Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Three

You know? Gardeners and technology just do not mix. Like getting the formatting in this blog to work right. I'd just rather go in the gardens and pull weeds instead of mess with it. Anyway, Kenton forgot the camera and I either let the battery on the laptop run down or I couldn't find a wireless internet connection. Drat. It was a great trip so you'll get a blow by blow account, just a week late.
Let's see.... Last Monday I was waking up in a bagel shop parking lot in Durango. And dang was it cold. Around 37. I guess it was cold in Junction, too. Waking up in a parking lot. I know what you are thinking and it wasn't like that.
You see Kelley from Timberline Nursery in Arvada and Kenton's pal and plant guru Allen both loaded us up with so many plants we had to detour back to the Gardens to drop them off. So that got us a little bit of a late start. We left the Gardens around 6pm or so and by the time we made it to Durango it was late and dark so we found the first likely parking lot and pulled in. We were traveling on a shoestring, a frayed and old shoestring.
Breakfast was great. Hot coffee. Fresh and yummy donuts and a chorizo breakfast burrito. Then it was time to hit the road. We had important meetings with Jon and Dale at the Albuquerque Botanic Gardens. Things to do. People to see and all that.
Jon and Dale were amazing. Jon is the Operations Manager and he shed some light on irrigation issues. I could have spent all day with him but I only got an hour and a half. Dale runs their butterfly house. It is a seasonal butterfly house and will be closing for the season in October but he still had a lot of good information that will help us keep improving our own cute, little butterfly house. We spent a lot of time in their Japanese Garden. It is huge and not quite done. They've been opening it up bit by bit. I was there two years ago when they opened the first section. They've since added about 1/3 more and it looked like they still had more to go.
It was interesting talking to Jon and Dale. The Albuquerque Botanic Gardens are run by the city. Jon had previously worked at a non-profit before being lured away by the Albuquerque Botanic Gardens. So we asked him what is the difference working for the city and working for a non-profit. He said that at the non-profit there wasn't ever any money. He paused then said that working for the city there wasn't ever any money. We got a good laugh out of that.
I recommend you check out the Albuquerque Botanic Gardens. Especially their children's garden. When I was first there all that was there was the hardscape. There were no plants and I thought it was just awful. However, in the past two years they added the plants and it looks fantastic. The theme is "gigantic". They have these huge pots with huge plants in them. They have roots growing down so you can see them underground. They have gigantic insects. And an enormous rotted tree trunk you can run around it. The kid in me went nuts. We were there after hours but I can imagine that kids would have a riot in that garden.
It took a little pressure off of me. Our children's garden was never fully realized. The plan wasn't followed and what was done was never documented. It has been a sore spot for me since I've been at the Gardens. I made me realize once again that gardens can't be rushed. You have to have a plan and you have to have funding. More importantly you have to have people who believe in your garden and want to work on it and in it. I'll be focusing on our children's garden for the next couple of years. Let me know if you are interested. I can use all the help I can get.
We ended up at a friend of Kenton's for the night. Whew. I don't know if I could have taken another night in the front seat of the truck. Kenton's friend had a great garden, of course. He had taken out his front lawn and was landscaping it with veronica, thyme, lavender, hyssop and a bunch of other xeric plants. The thing I liked the best was how "flirty" it is. He designed it so that the visitor had to brush up against these beautiful, sweet-smelling plants. It was also really formal and geometric. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like next year.
So that was last Monday. Have a good Monday this Monday!

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