanimously HUGE hit, which, for our 4 kids is practically unattainable… many of you parents out there know my pain!  So 12 thumbs up here, Chef Andre!!!  We will be back for more soon, I’m sure!!!

Click here to visit his website & find out more about Chef Andre’s awesome food!


The Beauty at Brookside

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“Jaws” by Seth Goldstein and Paula Stone (2009) created with oriental bittersweet vines (Celastrus orbiculatus).

School is out!!!  Time for fun, excessive playing of video games, popsicles, suntan lotion, and above all… field trips!!!  One place I have never visited, and always wanted to explore with my kids was Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County.  I knew this place by reputation alone and had heard about the butterfly garden that they maintained.  With summer fever alive in our house, a sunny and breezy day in the forecast and the need to get out of the house for a new perspective, we packed up the family van & set off for adventure!

Upon our arrival I could sense the excitement building as we made our way through the jam-packed parking lot.  We parked and unloaded in a way resembling the clown car at the circus and finally began to take it all in… It was beautiful!  On our way to the Conservatory entrance, we passed a series of unusual vine sculptures created by repurposing a non-native, invasive vine from a local parkland.  According to its plaque, these vines would have otherwise smothered and strangled other plants.  This in turn, would have seriously hampered the regeneration of the woodlands necessary to support wildlife. The sculpture was very appropriately named, “Jaws”.

The grounds were so peaceful, even with all of the visitors… and the landscaping was absolutely  stunning!  I could see why this was a haven for photographers!  But by far, the highlight of the day was the “Wings of Fancy” exhibit.  I have visited butterfly

gardens before, but this was such a different experience with the infectious enthusiasm and wonderment of the children.  Gorgeous butterflies fluttered wildly all around us!  They landed on our hats, our shoulders… it seemed like the brighter the color of our clothing, the more they were attracted to us as if we were giant flowers filled with nectar.  Our favorites were these gloriously huge Blue Morpho butterflies from Mexico… They were so vividly hued, and they were everywhere!!!

We had a wonderful day!  Breathtaking gardens, a nice exhibit of paintings in the Visitor Center, a whimsical children’s garden complete with a lovely little treehouse… all came together for an enchanting afternoon.  I highly recommend a visit, just be sure you get a bite to eat before you arrive.  There are no picnicking areas on the grounds, and you will want to be there for a while!